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Progress Expectations by Year

The Graduate School requires that the faculty review student progress each Spring. The faculty use these benchmarks to gage student progress in the program. We document when students fall behind these benchmarks, and students who miss key deadlines may find their funding jeopardized.

First year expectations:

Graduate students are assigned a first year advisor from their primary subfield to help select courses and answer questions.  Students meet with their assigned advisor before the start of each quarter.  Students may change their advisor during their first year.  We expect first year students to:

Second year expectations:

After the first year, students identify a core advisor who will guide them through the rest of the graduate program. Usually this advisor will become the Dissertation Chair, but decisions about the dissertation committee will be made during the third year of the program.  Students interested in dual degree programs should discuss program options with advisors during their second year.


Third year expectations:


Fourth year expectations:

Ideally, students would enter their fourth year with a dissertation prospectus already defended.  To continue the program in good standing, a prospectus must be defended by the end of the Fall quarter of the 4th year.  This requirement also means that a student will have assembled a dissertation committee.

Fifth year and beyond:

Because guaranteed funding is coming to a close, the fifth year focuses on research completion. Students who need more time typically extend their funding by securing outside research support, and finding teaching opportunities on campus or in the region.

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