Early in the spring semester of every academic year, each three-member doctoral committee will review the performance of each doctoral student and candidate. The most important criterion in each annual review is the student’s ability to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree in the judgment of the iSchool faculty. The annual review is also intended to help the student plan the upcoming academic year(s).

If any student’s progress is deemed unsatisfactory, the committee will recommend particular means to address their concerns. The committee may also recommend to the iSchool Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) that the student’s doctoral study be terminated. If so, the GSC will vote on the recommendation. If the vote supports termination of the student’s program, then the GSC, through the graduate advisor, will make a formal recommendation to the Graduate School to terminate the student’s doctoral study. The student may appeal any such decision.

The annual review will include:

  • an updated Plan of Study
  • completion of any required progress tracking data collection
  • an explanation of progress towards the degree, including participation in research, teaching, and service activities within the School and beyond
  • an explanation of plans for the coming academic year with concrete goals
  • copies of major papers, research presentations, and article submissions
  • other materials as appropriate such as plans for seeking research grants, applying for research internships, or teaching in the School’s undergraduate minor
  • specific questions or topics on which the student seeks input from their committee

The student will present these materials in full to all committee members by the 6th week of the semester and schedule an appointment for the full committee to convene for a discussion of the student’s progress and plans. (The student may attend electronically if the committee chair approves.) At the meeting, the student will make a brief, informal presentation of the annual review highlights and identify any areas on which the committee’s advice is particularly sought.

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