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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.

Year 1

  • 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 (ECON 702 and 712), and Econometrics I and II (ECON 741 and 742) and Macroeconomics I and II (Econ 703 and 704).
  • Students take qualifying exams in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics Theory as scheduled, in August. Students who do not pass the qualifying exam the first time may take a second attempt in January.
  • Students develop researchable ideas for a dissertation proposal.

Year 2

  • 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.

Year 3

  • Students enroll in any remaining courses and/or dissertation credits.
  • 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.

Year 4

  • Students enroll in dissertation credits.
  • Students meet regularly with their dissertation advisory committee members as needed to complete:
    1. a working draft of the dissertation and, if they plan to apply for academic positions,
    2. 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.
  • 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.

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