Ph.D. Progress Review

Students are evaluated for satisfactory progress every fall and spring semester. Semesters are counted from when students enter the Ph.D. program. The table below indicates when evaluations take place, along with what benchmarks are used to determine satisfactory progress.


General Benchmarks

Action if Unsatisfactory


Third Semester Portfolio (Portfolio Check Sheet)

GPA above 3.33 and passed at least one 900

Warning and recommendations; if unsatisfactory after both semesters two and three, possible dismissal from Ph.D. program


Fifth Semester Portfolio (Portfolio Check Sheet)

The Fifth Semester Portfolio is considered to be the Qualifying Exam.

GPA above 3.33, passed at least three 900s, completed six required core courses with a 3.5 GPA (only A's and B's), earned at least one A in UA CSC core courses, has doctoral advisor

Recommended for dismissal from Ph.D. program after sixth semester


Comprehensive Exam

The written dissertation proposal and oral presentation on the dissertation proposal are considered to be the Comprehensive Exam.

All major and minor coursework satisfactorily completed, including all 900s

May petition the Graduate Affairs Committee for second attempt; if not approved, will be recommended for dismissal at end of current term

8 Through Completion

Progress towards dissertation

If not satisfactory by next review, recommended for dismissal from Ph.D. program at end of that semester

Pre-Comprehensive Exam Committee Meeting

When a student selects a committee for the comprehensive exam, the student will need to meet with the full committee before taking the comprehensive exam so the committee can set expectations for the exam and provide feedback on the dissertation proposal.

Per Semester Progress Review

The student will need to meet with their full committee every semester (see guidelines for this meeting) and submit a committee report form. This form must be signed by all committee members and submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). These regular meetings will occur until the final dissertation defense. While the student is required to meet with the full committee at least once every semester, the student is encouraged to meet regularly with members of the committee to get feedback on research and progress to the next milestone.