Annual Evaluations

The Department reviews graduate students annually to ensure that they are making progress through the program. Review takes place in the middle weeks of the Spring Quarter, beginning with the most advanced students. All final evaluations are made by the Departmental faculty as a whole.

In a student's first year, the evaluation will be based on course grades, confidential progress reports written by instructors in Departmental courses, an advisor's summary report, and an essay read by the Graduate Program Committee.
For this first year evaluation, students should submit a course paper; revisions to this paper are permitted. Students are told the results of this evaluation by their advisors and the Director of Graduate Studies. In particular, students will be told whether they are making fully satisfactory progress and why.

In a student's second year, the evaluation is based on course grades and progress reports, as in the first year. Students whose work is judged unsatisfactory will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Third year students will be evaluated on the basis of reports from their preliminary essay committee. Passing (or better) grades in one's courses and on the Preliminary Essay are a necessary but not sufficient condition for continuing to candidacy for the Ph.D. The Department will decide on the basis of the student's performance in courses and the quality of her Preliminary Essay, whether she should be allowed to continue toward writing a dissertation.

In the fourth year, the Topical Examination will provide the principal basis for students to receive an assessment of their work.
In addition, beginning with the fourth year, students submit a written report on their progress to the Director of Graduate Studies (cc the Department Coordinator) and (after their Topical) to their dissertation committee by the end of the Winter Quarter. If progress is not satisfactory, the Department may require a new dissertation committee and/or a new topic or refuse to permit the student to continue in the program.

Further, each student who has advanced to candidacy will submit to the chair of her/his dissertation committee a substantial piece of new work (not less than 25 pages in length, not more than 35 pages in length) when she/he submits her/his  progress report to the DGS and all members of her/his dissertation committee (i.e., by the end of Winter quarter).

To ensure that students complete the dissertation within 12 years of matriculation, the University requires all students who are entering the 10th year of their program to complete and submit to their department (the DGS and Department Coordinator) a Degree Completion Plan.

After passing their topical exams, graduate students are expected to continue to make steady progress on their dissertations. Subsequent to passing the topical, during each academic year in which a student remains in the Ph.D. program at least one meeting must take place between that student and a plurality of the members of the dissertation committee. The purpose of such meetings is to certify that the student is continuing to make adequate progress on their dissertation.  
In rare cases, the Department, after evaluation and discussion of a student's performance, may find it necessary to withdraw him or her from the program. For those situations, it has adopted the following procedural guidelines. (i) No student will be asked to leave the program who has not already been on probation for a period of time equal to one academic quarter. (ii) When placed on probation, the student will be notified of the financial consequences of termination. (iii) No student will be asked to leave the program during the last four weeks of either the fall or winter quarter, or during the last two weeks of the spring quarter. The point is not to prolong or postpone the process, but rather to require the faculty to act soon enough to give affected students sufficient notice to adjust their immediate plans and goals.

Graduate Students should be aware of the following University Policy: students who have not completed their Ph.D.s after the elapse of twelve years will no longer be allowed to register in their degree programs. Students will, however, still be allowed to graduate past the twelfth year with their department and school or division’s permission. Those students removed from their programs at the end of the twelfth year who go on to complete their dissertations will be allowed to petition their departments to graduate. If the department accepts the dissertation and certifies that the student can demonstrate current knowledge of their field, the student will then be required to pay a graduation fee in the quarter they plan to graduate.