Tracking your Progress

You must meet each semester with your doctoral advisor to determine what coursework/doctoral credits you should register for during the next enrollment period. Use the PhD Record of Progress to track your own progress in the program, and bring your personal copy when you meet with your advisor to lift your advising flag for the coming semester. 

Time to Degree

PhD students are expected to complete all degree requirements within six years from the semester in which they are admitted and begin course work in the doctoral program. If you fail to complete the degree in this six-year period, you may be dismissed from the doctoral program with the concurrence of your thesis advisor and/or appropriate departmental personnel. To continue, you must file a petition for an extension of the time limit with the Dean of the Graduate School. Such petitions must be endorsed by your thesis advisor and may be granted for up to one year. According to Linguistics departmental policy, if seven calendar years have elapsed since your matriculation in the program, the entire faculty must vote to approve any petition for extension that you submit to the Graduate School.

Adequate Progress

The faculty use the following benchmarks to define ideal progress through the doctoral program:

1 Pass all required coursework, officially select thesis advisor and advisory committee, submit Prelim Exam proposal (deadline in early Spring semester)
2 Pass Prelim Exam and pass all coursework
3 Finish coursework and submit Synthesis Paper
4 Engage in research towards the Dissertation Prospectus; successfully defend the Dissertation Prospectus
5 Successfully defend the Dissertation

Full-Time Status

To retain full-time status, you must be registered for at least five credits of coursework or one doctoral dissertation hour prior to passing your proposal defense,

Continuous Registration

A PhD student is required to register continuously as a full-time student, for a minimum of five dissertation hours in the fall and spring semesters of each year, beginning with the semester following the passing of the comprehensive examination and extending through the semester in which the dissertation is successfully defended (final examination). PhD students must be registered for a minimum of five dissertation hours the semester (including summer semester) in which the dissertation defense is held.

Doctoral Thesis Credits

To complete the requirements for the PhD degree, a student must register for a minimum of 30 dissertation credit hours. These are distinct from the 30 credits of coursework hours that are required for the PhD. Distribution of those hours is as follows:

  • A student may not register for more than 10 dissertation credit hours in any one semester.
  • No more than 10 dissertation credit hours taken in semesters prior to the semester in which the proposal defense is passed may be counted in the 30 dissertation hours required for the PhD.
  • No more than 10 dissertation hours of credit taken the semester in which the proposal defense is passed may be included in the 30 dissertation credit hours required for the degree.

Just remember: 10+10+10. You can use up to 10 thesis credits accumulated from the semesters prior to the prospectus-defense semester, 10 from the prospectus-defense semester and 10 from semesters after the prospectus-defense semester. Try to plan, because you will probably not want to take 10 credits during a semester in which your tuition waiver covers only 6. In addition, to satisfy the Continuous Registration requirement, you must take at least 5 thesis credits in every semester following that in which you advance to candidacy, including the semester in which you defend your thesis.