Tuesday, November 20, 2007
If you are ever really having trouble getting a signature, please let me know. Usually I am able to secure permission to sign for faculty and it is established procedure for me to do this. You should, of course, make every effort to secure the original signature, but please don't spend weeks trying to track someone for a John Hancock. Let me help.
When you list your examination areas, please type or legibly print the name of the professor for each area. If you are unable to collect all the signatures, don't worry about it. I'll get them for you - but I must have a legible list so I know who to ask for your exam questions.
Procedures for taking the exam were discussed in the previous PhD Exam Procedures post, but I'll be in touch with you individually as your scheduled exam time nears. As always, please post your questions.
Soon after you turn in your MA application, I'll ask you to designate your fourth reader. (See the post about MA Exams for more information about the fourth reader.) I will verify your information in SIS and email you to set up the times you want to set for writing your exams during exam week.
More information about the actual exam procedures will be fodder for a future entry. as always, feel free to post your questions.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Typically, as the exam apps come in, I create a spreadsheet to keep track of everything, including the questioners and the topics about which they will be preparing questions. I then email all the professors listed on you app with the question requests. Once I have the questions, I format them into word files. Each question has a separate page, which you will use as the cover sheet for your response. At the beginning of the exam period (January 2, 2008 this time), I email you all four questions of your individualized exam.;
At the end of the first week, you will email me your first two responses. At the end of the second week, you'll send the second two responses. I'll then send them all to your committee, asking if anyone prefers hardcopy, making and distributing copies accordingly.
You will need to schedule your oral exams and let me know when they'll be so I may prepare your Nomination to Candidacy paperwork. You'll need to take this with you to your orals. Orals must be scheduled within one month of the written exam.
PhD Exams are either passed or failed. If you fail any part of your exam, you will be allowed to retake it once at the next regular exam period. If you fail the exam the second time, you will not be allowed to continue in the program.
Although I prefer to do exams electronically, you may request hardcopies of any or all the questions. Even if I prepare hardcopies for you, I will still email you your exam. It just seems to me that the backup is a good thing. Similarly, your may turn in hardcopies, but I will turn right around and scan them to create electronic files. Paper is too easy to lose; I just like having the electronic copies as backup. Also, it makes it easy for me to keep the process moving even if weather, winter health, etc. make getting in to the building impossible.
For further information, consult the Graduate Handbook, a link for which is on the menu on the right.
MA exams may be taken during the first week of any regularly scheduled exam period. To schedule your exam, you must fill out the inevitable form (available from me) and return it at least 30 days before the exam period. The deadline for the January exam is November 30th. You must also select a fourth grader for your exam. Your work is given to the 3 member MA Committee without attribution, but the fourth reader knows whose work s/he is grading. This gives you an opportunity to choose at least one grader who is most likely to be sympathetic to your work.
Each grader is given an Exam Certification form to use for grading your exam. Possible scores are:
- High Pass
To pass, you need three passing scores. All exams with fewer than three passes will be reviewed by the GAC, which may uphold or overturn the MA Committee's assessment. The evaluation of the GAC is final within the department.
If you fail the M.A. Exam, in whole or in part, you will be placed immediately on academic probation. You will have one more chance to take the exam during the a subsequent regular exam period. Please note that the MA exam does change every academic year - if you wait past August to retake your exam, the reading list and exam questions will not be the same. Any student who fails the examination a second time will be formally dismissed from the program.
If you plan to apply to the CMCL Ph.D. program, you must take your MA Exam in January of your second year. Please plan accordingly. For more information, consult the CMCL Graduate Handbook, a link to which is on the menu on the right.
"Normally, a course may not be counted toward degree requirements if it has been completed more than
(a) five years prior to the awarding of the degree for master's students or,
(b) seven years prior to the passing of the qualifying examination for Ph.D. students.
The graduate advisor, after consultation with the advisory committee, may, however, recommend to the dean that course work taken prior to the above deadlines be revalidated if it can be demonstrated that the knowledge contained in the course(s) remains current. Currency of knowledge may be demonstrated by such things as: (a) passing an examination specifically on the material covered by the course2; (b) passing a more advanced course in the same subject area; (c) passing a comprehensive examination in which the student demonstrates substantial knowledge of the content of the course; (d) teaching a comparable course; or (e) publishing scholarly research demonstrating substantial knowledge of the content and fundamental principles of the course.
Each course for which consideration for revalidation is being requested should be justified separately."
You will need to work closely with your advisor to accomplish revalidation. Between the two of you you will need to decide which of the methods listed in the Bulletin will best establish the currency of your knowledge. Please be aware that revalidation is not a "slamdunk." The UGS will usually acquiesce to the recommendation of your advisor, but it may take more than one try.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
- January 2-8
- May 5 - 9
- August 18-22
- January 2 - 16
- May 5-19
- August 11-25
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Please be aware that I am not permitted to make copies of the official transcripts I have in your files for anyone outside the university, nor am I permitted to disseminate information from your academic records. Recent policy clarifications prevent me from providing you with copies of any transcripts in your file. I must refer any questions about transcripts to the Office of the Registrar.
Therefore, I highly recommend that you contact any school from which you have received a degree and obtain an official copy of your transcript for your own files. Personally, I'd consider this right up there with Social Security cards and birth certificates. It would be a terrible shame if you missed out on an opportunity because you didn't have the paperwork handy.
If you end up defending and/or submitting your dissertation in the summer, you must be enrolled during the summer session in which this is accomplished. Further, remember that G901 is not available during the summer? If you are defending or submitting your dissertation in the summer, you will need to enroll in one hour of C810 for that summer session.
Frankly, imo, this is another great reason to avoid finishing during the summer (more on that at a later date), but sometimes it just can't be helped.