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Timeline to Ph.D. for Students and Faculty

First Year

September 1 Meet with temporary advisor to discuss course schedule and career plans.  Start becoming familiar with the Department’s Guidelines (pdf).
In choosing courses, students should keep in mind coverage of time periods that are not their main areas of focus.  They should also be aware that some professors will not agree to direct an exam field if a student has never taken a course with them.
Advisers can use this opportunity to outline the goals of the qualifying exam process and the relationship between exams and coursework.
Spring Request teaching assistantship assignments to ensure good subject coverage for exams.  In general, Americanists should ask for History 205 or 206.  Non-Americanists should ask for History 101, 102, 103, or 104. Students should consider teaching assistant assignments as part of their preparation for exams. for a survey course can complement and supplement the study of historiography. Students who are unable to TA for these courses are encouraged to audit them.
May   Choose permanent advisor, file form with Diane Clark [pdf form]
Meet with advisor to discuss course choices and career plans.

Second Year

September Begin discussing formation of Ph.D. exam committee with advisor and potential examiners, formulate dissertation area/potential topics, begin compiling reading lists. Arrange with examiners how you will discuss readings in the coming months. Review course selections to ensure coverage for exams as well as completion of requirements.
Audit History 205 / 206 or 103 / 104 to supplement teaching assistantship experience in relevant survey courses.
February 15 Submit Third Semester Dossier including letter from faculty member who is willing to be your dissertation adviser. Audit survey courses as needed.
February 15

If you are a Ph.D. student and would like the M.A. on your transcript you may also complete the Application for Advanced Degree form and submit it to Diane Clark.

May 1 File form with list of Ph.D. exam committee members with Diane. [pdf form]
April – May Meet to discuss to discuss exam fields and reading lists with entire committee. Finalize plans before faculty leave for the summer.
Summer Continue studying for exams and begin writing practice exam questions and essays.

Third Year

September 1 File form certifying passage of language exam and completion of any outstanding incomplete grades.
[pdf form]
September Schedule final meetings with examiners.
October 5
(approximately) Ph.D. qualifying exams begin.
Early December Complete oral examination if successful in passing the written portion of the Ph.D. exam. Advisor should submit exam comments and recommendation for candidacy to the GSC before the Reading Day.
December, Reading Day Scrutiny for passage to candidacy.
December 20  Submission of recommendation for candidacy to the Graduate Studies Office.


Timeline for ABDs and their Advisers

Students who have successfully passed to candidacy and have T.A.’d are eligible to teach their own class.  However, they may only teach once before successfully defending their prospecti.

Fourth Year and Beyond

September 1 Submit complete draft prospectus to adviser.
October 15 Defend Prospectus. The fourth, outside reader, does not have to be part of this defense. 
Apply for grants and fellowships to support fifth year dissertating.

Complete DIPSOP.  Students may petition the Graduate Studies committee for permission to substitute a research paper presentation at a major scholarly conference or seminar (graduate student conferences are not an acceptable substitute).


Last Steps for Completion

File Application for advanced degree for term you expect to graduate. Typically, the deadline is about two months before the dissertation filing deadline. The graduation semester can be changed without financial loss if you don’t make the deadline.

Count backwards from filing deadline.  Conservatively, you will need to give the completed dissertation manuscript to your committee 6-8 weeks before the filing deadline, which is usually mid-April for Spring Semester.  It is courteous to give your committee 2-4 weeks to read.  You may need a month after defending to make required changes.

Your advisor will ask the other committee members to let him/her know if the dissertation is not ready to be defended.  In the meantime, schedule a provisional defense date and book the conference room.  You can always cancel, if the committee decides the dissertation is not yet ready.