Academic Progress - Graduate Students

Measuring Graduate Student Progress

Annual Requirement: Review of Graduate Student Progress

The Graduate School requires that all graduate students' academic progress is reviewed at least annually. Typically, graduate students file an annual report on their academic performance, degree program milestones, and related academic/scholarly/research/creative achievements. Faculty mentors (advisors) are required to review their advisees’ annual reports to assess if their advisees are making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. In some cases, the director of graduate studies and/or department chair also review the students’ annual reports and faculty member responses.

Each division/area/department degree program must inform all students of the annual progress reporting requirement. This includes printed, published, or electronic materials provided to graduate students (e.g., handbooks, orientation materials, guidelines, web site.)

At a minimum, students are required to report on academic progress, completion of required forms, award and honors, conferences, presentations, publications, service activities, creative activities, employment, funding activity, and job placement. Academic program faculty or administrators may require additional indicators of performance or achievement to accommodate the unique needs of their programs. Additional information on measuring graduate student progress is at

Extension and Appeals of Satisfactory Progress Infractions

The definition of “satisfactory progress” and procedures for its verification may vary among departments/programs. If a department/program has instituted timelines that differ from those applying generally to graduate students (see below), these timelines should be made available to students from their entrance into the graduate degree program. If a student is authorized to diverge from progress timelines established by either the department/program or the Graduate School, this should be documented in written form and endorsed by the student’s advisor and director of graduate studies.

Progress Toward Degree

Full-time students (those taking 9 hours or more per semester) should follow the time frames associated with degree programs discussed in the catalog. They must submit required forms on time and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Furthermore, they must successfully undergo their departments’ annual review processes.

Part-time students should file a timeline for successful degree completion with their department/program. This timeline should be endorsed by the director of graduate studies and a prospective advisor by the end of the first calendar year of admission into the department/program. When these timelines conflict with time to degree guidelines established by the Graduate Faculty Senate and enforced by the Graduate School, they must request an extension, supported by their advisor and director of graduate studies to the dean of the Graduate School.

Distinction Between Requests for Extension and Appeals

A “Request for an Extension” and an “Appeal” are distinct processes for dealing with problems related to “satisfactory progress.” A “Request for Extension” is the appropriate course of action when a student has failed to meet satisfactory progress provisions of the Graduate School. The “Appeal Process” should be followed when a department/program has dismissed a student after the required probationary period.

Probation and Termination Dismissal

In addition to dismissal for failure to meet the usual examination and grade requirements, departments and graduate degree-granting area programs have the right to place on probation and, after at least 30 days of probation, to dismiss from their program any graduate student who is deemed to be making insufficient academic progress or whose work is not of the quality required. The faculty advisor or academic program chair must inform the Graduate School as soon as the student is notified and the probationary period begins. The dismissal may occur at any time during a student’s work toward a graduate degree.

For additional information on satisfactory progress, probation, termination, extension and appeals go to the Extension and Appeals of Satisfactory Progress Infractions section of the catalog; additional information can also be found at

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