Policy on Student Progress: Requirements, Notification, Remediation, and Review
1. Criteria for satisfactory academic progress
The policy regarding satisfactory academic progress in the Doctoral Program in Sociology is as follows:
First- and Second-Year Students
First- and second-year students meet with their graduate advisors at least once a quarter. Satisfactory academic progress in years 1 and 2 of the Program is marked by timely and successful completion of all courses, with grades of B or better in all required courses, and cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above in all coursework. Student progress is assessed at the end of the year on the basis of course grades, the Annual Student Progress Self-Evaluation Form and an updated CV (both completed by the student), plus additional comments from course instructors and advisors about students.
Third-year students meet with their graduate advisors at least once per quarter. Students are evaluated on the basis of their progress toward and then successful completion of the qualifying exam. Substandard work or unprofessional conduct (as reported by course instructors or research supervisors) would constitute unsatisfactory progress toward the qualifying exam, as would failing grades in any courses taken in year two. Student progress is assessed at the end of the year on the basis of the Annual Student Progress Self-Evaluation Form and an updated CV (both completed by the student), plus course grades (if applicable), and additional comments from qualifying examination committee chairs and graduate advisors about students.
Students Who Have Advanced to Candidacy
Students must form their dissertation committee within one quarter (three months) of passing their qualifying exam, and submit and defend their dissertation proposals within six months of the exam.
Students must meet with the dissertation committee chair at least once per quarter. It is recommended that students communicate their progress to their committee members on a minimum of a quarterly basis, and confer with individual committee members about specific aspects of their dissertation research and writing as needed. Students are expected to complete all degree requirements within six years.
Student progress is assessed at the end of the year on the basis of the Annual Student Progress Self-Evaluation Form and an updated CV (both completed by the student), plus additional comments from dissertation committee chairs about students who might be struggling.
Unsatisfactory progress indicators include:
- Falling below a 3.0 GPA
- Grades below a B in any course
- Failing the qualifying exam the first time
- Failure to find a dissertation advisor
- Unsatisfactory research work (as reported by the dissertation advisor)
- Unprofessional conduct (as reported by the dissertation advisor, a course instructor, or other faculty)
- Disciplinary problems and other conduct and professionalism infractions that fall within the scope of UCSF’s Code of Conduct.
2. Process by which failing students will be notified and remediated
Students whose progress is unsatisfactory (according to one or more of the criteria listed above) will be notified in writing. The student will meet with the advisor and the Program Director to develop an individualized remediation plan to address the deficiencies. Additional comments and information about academic progress and deficiencies will be solicited from course instructors and other faculty where necessary. The meeting results in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that clearly outlines specific steps and associated deadlines that the student must fulfill in order to remain in good academic standing. The MOU is then signed by the following parties: the student, the dissertation advisor (or graduate advisor if the dissertation advisor has not yet been chosen), and the Program Director. The MOU is filed in the student’s academic file, and the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs is notified.
Should the student be unable to fulfill any of the expectations according to the timeline outlined in the MOU, the student will be subject to dismissal from the program. Depending on the student’s standing in the program, s/he may be allowed to leave with a terminal master’s degree. The process for in-depth review of a student’s eligibility for dismissal will follow the UCSF Divisional Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs, section 4.0 (http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/stugr.html), and will be conducted by the core faculty in the Doctoral Program in Sociology.
3. Composition of the in-depth review committee, should one be necessary
All core faculty in the Doctoral Program in Sociology will comprise the in-depth review committee.