Normal Progress

PhD Program Normal Progress

Students in good standing are guaranteed support for 5 years.   Some students are supported for a 6th year.  The average time for students to get their PhD is 5.x years.

Year Requirements
First Year Complete (or place out of) at least 6 basic courses. No teaching or grading duties. At end of first year, select an adviser for the oral qualifying exam.
Second Year Begin TA duties, typically with 2 or 3 tutorial hours each week. Take more basic courses and topics courses. Prepare for oral qualifying exam with adviser, begin attending available seminars. Oral exam is normally taken by February of 2nd year. After exam, settle on PhD thesis adviser, and do more advanced level research activities, including attending available conferences.
Third and Fourth
Continue TA duties, with occasional opportunities to teach your own class. Continue research activities.
Fifth Year
(or sixth if applicable)
Write and defend dissertation. Continue TA and teaching duties.  Apply for jobs.

Overall Requirements

6 basic courses (18 credits), 12 overall (36 credits), pass oral examination in second year, and defend dissertation in oral presentation.   Although the basic courses have final exams, there are no additional required written exams. All students should be registered for at least 9 credits per semester, which may include Directed Readings or after the student passes the oral examination, Research and Dissertation.