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Graduate Student Timeline

The following table from the Graduate Student Handbook gives a timeline for new and current graduate students.

This timeline reflects the milestones for a typical full-­‐time graduate student in the Ph.D. chemistry program that you and your advisor should keep in mind. Adjustments to the schedule can be made for non-­‐academic, extenuating circumstances (e.g. leave of absence, illness, pregnancy, parenting, etc.). 

Green (Standard) Zone

Staying on this course will yield a degree in 5.0 years or less. This time-­‐to-­‐degree is a departmental goal. To stay on track in the Green Zone, you must pass the comprehensive exam before November 1st of Year 3. In addition, you should pass the proposal defense by the end of Year 4 and at least four weeks before the Dissertation Examination.

Finally, before November 1st of Year 4, you will be required to schedule a meeting with your thesis committee during which you will present an “exit plan” towards graduation. You will be required to submit a written summary of the exit plan for the approval of all members of your committee. One thesis committee meeting will be required annually thereafter. Following the comprehensive exam, you should apply for candidacy as soon as possible. Once your committee is approved by the Dean, changing it is simple and fast.

Yellow (Cautionary) Zone

If you are in the Yellow Zone, you should accelerate your progress in order to get back on course to the Green Zone. Requests to extend the deadline for taking the comprehensive exam after December of Year 3 should be submitted to both the GSAC Chair and Director of Graduate Studies by September 15th of that year.

If you are concerned about your lack of progress, you should consult with your advisor and dissertation committee. It may also be helpful to consult the academic division chair, the GSAC chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, and/or the Assistant Chair. 

Red (Danger) Zone

If you are in the Red Zone, you are at risk for formal action. You will receive a formal letter outlining the dates by which certain milestones should be completed and the consequences that will occur in the event that these expectations are not met.

In addition, if you have not scheduled your thesis defense by Year 6, you will be required to schedule an additional thesis committee meeting to discuss an exit plan towards graduation.

 

Student Timeline

 

Year 1 

Year 2 

Year 3 

 

S 

O 

N 

D 

J 

F 

M 

A 

M 

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

Prelim exam

(core courses)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precomp meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive exam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exit plan meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply for candidacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal defense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dissertation defense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

 

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prelim exam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Precomp meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive exam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exit plan meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apply for candidacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal defense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dissertation defense

 

 

A list version of the timeline is:

Year Semester Action
First Fall Take two core courses
Choose research advisor
  Spring Take two core courses
Pass preliminary exam
Second Fall Choose comprehensive committee
  Spring Submit research objective and research plan
Pre-comprehensive meeting
Third Fall Complete comprehensive exam and apply for Candidacy
Fourth Fall Yearly overview meeting
  Fall or Spring Prepare and present research proposal
Fifth Fall Yearly overview meeting (as needed)

 

Please use the following checklists to guide your progress through the program.  Click on the appropriate checklist for a printable PDF version.

For more specific details please refer to your handbook.

PhD Program Checklist

MS Program Checklist