Annual Review

The Evaluation Meeting

Every year, typically in February, the Graduate Committee meets to evaluate the progress of all graduate students. At this meeting, the Committee will evaluate the  graduate students independently of considerations of financial aid. At a later meeting, financial aid will be allocated on the basis of the Committee's evaluations. 

Graduate Student Meetings with the Director of Graduate Studies

Early in the spring semester the Director of Graduate Studies informs the graduate students of the date for the Evaluation Meeting. Prior to the Evaluation Meeting, each graduate student needs to schedule a meeting with the Director of Graduate Studies to review the student’s progress through the program thus far. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that the Graduate Committee has full, accurate, and up-to-date information about his or her progress.

Evaluation Basis and Criteria

The Graduate Committee will normally base a graduate student’s evaluation on the following criteria:

    • grades;

    • reports from mentors, the student's Advisory or Dissertation Committee, and faculty whose courses that student has taken;

    • rate of progress in the program.

The order in which these factors are listed does not reflect relative importance.

Evaluation Decisions

On the basis of these factors, and other considerations that may be relevant in special cases, the Graduate Committee will decide whether

    • the student’s overall performance is satisfactory or unsatisfactory;

    • the student’s record suggests any areas of weakness in need of correction.

For a graduate student to remain to in good standing, it is necessary that the student’s performance is judged satisfactory. The Director of Graduate Studies will let each student know, within one week of the meeting, which evaluation the student has received.

Persistent Unsatisfactory Performance

If the Graduate Committee evaluates a pre-dissertation stage student’s performance as unsatisfactory and questions whether that student should be allowed to continue, then the student's case will be decided in a meeting of the department’s faculty. At this meeting,

    • the student is entitled to appear in person to discuss his or her work and present additional evidence, and

    • a graduate representative with full voting power, to be selected by the graduate students of the department, will be present.

After the student’s work and performance have been reviewed, a decision will be made

    • either to allow the student to continue in the program, or

    • to ask the student to leave the program, or

    • to discuss the student’s case again after the student has taken a special examination or produced additional work.

After the meeting, the Director of Graduate Studies will let the student know what decision was made.

Late Stage Non-Performance

In rare cases, graduate students have advanced to candidacy but fail, by the 5th calendar year after the prospectus defense, to complete their dissertation or to schedule their final oral examination. In such cases, the Department Head will, after consulting with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Committee, decide whether the student should be terminated from the program or given a grace year to complete all requirements. (See Section E, Progress Through the Ph.D. Program, above.)

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