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Academic Standing and Satisfactory Progress

The PhD in English Literary Studies is designed to have students complete the degree in approximately six years for those entering with a BA and five years for those entering with an MA in English. A full-time course load is 9 s.h. (usually three courses), although a registration of 6 s.h. is permitted if you currently hold at least a one-third time appointment as a teaching or research assistant. To remain eligible for financial aid, students who have not yet taken the Comprehensive Examination must complete a minimum of 15 s.h. per academic year (the tally may include a summer of your choosing on either side). If you are receiving loans through the University's Office of Student Financial Aid or if you are a foreign student with "full-time" status requirements for your visa, you should be aware of relevant external standards for "normal progress" toward the degree. Departmental financial aid for students in good standing normally lasts for six years for those incoming with a BA. and five years for those incoming with an MA.

In order to be in good academic standing, the Graduate College requires that all doctoral students maintain a GPA above a 3.0. In addition, the English Department has its own requirements for the maintenance of satisfactory progress, as follows.  In order to maintain satisfactory progress through the program, doctoral students must:

  1. Apply for qualification by their fourth semester in the program (see the section below on “Qualification”).
  2. Take their comprehensive exam within five semesters of reaching 24 s.h. of total graduate credit (see the section below on “Comprehensive Exams”)
  3. Submit a dissertation prospectus to their committee in the semester after taking their comprehensive exam (see the section below on the “Dissertation”)
  4. Complete and defend their dissertation within their expected time to degree (6 years for those entering with a BA; 5 years for those entering with an MA or with fellowship support as indicated in the initial offer letter)

Any student who is not making satisfactory progress will be reviewed by the Graduate Steering Committee at the end of the academic year. The Steering Committee will produce a plan outlining the requirements the student must fulfill to return to good standing in the following academic year. If students fail to fulfill these requirements they will be reviewed one more time. If, after the second review, they still have not met the requirements of the Graduate Steering Committee, they will be obligated to leave the program. 

When applying annually for financial aid, students will be required to note their progress; unsatisfactory progress may result in lower standing for financial support or denial of aid.