Committee Review

Tier 2: Graduate policy committee review

Each spring/summer, a departmental committee will review the record of every student who has either:

  • Completed 2 years in the program without previous review, or
  • Passed the Tier 1 exams on entrance to the program and elects the review at the end of the first year.

Student tasks

Each student is required to provide the graduate office with a personal statement that describes a plan for further study and research, including a proposal for the area of research and a topic for a minor.

The student will also request an endorsement from his or her (interim) advisor or another faculty member. By endorsing a student, the faculty member agrees to guide the student to prepare for the Tier 3 exam.

Selection process

The review committee will decide which students may continue toward Ph.D. candidacy. The committee's considerations will include:

  • Performance on the Tier 1 exams
  • Performance in 500-level coursework
  • A faculty endorsement
  • Written personal statement by student
  • Student's performance of assistantship duties

As indicated above, students can accelerate their progress in the program by passing the Tier I exams by January of their first year and electing the Tier II review at the end of their first year. The review committee will treat this as favorable for their case. Students who elect this option should be prepared to pass their Tier III oral exam by the end of Fall semester of their third year.

Students who do not receive a recommendation to continue will be encouraged to complete the M.A. degree.

Grades criteria

In support of the Tier 2 review, grades in 500-level courses will be given and evaluated according to the following guidelines:

  • A grade of A means that, based on the student’s work in that course, the instructor believes the student will succeed in being admitted to Ph.D. candidacy.
  • A grade of B means that the student’s work in that course is satisfactory, but the instructor has reservations (based on that work) about the student’s ability to be admitted to candidacy.
  • Lower grades will indicate unsatisfactory work.
  • All students must maintain at least a B average in their coursework, in accordance with currently published departmental and university guidelines.