Students whose work is ultimately deemed insufficient by the faculty may be terminated from the program, although such a determination is unusual and only reached after considerable consultation. In some cases, students terminated from Ph.D. study may be eligible to receive a terminal M.A. Students whose work is otherwise acceptable but whose progress is not sufficiently timely may have their funding withdrawn, or may be terminated from the program.
Progress & Evaluations
Graduate students are evaluated annually in writing: first year students are also evaluated at the end of their first semester in residence. Currently, different areas use somewhat different evaluation processes. In all cases, however, at the end of each academic year, each area's faculty discuss the progress of each student and then write a formal evaluation summarizing these discussions. This evaluation indicates whether the student is in Good standing, Satisfactory standing, or on Warning. The parameter for each status are set forth in the Graduate Handbook, available on the Graduate School website. They are intended to provide a formal mechanism that conveys the expectations of the faculty for the coming year. Should a student fall behind or in another way not fulfill the faculty's expectations, the letter will specify precisely what the student needs to do, and in what time-frame, to maintain a status of "satisfactory progress" in the program. Students are encouraged to discuss any issues raised in these evaluations with the appropriate faculty, and if necessary, what the DGS as well.
The evaluation is normally sent to the student by e-mail and hard copy (departmental mailboxes unless otherwise requested). Hard copies are kept in the student's departmental file. The letters of evaluation are not routinely shared outside the department, although it may occasionally be necessary to share them with the Graduate School administration. However, the student's standing is reported to the Graduate School each year (and at mid-year for first year students). Please also note that the progress standings differ from those which appear on the student's transcript issued by the Registrar. Good Standing with the Registrar means only that the student has successfully completed a minimum number of courses: a student whose progress is Satisfactory, or even Warning may still be in Good Standing with the Registrar.