The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Progress to Degree

Advising and Review of Progress

The Graduate Program Director serves as adviser to newly admitted students. During the first year, in consultation with the Director, students select an adviser according to their academic interests.

At the end of each academic year, members of the Graduate Studies Committee review the progress of all students. Students are expected to maintain standing in accordance with sections 5 and 6 of the General Regulations of the Graduate School.

The Graduate Studies Committee places a student on probation for one year when:

  1. the student's record shows more than two grades of incomplete (excluding thesis or dissertation credits); or
  2. the cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0.

In either case, the Graduate Program Director writes the student a memorandum describing the steps to be taken to remove probationary status. Probationary status jeopardizes a student's eligibility for financial support, whether by funding through the Department, the University (fellowship programs) or Continuing Education.

Failure to meet stipulated obligations in the ensuing one-year period may result in termination of graduate studies. Any student placed on probation may appeal in writing to the Graduate Studies Committee no later than thirty days after the beginning of the semester following the notice of probation. This appeal will be granted only in cases of unusual hardship.

Students at the ABD stage who are writing their doctoral dissertations are generally expected to produce at least one chapter per semester. Consistent failure to make adequate progress will be addressed by the Graduate Studies Committee in dialogue with the student's dissertation committee and may result in dismissal from the program.

Waivers, Exemptions, Modifications

A student may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for a waiver or modification of any requirement in this Statement of Procedure, except for those mandated by the Graduate School. The Graduate Studies Committee will provide written notice of its decision in a timely fashion.