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Progress Guidelines

For students holding assistantships, it is the intention of the Department to continue providing support for up to five years, as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress and discharges their assistantship duties responsibly.

Progress is examined in an annual review by the Graduate Committee, ordinarily carried out in Spring semester.  The review includes evaluations by the student's advisor, instructors in courses the student has taken within the past year, faculty members the student has been assigned to assist, and any other faculty that have played a mentorship role for the student.  It includes examination of the student's academic record, progress on PhD Qualifying Exams or Master's Comprehensive Exams, and training as a teacher.  For students working on dissertations or theses, it includes an evaluation of the progress they have made.  For students assigned teaching duties, it includes an evaluation by the student's teaching mentor.  The review will take into account the following timetables and guidelines:

PhD students:

PhD students should defend their dissertation within five years of entering the program. Support for one additional (sixth) year may be granted after a petition by the student's advisor, which must project a completion date for all requirements by the end of the sixth year. It is expected that continuation of support for more than one additional year will be rare.

Students entering the PhD program in Summer or Fall (respectively, Spring) semester are expected to pass their Written Qualifying Exams by January (respectively, August) of their third year in the program, and complete their Oral Qualifying Exams by January (respectively, August) of their fourth year in the program.

Master's and MAMS

Students are expected to complete their programs within two years.  Continued support for the second year depends on satisfactory performance in the first year.  MA Non-Thesis students are expected to pass their Comprehensive Exams at the end of the second year.  Support for a third year will be given only upon the advisor's strong recommendation.


Grades are indicators of a student's prospects for success on the corresponding Quals or Master's Comps.  A grade lower than B- in any Mathematics course is grounds for reducing or terminating support.


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