Doctoral Student Academic Timeline

Typical Academic Progress of a Doctoral Student

Year 1

  • Orientation (and TA Training, if applicable)
  • Beginning of year 1: Plan of Study
  • Coursework
  • Research
  • End of Year 1: Doctoral Student Yearly Review

Year 2

  • Coursework. Typically, students finish taking courses by the end of the second year.
  • Research
  • Preliminary/Field Exam/Qualifiers/Comp. This is an examination of your breadth of knowledge in the discipline, administered by your department.
  • Doctoral Committee Nomination
  • End of Year 2: Doctoral Student Yearly Review
  • End of Year 2: Plan of Study

Year 3

  • Research
  • Candidacy Exam. This is a test of your research acumen, administered by your department.
  • End of Year 3: Doctoral Student Yearly Review
  • End of Year 3: Plan of Study

Final Year – Completion of degree

  • Research
  • Defense of dissertation. You are evaluated on your contribution of new knowledge to the field and your ability to communicate those results to a community of peers.
  • Submission of dissertation
  • End of Year 4 + : Doctoral Student Yearly Review
  • End of Year 4 + : Plan of Study
  • Graduation
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