GraduateProgram Stages


Students in UCLA’s PhD program move through three stages.  Stage one includes coursework and the first qualifying exam, the “Part One Orals.”  Students typically advance to stage two during their third or fourth year. During stage two, students prepare and defend their dissertation prospectus, an exam we refer to as the “Part Two Orals.” Students typically advance to stage three by the end of their fifth year.  In stage three students complete and file their dissertations. UCLA does not require a dissertation defense. Each stage of our program includes unique scholarly and career development milestones. We sketch these here in general terms.

We take a holistic approach to career development and see it as an integral part of student training. At every stage of our program, students can think of career and professional development as occurring in three domains: self-assessment; career path preparation; and communication skills.  These are elaborated on p. 6 of UCLA’s Career Preparation Toolkit for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars, and they structure the stage-specific advice found here.  Students should also familiarize themselves with the Career Development website and avail themselves of the resources there.  (The site is accessible on CCLE in the “Collaborative Sites” section; all current students should have access. Please contact the Graduate SAO or DIrector of Professionalization if you do not.)