Satisfactory academic progress for students in Ph.D. programs is monitored by the Graduate School as well as the degree program. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress may result in immediate dismissal or in placement on academic probation for the ensuing year. Most financial awards, and all federally funded awards, are contingent on the maintenance of satisfactory academic progress. Moreover, satisfactory academic progress is a prerequisite for service on any committee authorized by the Graduate School. The following are minimal standards of satisfactory academic progress for Ph.D. students; degree programs may set stricter standards, but must not relax these.
- Students are expected to proceed at a pace appropriate to enable them to finish within their program length. No later than the end of the fourth year of full-time graduate study, students are expected to have completed all Ph.D. requirements except for the dissertation.
- Students are expected to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in courses that count toward their program requirements. Thus, among courses of equal weight, each grade of C must be balanced by at least one A. (Note that plus and minus marks alter the numerical value of a letter grade.)
- Students are expected not to carry at one time any more than 9 semester hours for which the grades of I (incomplete), X (final examination missed), or N (not submitted yet) are recorded. The Graduate School may deny a student with more than 9 unfinished credits permission to register.
- After four years of full-time graduate study, doctoral students who cannot identify three faculty members who are willing to serve on their Research Advisory Committee are not considered to be making satisfactory academic progress. [The Title, Scope, and Procedure form must be filed before the 5th year in order to identify membership of the student's Research Advisory Committee.]
Students who do not complete their degree within their program length may apply for a one-year extension if circumstances warrant. Extensions are obtained by application by the student to the degree program, endorsement by the degree program to the Graduate School, and approval by the Graduate School.