Application for Candidacy: The struggle continues…

There is almost no reason to write this post other than to document the fact that I am finalizing my paperwork for my PhD candidacy. Please don’t clap/cheer or congratulate me. There is quite a story about why I even need this post, but just know this is mostly for my own documentation. But if you are interested, here is the full story:

From Fall 2007-Spring 2010 I was an NSMS IGERT fellow. The NSMS IGERT created a degree program from the curriculum of the program. NSMS fellows could be either NSMS PhD students or students from outside the field. If they were from another department, those students would be eligible for a minor in NSMS. I fell into this category.

Unfortunately I didn’t complete the curriculum. There were 5 courses and due to time constraints I had to drop the last course. Doing so didn’t affect my Physics degree at all, but it did affect my eligibility for the NSMS minor.

Fast forward a short time later and I gave my candidacy presentation Fall 2010. With that came a bunch of annoying paperwork. But I got it done and presented and passed and the rest is history. Right?


I met with the NSMS program administrator last week to discuss my IGERT proposal. In a completely chance discussion, she mentioned to me that there was a recent rule change so that I would be eligible to receive the minor in NSMS. All I would need to do is attach a form to my candidacy paperwork and I’m in.

So I contacted the Physics admin to discuss the logistics and discovered that my candidacy paperwork never got filed. I’m not sure if it never was turned into the UNM Office of Graduate Studies (OGS), or if got lost, or what. I am sure that I filled it out and submitted it.

How you ask? Well last summer I submitted paperwork to receive an MS in Physics. The paperwork for that is identical to the application for candidacy, just with a different title. And I copy and pasted all the information from the candidacy form onto the master petition.

Regardless of what went down at my candidacy exam, some how there is no record of my application for candidacy being submitted and that is what I’m finalizing today. And since I document anything from this process in my open notebook, I can’t prove that the error was not my own. But now I am documenting it, so if there are any issues in the future I can point here and figure out what the issue is.

See, open notebook science works well for other things than just science.

And in case anyone is interested, here is a practice candidacy exam I created complete with audio: