Degree candidacy

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program.

Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Degree candidacy requirements vary from program to program. Contact your program director for requirements specific to your degree program.

Graduate students who are eligible for master’s or doctoral degree candidacy must complete and sign the degree candidacy form, then submit it to their graduate program directors for approval and processing.

Graduate students have the option to complete the form in Word, PDF, or using DocuSign (electronic submission).

DocuSign Process
- Read the instructions prior to initiating the Degree Candidacy form in DocuSign. 

Students in the College of Humanities & Sciences: The School Dean/Designee is as follows:
Dr. Edmund Acevedo  Email:

Students in Psychology programs:  The Program Director is as follows:
Dr. Zewelanji Serpell  Email:

Students in VCU Life Sciences: The School Dean/Designee is as follows:
Dr. Brian Verrelli  Email:

Students in the School of Education:  The School/Dean Designee is as follows:
Dr. Colleen Thoma  Email:

Students in the College of Engineering:  The School Dean/Designee is as follows:
Dr. Gregory Triplett  Email:

Students in the School of Medicine:  Use Word/PDF form. Please contact your program director with questions.

Students in the School of Nursing:  The School Dean/Designee is as follows:
Dr. Debra Barksdale  Email:

Students in the Wilder School:  The School/Dean Designee is as follows:
Dr. Jill Gordon  Email:

Degree Candidacy Form Instructions for Using DocuSign

Degree Candidacy Form-DocuSign


A‌dmission to master's or doctoral degree candidacy (Word/PDF forms)