Milestones Towards Completing the Doctorate


This is intended to be an informal document, not policy.  In the case of any discrepancy between this chart and the written policy, the written policy shall apply.

Note: All timing requirements ("N") are counted as semesters formally enrolled in the department's doctoral program, whether enrolled as MS/PhD, PhD or DES, referring to the end of the "Nth" semester. Semesters of approved "leave of absence" are not counted. Also see the BF FAQ.

Graphical flowchart available here.

By End Of

Milestone

Congrats if Milestone(s) successfully completed

Remedy if Milestone(s) not fulfilled

N = First Semester

Advisor(s) established. All "imports" signed off.  2 new breadth areas completed.

Welcome! Satisfactory progress unless there's a "severe" problem. Reminder that a mutually-agreed research advisor must be established no later than the end of the second semester. Reminder to complete imports, and that two new breadth areas per semester is required.

N > First Semester

"Satisfactory progress" on research, meaning at least 50% time devoted to research, with promising results. Wonderful, this is what you're here for!
Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  First time: expect or require substantial attention to research during upcoming semester and thereafter. Second and subsequent repeats: probation or dismissal from program.

First Semester < N
< Fifth Semester

Breadth requirement completed OR total 2*N breadth areas completed here (NOT counting "imports")
Good for you, keep it up! If applicable, apply for your MS from SEAS and advanced standing from GSAS as soon as you've completed 4 core breath areas, 2 elective breadth areas and 30 graduate points (and English proficiency "level 8" if applicable).
Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  First time: expect or require a specified number of additional breadth areas completed the upcoming semester.  Second and subsequent repeats: probation or dismissal from program.  


N >= Fifth Semester

Breadth requirement completed. Glad that's over! Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  Place on or continue probation, require completion by end of upcoming semester or face dismissal from program. 
 

N >= Third < Sixth semester

Teaching/TAing requirement completed, partially completed, or planned for following semester.
Planning and pacing is important, do not wait until the last minute.
Reminder. Milestone not technically required until MPhil.

 
N >= Sixth semester

Teaching/TAing requirement completed. Extra teaching/TAing is welcomed, if ok with your advisor.
Reminder. Milestone not technically required until MPhil.


N >= Sixth semester

Candidacy exam passed. Now you're a candidate. Apply for your MPhil as soon as possible after you have 6 RUs as well as all of the above requirements (plus English proficiency "level 10" if applicable). Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  Place on or continue probation, require completion by end of upcoming semester or face dismissal from program.
 

N >= Sixth semester

Target semester for thesis proposal defined.
You're on course.
Discuss at Black Friday.


N >= Eighth semester

Thesis proposal passed. Now you're what they call "ABD" (All But Dissertation).  
Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  Place on or continue probation, require completion by end of upcoming semester or face dismissal from program.


N >= Eleventh semester

Dissertation distribution and defense "coming soon".
There's a light at the end of the tunnel!
Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday.  Place on or continue probation, require plan for timely completion of dissertation or face dismissal from program.

N >= Twelfth semester

Thesis defense passed.
Congrats! (Note GSAS requires deposit within strictly six months after the defense!) Unsatisfactory progress, discuss at Black Friday. Place on or continue probation, require completion within a specified period or face dismissal from program. (Note GSAS requires defense by 6 years after initial enrollment in GSAS, or 7 years after initial enrollment in SEAS for MS/PhD. Enrollment beyond that point requires "special permission of the Dean".)

 

Last updated on October 13, 2008.