The University of Arizona

Satisfactory Progress - Ph.D. program

Variations

The following discussion is a template which assumes the student enters in the fall semester and does not already have a Master's degree in Mathematics. Satisfactory progress policies for students in unusual situations, for example those entering in the spring semester or those entering with a Master's degree, will be decided on an individual basis and agreed upon in writing at the time of entrance to the program.

Progress in the first three years

Admission to the PhD program implies a three-year initial commitment by the department, provided that satisfactory academic progress is made and teaching obligations are met. Satisfactory progress is defined as being enrolled for at least 9 units of graduate or approved credit in each semester, maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0 in each semester, and meeting the following expectations.

Students are expected to complete the core courses and qualifying exams as expeditiously as possible. They are encouraged to attempt any part of the qualifying exam for which they may be ready in August before the first semester of enrollment. A failure on such an attempt will not prejudice any future evaluation of qualifying exam results.

It is expected that students will enroll in at least one of the traditional core courses during the first year and attempt the corresponding part of the qualifying exam in August following the first year of enrollment. Students are expected to have passed at least one part of the qualifying exam at the “high pass” level by January of the second year of enrollment and to have completed the core courses and attempted all three parts of the qualifying exam by August before the third year of enrollment. Students must successfully complete the qualifying exams by the start of their sixth semester to continue in the PhD program.

Progress in later years

Continuation in the PhD program beyond the third year implies a commitment on the part of the department to two, or possibly three, more years of support, provided that satisfactory academic progress is made and teaching obligations are met. Satisfactory progress is defined as being enrolled for at least 6 units of graduate or approved credit in each semester, maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0 in each semester, and making adequate progress toward the dissertation as determined by the faculty.

Students are encouraged to complete the written and oral comprehensive examination as early as possible. In all cases, this exam must be complete by the end of February of the fourth year of enrollment. Failure to meet this deadline would be a violation of the “adequate progress” requirement in the preceding paragraph.

Students are encouraged to form a dissertation committee soon after completion of the comprehensive exam. This committee must meet at least once each academic year by April 15 beginning no later than the student's fourth year. Failure to meet this deadline would be a violation of the “adequate progress” requirement in the preceding paragraph. In this meeting the student should present to the committee an overview of his or her dissertation plans and results to date. A written summary of the dissertation plans and results should also be given to the committee.  The committee will provide the student with feedback.

Funding and continuation in the program for a sixth year will be determined by the graduate committee, based on the sense of the faculty regarding the student's progress. Funding and continuation in the program beyond the sixth year will be possible only in the most compelling circumstances.

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