Progress Guidelines for Current Graduate Students



Progress towards the degree

Students admitted to the MA program have 6 quarters in which to finish the M.A. degree and 6 quarters beyond the M.A. to fulfill course work and language requirements and complete the Ph.D. General Examination. Students admitted post Masters have 9 quarters to complete the Ph.D. General Examination. Ph.D. students must complete the General Examination within 3 quarters following completion of required course work, with the exam reading lists as approved by the Examination Committee to be submitted to the Comparative Literature office during the quarter preceding exams. An approved prospectus must be filed with the office during the quarter following the exams. Please refer to the General Examination guidelines for further details.

Part-time students and those with study-abroad credit should consult regularly with the graduate advisor to determine their individual status with regard to satisfactory progress.

Study abroad

Time abroad will count as time spent towards fulfilling degree requirements to the extent that transfer credits are earned to be used towards satisfying those requirements.

Incomplete grades

Students are not allowed to have more than one outstanding "I" (incomplete) or "X" grade on their transcript at the time of TA assignments in order to be considered for a TA appointment or renewal. However, extra course work can substitute for incompletes at the discretion of the Graduate Program Coordinator. According to Graduate School policy, an Incomplete grade must be converted into a numerical grade within 2 years.

Language requirements

All applicable language requirements must be completed before starting to write the M.A. essay or before beginning Ph.D. exams.

Leaves of absence

One year of leave (or equivalent combined quarters) will be normally approved by the department to graduate students; subsequent quarters or years of leave may be granted by petition to students who demonstrate proof of continued satisfactory progress.

Fellowship support. Continuation of fellowship support is contingent upon satisfactory progress as described in these guidelines. Satisfactory progress is normally audited following winter quarter, and T.A. assignments made at that time are subject to reassessment following the end of spring quarter. Students whose progress is not satisfactory forfeit their promise of continuing support, though they may still be offered term T.A. assignments. Students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for an extension of the deadlines only for reasons of personal hardship.

Admission to the Ph.D. program

Continuing students seeking admission to the Ph.D. program must submit a letter of application to the Graduate Studies Committee, identifying anticipated areas of specialization for the Ph.D. examinations and providing the candidate’s current thinking concerning the pathway to the completion of the degree. The applicant must also include two brief letters of evaluation from the members of the M.A. reading committee or other faculty with whom the applicant has studied.

The entire application is to be submitted with the M.A. Essay, as approved by the M.A. reading committee.

Ph.D. Completion

The Graduate School allows 6 years for completion of the M.A. degree and 10 years for completion of the Ph.D. degree. The Department will enforce these limits by monitoring the progress of each student. Students who are approaching the time limit may petition the department for an extension for one additional year, prior to the expiration date. This applies to both enrolled and on-leave students. Students should consult with their advisors to prepare petitions and must designate their date of expected completion in the petition. As a general rule, an eleventh year will be approved if supported by a letter from the dissertation supervisor describing the progress made during the previous year. A twelfth year will be approved only if a defense date has been scheduled. Students who do not meet these terms will not be continued in the program but can normally expect to be readmitted to defend a completed dissertation. For students who receive course credit for M.A. work elsewhere, the ten-year period begins with matriculation in the prior M.A. program. The ten-year rule and the extension policy apply to part-time students as well as full-time students and are not affected by study abroad or other leave.