The Department conducts one formal evaluation of its graduate students each year, the goal of which is to provide you with faculty feedback about your progress in the program, whether there is room for improvement in the future, and whether you can expect to receive financial support in the coming academic year.
Graduate School Statement on Evaluation and Warning
On 22 March 1978, the Graduate Council adopted a University-wide statement on evaluation and warning that reads as follows:
- At least once a year, the status and progress of every graduate student in a Department shall be reviewed and evaluated. The evaluation and the grounds upon which it is based shall be entered in writing in the student's file and a copy provided to the student. Students shall have the opportunity to add to their files at any time.
- No student shall be withdrawn for academic reasons from an academic program without at least a semester's forewarning of possible termination.
- A student receiving aid shall not have that aid terminated without a semester's forewarning save for sufficient cause. Reasons for termination of financial aid shall be placed in a student's file in writing and a copy given to the student.
Department Statement on Evaluation and Warning
The Graduate Program is run by the DGS and a Graduate Committee chaired by the DGS. Both the DGS and the Committee are appointed by the Chair of the Department. Decisions regarding the admission of students to the graduate program are made by the Graduate Committee. Any decision regarding continuation or non-continuation of students in the program is made by the entire faculty of the Department, based on a formal recommendation by the Graduate Committee. The final review concerning continuation or non-continuation will be conducted by the faculty of the Department, chaired by the DGS, with no other persons present.
Each student is reviewed by the Graduate Committee at the "annual review", which takes place in May. As part of this review process, the DGS will ask each faculty member to submit a brief evaluation of the graduate students s/he has dealt with in an official capacity (instructor, TA supervisor, thesis advisor, etc.) since the start of the academic year. These are due by May 1 unless otherwise specified by the DGS. Using these materials as well as other sources of information -- official transcripts, TA evaluations, etc. -- the Graduate Committee will meet in mid-May to assess your progress and future potential. Faculty members who are not on the Graduate Committee may participate in the review, but are not required to do so.
In addition to assessing the overall quality of your work over the past academic year (e.g. coursework, teaching, research), the Graduate Committee will gauge your rate of progress. This evaluation is measured against what the Department has decided constitutes satisfactory progress:
Year 1: completion of 6 courses
Year 2: completion of 4 courses
Year 3: successful completion of preliminary exams and coursework which includes defense of the prospectus by the end of the spring semester
Year 4: significant progress in researching and writing of the disseration
Year 5: successful defense of the dissertation
You will receive an official letter from the DGS within one month of the annual review, detailing the results of your evaluation. If your progress toward the degree for which you were admitted (M.A., Ph.D.) is in any way unsatisfactory, you will be notified, and the conditions you must satisfy to remain in good standing in the program will be specified in detail. In these letters, you will be notified if a Departmental TAship has been reserved for you in the following year, subject to successful completion of the second semester work or any other conditions set by the Graduate Committee. You can expect to receive written notice about any and every change in your academic status.