Making Satisfactory Progress
Students employed through 20-hour Graduate Assistantships with the Department of Resource Economics must demonstrate that they are making satisfactory progress toward completion of their Ph.D. within four years in order to maintain Graduate Assistantship eligibility. The milestones below are consistent with making satisfactory progress in a four year program, assuming a fall start date. It is the responsibility of each student on an assistantship to ensure that these milestones are met. Failure to do so can result in the loss of the assistantship.
The Ph.D. student must also abide by a number of responsibilities – so too his or her Dissertation advisor and committee. Read more about those responsibilities.
- The Graduate Program Director is the Student’s Academic advisor until a Program of Study is filed with the Graduate School in the student’s second year. Students work with the Program Director for course selection and advising.
- Students enroll in 6 courses that include the core Ph.D. courses of Microeconomics Theory I and II (RECO 710 and 720), and Econometrics I and II (RECO 714 and 715) and/or Macroeconomics I and II (Econ 703 and 704).
- Students take qualifying exams in Microeconomics Theory and either Econometrics or Macroeconomics as scheduled, in late June to early July. Students who do not pass the qualifying exam the first time may take a second attempt in December.
- Students develop researchable ideas for a dissertation proposal.
- Students enroll in 7 courses, including Research Methodology, RECO 740 for 1 credit.
- All six core courses must be completed by the end of the second year.
- Students choose their two fields (areas of emphasis), and take required field courses.
- Students choose their dissertation advisors. The dissertation advisor may or may not be his/her GRA supervisor.
- The student and dissertation advisor meet regularly to discuss the student’s dissertation research and develop a short (5 to 7 pages) statement of dissertation research interest to circulate among prospective committee members, who decide on the basis of the statement of dissertation research interest whether to be advisory committee members.
- As soon as the committee is created, the student files a Program of Study with the Graduate School that indicates dissertation advisor, advisory committee members, courses already taken and courses that will be taken. The Program of Study is to be files by the end of the spring semester.
- Once the Program of Study is filed, the dissertation advisor becomes the student’s official academic advisor and chair of the dissertation committee. However, all paperwork that is filed with the Graduate School must continue to be routed through the Graduate Program Director.
- The student, with the support of the supervisory committee and dissertation advisor, extends the short proposal and writes a dissertation prospectus over the course of the second year.
- By the end of August of the second year, the committee and student meet to decide the format and content for the comprehensive exam.
- The comprehensive exam will include a presentation of the prospectus and an oral defense of the prospectus. In addition, the advisory committee has the discretion to include additional requirements, such as an oral and/or written exam that includes material not necessarily related to the proposed dissertation research outlined in the prospectus, but which is considered necessary in order to permit the student to advance to candidacy. This may occur in circumstances where the student’s performance on the qualifying exam indicated some weaknesses.
- The academic advisor submits a memo to the Program Director a memo that defines the agreed upon format and content of the comprehensive exam (i.e. oral exam on the written prospectus only, or examination to include additional material).
- Students register for the comprehensive exam (1 credit) for the fall semester.
- Students enroll in any remaining courses.
- Students continue to work with advisory committee members to develop and modify the prospectus until the committee agrees to sign off that it is ready to submit as part of the comprehensive exam.
- The prospectus, with the signatures of the advisory committee members, is submitted to the Graduate Program Director. Upon approval of the Graduate Program Director, the date of the comprehensive exam is set. It is the responsibility of the student to coordinate the date of the comprehensive exam so that the Graduate Program Director and/or the Chair of the Department of Resource Economics can attend the public presentation.
- Students complete the comprehensive exam by the end of the fall semester. The comprehensive exam includes:
- a public presentation of the research prospectus,
- an oral examination (not public) by an examination committee of their research prospectus and
- any other material that the committee had agreed would be included in the comprehensive exam prior to the start of the semester. The examination committee is the student’s academic advisory committee.
- After the comprehensive exam, any revisions requested by committee members are incorporated into a final version of the prospectus and submitted to the Graduate Program Director within two weeks after the comprehensive exam. A copy of the final version of the prospectus is included in the student’s file.
- Upon successful completion of the comprehensive exam, the student advances to Candidacy.
- Students continue to work on dissertation research and writing, meeting regularly with the academic advisor and advisory committee members throughout the rest of the third year.
- Students enroll in dissertation credits.
- Students meet regularly with their dissertation advisory committee members as needed to complete:
- a working draft of the dissertation and, if they plan to apply for academic positions,
- a job market paper by the end of the fall semester.
- The student revises the dissertation as requested by the advisory committee members until the committee agrees that the dissertation is ready for defense, preferably by the end of the Spring semester.
- Upon approval of the committee and the Graduate Program Director, a defense date is set. It is the responsibility of the student to coordinate the date of the defense so that the Graduate Program Director and/or the Chair of the Department of Resource Economics can attend the public presentation.
- The defense consists of a public presentation of the dissertation work, followed by an oral examination. The examination committee consists of the advisory committee. After a successful defense, the student will complete revisions and submit the dissertation to the Graduate School before the end of the spring semester.
- New Ph.D. graduates in the spring – congratulations!
- In the event that the student is unable to complete the required revisions before the spring graduation deadline, it is expected that the final revisions will be completed before the end of the summer session and the student will graduate in August.
- The student’s Graduate Assistantship will not extend beyond August.
Request for Academic Consideration
Failure to maintain satisfactory Progress as defined by these milestones is the responsibility of each student who holds a 20- hour Graduate Research or Teaching Assistantship in the Economics Ph.D. program. If a student fails to meet a milestone, the Graduate Committee reserves the right to terminate the assistantship. It is recognized that temporary set-backs can occur in a research program. In cases where a student has not met a milestone listed above due to academic problems beyond their control, and can demonstrate that they can still nevertheless complete their program in four years, he/she may submit a WRITTEN petition to maintain assistantship status.
The petition must clearly state the cause for the missed milestones. The petition must include a well-documented plan through which the student will be on track to complete the dissertation in the fourth year. The petition will be considered by the Graduate Committee. Students who have been granted academic consideration on the basis of a petition will be able to retain the Assistantship status only on a semester-by-semester probationary basis through the end of their program, and a second petition will not be accepted.
Because the demand for graduate assistantships is highly competitive, once a student is on a probationary status, their continuation as a research or teaching assistant will be reassessed each semester based on overall program needs.