Menu

Graduate Student Continuation Conditions

Graduate Student Continuation Conditions

1. The Graduate Committee consists of the voting members of the Philosophy Department who are also Philosophy Department graduate faculty, and is chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies or, in his or her absence, the Associate Director of Graduate Studies or, when the Department Chair is a member of the Philosophy Department graduate faculty, the Department Chair.  A quorum of the Graduate Committee consists of at least half of the members of the Graduate Committee or five members, whichever is lower.  A PhD student is a student in the Philosophy PhD program, whether or not the student has completed an MA degree.  A PhD student is discontinued provided that the student is not permitted to complete the PhD.  A PhD student’s regular semester is a fall or spring semester during which the student neither (a) is on an approved leave of absence of eight or more weeks nor (b) begins a period of maternity or paternity leave nor (c) begins a period of reduced duties under the Childbirth/Adoption Accommodation.  The end of the semester is the day on which grades for non-graduating students are due.  The ancient comprehensive examination, the medieval comprehensive examination, the early modern comprehensive examination and the late modern / contemporary comprehensive examinations each count as a separate comprehensive examination.  A Philosophy class is a course listed or cross-listed as a PHI class.  A completed grade is a recorded letter grade from A to F.

2. A PhD student shall be discontinued if at least one of the following conditions holds:

a.   The student has two or more grades of C+ or below in Philosophy classes.

b.   The student has received a grade of C+ or below on each of two comprehensive examinations, whether these are two instances of the same examination or two different examinations.

3. When a PhD student satisfies at least one of the following conditions, the Graduate Committee shall meet in a reasonably timely manner with a quorum of members, and after discussion shall hold a vote of Graduate Committee members whether the student shall be discontinued.  A simple majority of the members present at the meeting is necessary and sufficient for discontinuation. 

a.   After two or more regular semesters, fewer than half of the student’s completed grades in Philosophy classes are among A, A- or B+.

b.   The student has received an F grade in any comprehensive examination.

4. A PhD student shall cease to receive funding if at least one of the following conditions holds:

a.   The student has not attempted to defend a PhD dissertation prospectus by the end of the seventh regular semester.

b.   The student has not successfully defended a PhD dissertation prospectus by the end of the eighth regular semester.

Such a student can nonetheless petition the Graduate Committee for reinstatement of funding after successfully defending a PhD dissertation prospectus.

5. At any meeting of the Graduate Committee or the Philosophy Department containing a quorum of the Graduate Committee, any member of the Graduate Committee can on reasonable grounds propose a motion that a graduate student be discontinued, have funding terminated, or have status or funding made conditional on some specified condition.  When seconded, such a motion will require a simple majority for approval.

6. A PhD student who is discontinued but who in the judgment of the Director of Graduate Studies has a reasonable chance of completing the MA within a reasonable time-frame shall be permitted to complete the MA.  Funding in such a case will be conditional on a decision made by the Department Chair, with the understanding that normally MA students do not receive funding.  Even when finishing an MA is not in view, a student who is performing satisfactory Teaching/Research Assistant work but who meets the conditions for discontinuation as a PhD student or discontinuation of funding during the fall or spring semester will normally be permitted to stay on until the end of the spring semester.

7. In the absence of a letter from a medical professional or special circumstances, approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, an incomplete grade for a course other than 5330, 5331, 6V10 and 6V99 will be replaced with an F if the required work is not turned in within 31 days of the end of the semester during which the course was taken.  Without approval of the majority of a quorum of the Graduate Committee, an incomplete grade for a course other than 5330, 5331, 6V10 and 6V99 will be replaced by an F at the end of the student’s next regular semester after the semester of the course if the required work has still not been turned in.

8. A student who receives a grade of C+ or below on just one of a pair of comprehensive examinations for the first time will be deemed to have failed that examination and will receive an incomplete grade for the 5330 or 5331 course that contains that examination, and will retake that comprehensive examination.  A grade of B- or above in a 5330 or 5331 course requires a grade of B- or above on each of the two comprehensive examinations constituting that course.

9. The above provisions apply to all students admitted in the fall of 2012 or later.  For students admitted prior to the fall of 2012, the provisions apply with the modifications that (i)  the conditions in point 2 instead of simply resulting in discontinuation result in a vote of the Graduate Committee as in point 3, (ii) the conditions in point 4 instead of simply resulting in termination of funding result in a vote of the Graduate Committee as to the termination of funding, following the procedures in point 3, and (iii) the provisions of point 7 do not apply to incompletes for courses taken prior to January 2012.

10. Funding tied to Teaching and Research Assistantships is always at the discretion of the Department Chair’s judgment that the student’s work performance is satisfactory.

11. Students to whom the discontinuation of status or funding policies of point 3a or 4a apply may petition the Graduate Committee in writing for an extension of status or funding for one additional semester in the hope of an improvement of grades or a belated prospectus defense, respectively, and specifying the exceptional circumstances that make the request appropriate. A majority vote will be needed for the petition to be successful. At most one such extension will be granted a student in connection with point 3a, and at most one such extension will be granted in connection with point 4a.

Additional note:

The required 5000 level ethics, metaphysics and epistemology courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher.