Satisfactory Progress (before 2012)

We expect students to make steady, efficient progress toward the completion of their degrees. Continued enrollment in the PhD program is dependent upon a student’s making such progress.  Meeting the expectations described below will be considered evidence of satisfactory progress. A student’s progress will be assessed regularly in the annual, mandatory advising meeting with the Director or Associate Director of Graduate Studies; students are encouraged to seek formal advising every semester.

1. Students entering the PhD program with an MA should complete their PhD coursework (in most cases 6 courses or 18 credits) within three semesters of beginning the program and take their qualifying exam no later than their fifth semester in the PhD program.

2. Students pre-admitted to the PhD program should complete all requirements for the MA within three years. These students should complete remaining coursework for the PhD within eight semesters (4 years) of beginning the MA/PhD program and take their qualifying examination preferably by the ninth and no later than their tenth semester in the PhD program.

3. Points 1 and 2 above are based on the expectation that students supported as teaching assistants will take two courses per semester. Students with fellowship support take three courses per semester in a fellowship year. Students entering either program (PhD; MA/PhD) with fellowship support should make more rapid progress in completing coursework, and hence in taking the qualifying examination.

4. Incompletes:  Although we recognize emergencies can occur that may warrant a student’s requesting an incomplete, we discourage students from taking incompletes. The student requesting an incomplete and the instructor granting it must notify the Graduate Office that they are electing the incomplete option by the end of the semester in which the incomplete is taken (a form for such notification is available from the Graduate Office). Coursework related to the incomplete must be finished by the end of the next semester.

5. Students should file an approved dissertation prospectus within 9 months of passing the qualifying examination.

6. Students should fulfill the foreign language requirement for the PhD within two years of beginning PhD coursework.

7. By University regulations, a student is given five years to advance to candidacy, starting from the student’s first semester officially enrolled in the PhD program.  Once a student advances to candidacy, the University gives a student four years to complete the dissertation. The department will request extensions from the Graduate School only in unusual circumstances.

8. At the mandatory annual advising meeting, measures to be used to assess progress include the student’s grades, other evidence of the quality of coursework, schedule for meeting requirements for candidacy, and schedule for completing the dissertation.