Academic Progress

Students’ progress through the graduate program is primarily evaluated in terms of the quality of their scholarly work (coursework and research activities), though we also consider whether or not a student has met specific milestones within our target timeframes.  Students whose work is of good quality and who meet specific milestones in a timely fashion will be considered to be making good progress toward their degree.  Low quality work and/or delay in meeting specific milestones indicate that a student is failing to make good progress.  Students who are making good progress receive priority for departmental funding

The department expects that a student who maintains good academic progress will:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3
  • Ordinarily complete all MA course requirements within three years of beginning graduate study.
  • Ordinarily complete the remaining Ph.D. requirements within three years after being admitted into the Ph.D. program.

The Recommended Timeline sets forth a calendar for completing the required coursework and other major requirements for the MA and Ph.D. degrees.

Academic progress is evaluated according to this timeline with good academic progress during the first two years being defined as 10 credits per quarter with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.3.

Good progress toward the MA

During the first three years in the program, minimum progress is defined with respect to completion of expected coursework and MA requirements.

  • Failure to maintain minimum progress at the end of the first year is defined as completing less than 15 “qualifying credits" which are defined as:

    • Credits in courses at the 500 (or approved 400-level)
    • Credits in courses with a numerical grade of at least 3.0 or a "Credit" or "Satisfactory" in a non-graded course
  • Failure to maintain minimum progress by the end of the third year is defined as the student's having completed only the required course credits for the MA degree.

Good progress toward the Ph.D.

Once a student has been admitted into the Ph.D. program, failure to maintain minimum progress is defined as:

  • Being more than two quarters behind the expected timeline for good progress
  • Failing to receive a passing grade on a subject area examination 

Failure to maintain good progress

Failure to maintain minimum progress in meeting the requirements of the program may result in a range of actions by the Graduate Program Committee appropriate to the seriousness of the problem. These include:

  • Placing a student on warning
  • Placing a student on probation
  • Placing a student on final probation
  • Recommending to the Graduate School that the student be terminated from the program

See Failure to Meet Requirements for more policies and procedures concerning these actions.