Timeline for degree completion

 Recommended timeline

  • Take 6-9 graduate credits per semester. For example, to reach the needed 72 credits for graduation in 10 semesters, you may take 9 credits for 4 of the 10 semesters, and 6 credits for the remaining 6 semesters.
  • Between the 2nd and 6th semester, complete all three Qualifying Exams (Section 3.4)
  • As early as possible, but no later than by the end of the 6th semester in the program, secure a Dissertation Advisor and a Dissertation Committee (Section 5), and begin formulating a dissertation topic.
  • By the end of the 4th semester, and no later than by the end of the 6th semester, complete the Ph.D. Program of Study form, confirm with Advisor, and secure Dissertation Committee signatures. Start working on the dissertation with Advisor.
  • By the end of the 7th semester, complete the Oral Exam (Section 6).
  • By no later than the 7th semester, begin the dissertation draft.
  • By the 8th semester, complete dissertations draft, discuss dissertation draft with Dissertation Committee, and finalize dissertation according to committee recommendations.
  •  By the end of the 10th semester, defend a dissertation. 

Forms required for graduation

Forms that are required to be submitted to the Graduate School during the progression to your terminal degree, can be found on their Forms web page. They include these forms (listed with a timeline for their submissions):

  •  Program of Study
    •  For doctoral and MFA students, completed form must be submitted to Graduate School by the end of the student’s 4th semester.
  • The Notice of Completion form should be submitted after all requirements for the degree have been met.
  • Optional Exit Survey, to be completed upon graduation. This survey is voluntary, confidential, and takes about 5 minutes.

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Please note: this represents the program handbook for the 2021-2022 academic year only. For an archived version of a previous year's handbook, or to obtain a hard copy of this current year's program handbook, please contact the program director.