Candidacy Review Examination

All graduate students in the School of Art are required to pass the Candidacy Review Examination (CRE). The CRE focuses on general knowledge and competence of the core curriculum of the Graduate Program in Art Education. All CRE committees are comprised of three faculty members. All required coursework must be completed prior to taking the CRE.


When the appropriate number of hours has been earned to be eligible for the Candidacy Review Examination, the graduate student and advisor meet to select members of the committee and schedule the exam. In most cases, committee members are chosen from those professors with whom the student has taken course work. All committee members must hold graduate faculty status. Typically, the CRE committee also serves as the student’s Thesis or Project committee.

The examination is comprised of a written and an oral component. The student has ten days to write three essays based on the three questions assigned by the committee. The student will receive the three questions from the Division Coordinator on the first day of the 10-day writing period. The oral phase of the CRE will be held after the committee has had a minimum of seven days to review the answers. The oral phase consists of a structured discussion based on the student’s essays and possible suggestions made by the committee members to re-direct the proposed Thesis study or Master’s Project.

The student is responsible for making all arrangements for the CRE, including the scheduling for a classroom or conference space, contacting committee members, and selecting a date and a time for the examination when all members can be present. Consult with the secretary to the Graduate Coordinator early in the semester (or previous semester) to reserve a time and space.

Expectations and Evaluation Criteria for the Candidacy Review Examination

A student is expected to write a 10-12-page essay (excluding reference page(s)) in response to each of the 3 questions assigned by the CRE committee. These thematic essays should reflect the student’s best writing and demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the content, critical thinking, and ability to make analytical connections between content knowledge and practice. The essays should be written without grammatical errors and follow the APA (6th Ed.) referencing guidelines.

Retaking the Candidacy Review Examination

In cases when the student does not pass the written or oral part of the CRE, the committee may recommend additional preparation before the student proceeds with the program. All committee members must be in agreement to pass a student. If the student does not pass, a mutually agreed upon make-up date will be decided. If satisfactory performance was not demonstrated at the 2nd attempt, the committee will determine remediation criteria and schedule a re-review date. The student cannot proceed to conduct the Thesis study or Master’s Project prior to the successful completion of the CRE. The student is suspended from the graduate program if the CRE is failed three times. To re-enter, the process of application to graduate study must be repeated.