In American higher education, Candidacy is a special status accorded a graduate student working on the final stages of the doctoral degree. One is "recommended for Candidacy" by the department but one is "admitted to Candidacy" by the university. Candidacy is not quite the same as ABD ("all but dissertation") status, since a student can be admitted to candidacy before finishing all coursework. However, once all courses have been taken and all degree requirements completed except for the document/thesis and the final oral defense, a student in Candidacy is considered to be "ABD."

When a music student has substantially completed studies in the doctoral program (i.e., has completed most coursework, has passed the three-part Comprehensive Examination, has satisfied any language and research tool requirements of the student's approved program, and has removed any provisional admission requirements), the student's Supervisory Committee will recommend to the Office of Graduate Studies that the doctoral student be admitted to Candidacy. The Supervisory Committee completes an Application for Candidacy Form, available at
recommending to the Office of Graduate Studies that the student be admitted to Candidacy in the DMA or Ph.D. degree. This report is to be filed at least seven months prior to the final oral (defense) examination.

For all current deadlines in this process, see

Following admission to Candidacy the student must register in the Office of Graduate Studies during both semester of each academic year until the student receives the degree. Failure to register during each fall and spring semester results in termination of the Candidacy and the doctoral program.

During Candidacy, students may register for the fall and spring semesters using MyRed, which utilizes a standard web browser to access students records. In order to use MyRed, students are required to have PIN numbers. Contact the Doctoral Assistant in the Office of Graduate Studies, (402) 472-2875 for assistance.

If a student was officially certified as a resident of Nebraska for tuition purposes while on campus but has now, during Candidacy, moved to another state or country, the student continues to pay resident tuition.

If a student was classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes for the entire period while on campus, the student continues during Candidacy to pay non-resident tuition. (This includes students who were Graduate Teaching or Research Assistants from another state or country and did not ever carry through the specific official procedure to meet the standards established by the Board of Regents for resident tuition status. In such cases, while the student was on campus as a Graduate Teaching or Research Assistant the student was classified as a non-resident student and tuition was assessed on a non-resident basis, but the University remitted the difference between non-resident and resident tuition.)

However, if students are registering for only one credit hour, which is in EXCESS of their program requirements, merely to maintain Candidacy as required by the Graduate College, they are charged the Resident tuition rate regardless of previous residency status.

Students in Candidacy who have completed all courses on the program of studies and who are registering for dissertation (999) hours in excess of the requirements of the program in order to maintain continuous registration are eligible for a waiver of the non-resident portion of tuition. To qualify for this benefit, students must:

  • Have grades for all courses on the program except for dissertation (999) hours.
  • Send email to Eva Bachman requesting this benefit. (You need only make this request once; your ABD status, once approved, will remain in effect until you graduate.)

Complete information is available here.


Students must apply to graduate. If you intend to graduate at the end of a given semester, you must apply within the first four weeks of the beginning of the semester (by a set date that you can find in the university's annual calendar). Applications for graduation may be submitted electronically via MyRED or by contacting the Office of the University Registrar, 107 Canfield Administration Building South. For the online Application for Graduation, go to MyRED, and click on your Academics tab. This will take you to the online Application.