Classics: Advising and Reviews

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Evaluation of Progress of Classics Graduate Students

I. Students working toward the M.A.

(The M.A. requirements in coursework should normally be fulfilled by the end of the second year. The M.A. exams will normally be attempted at that time-or before-and must be attempted by the end of the third year.)

A. Mid-year review: After the conclusion of the first semester and before the end of the second week of the student's second semester, the GA and the M.A. Committee will review each student's grades and course evaluations submitted by instructors and will prepare a brief statement of evaluation to be communicated to the student in writing. The statement should indicate whether the student's performance has been exceptionally good, fully adequate, or deficient; if deficient, specifics should be given and suggestions made for improvement.

B. Third-semester review: The student's progress in the first full year of study will be evaluated by the GA and the M.A. Committee not later than the seventh week of the student's third semester. The review will again be based on grades and course evaluations and will include an interview with the reviewing committee; the personal Advisor will attend the interview. A statement of evaluation will be communicated to the student after the interview.

C. Subsequent reviews: Upon completion of all requirements for the M.A., the student is again reviewed: this review will normally take place near the end of the fourth semester.

The purpose and nature of this review is established in the regulations of the Classics PhD, quoted here:

1. Entry into the Program
1b. Students in the UC Berkeley M.A. program will be reviewed, upon completion of their M.A. examinations, by a committee consisting of the M.A. Committee and the Graduate Advisor. (The Personal Advisor will normally attend this review, as a non-voting member unless already a member of the review committee.) The Committee will determine, on the basis of the student's performance in the M.A. examinations and course-work, and the written evaluations of instructors, whether or not the student should be admitted to the Ph.D. program. The decision of the review committee may be referred to a vote of the full department if (1) the student appeals the decision, or (2) there is a split vote in the committee, or (3) the committee is of the opinion that it needs the guidance of a full department meeting. This review may be waived under certain circumstances (see below under "Classics: Advising and Review").

The GA and M.A. Committee will evaluate grades and course evaluations and take into consideration the quality of the comprehensive examinations and will again interview the student, with the personal Advisor in attendance. If the student has already met with the Committee earlier in the same semester, the Committee may waive the interview if it has already indicated in the earlier meeting that no problems are foreseen in the student's progress through the program. At this time the committee will consider in particular the suitability of the student's continuing toward the Ph.D. and in cases of doubt will specify the student's deficiencies and set a timetable for rectification and further review and, if appropriate, recommend probation to the Dean.

Students who take more than four semesters to complete the M.A. continue to be subject to annual review by the M.A. Committee until the completion of the M.A and to a post-M.A. exam review at the completion of the M.A. exam and requirements.

II. Students in the Ph.D. program.

A. Prior to Advancement to Candidacy: Every Ph.D. student, both those advanced from the M.A. program and those admitted with an M.A. from another institution, will have a formal review meeting every year (generally every second semester) until Advancement to Candidacy with two members of the Ph.D. Committee (designated by the Ph.D. Committee Chair), for the purpose of discussing the student's overall progress in the program and giving guidance on the student's pursuit of his/her interests and long-term career, the student's PA may also attend these reviews. Minutes of the reviews will be taken and, after being agreed upon by all those present at the meeting, kept as part of the permanent record in the student's file.

B. After Advancement to Candidacy: For students advanced to candidacy, the dissertation committee has the authority and responsibility to review the student's progress and to advise him/her of its satisfaction. The committee may set reasonable deadlines for the student's demonstrating adequate written progress in completing the dissertation: if deadlines are not met, the committee may instruct the GA to recommend to the Dean of the Graduate Division that the student be placed on probation. A reasonable deadline in regard to jeopardy for probation is a period of not less than one academic year. (Students in probationary status may not hold an academic appointment, nor receive a graduate fellowship, nor be eligible to receive an advanced degree.)

The Graduate Division mandates annual review of the progress of students advanced to candidacy. A "Report on Progress" form is to be filled out by each student once per year (during Spring Semester), submitted to the dissertation chair, who will discuss the report with at least one other member of the dissertation committee and record their comments. If possible, the reporting members of the committee should meet in person with the student. The form is retained in the student's file, and at the end of each Spring Semester the Graduate Advisor reports the gist of all such reviews to the Graduate Division.

In any case, if the dissertation is not completed within four years of advancement to candidacy, the student's candidacy may be lapsed by the Dean of the Graduate Division (though in special circumstances the dissertation committee, through the GA may recommend to the Dean continuance of a student whose candidacy has passed four years). A candidate whose candidacy has lapsed may be reinstated upon recommendation of the GA only if a complete draft of the dissertation has been submitted and judged by the committee to be acceptable with no more than minor revisions, and if the GA has advised the Dean that the qualifying examination was not taken so long ago as to be invalid. Failure to achieve reinstatement of candidacy within a reasonable period of time after lapsing may result in the student's candidacy for the degree being terminated. Unless otherwise specified in the Graduate Division's formal notice of lapsing, termination will normally take place at the end of the regular academic term in effect two years after the date of notification.

III. Academic standing and probation

For a full explanation of academic standing, the Graduate Council's document Academic Progress Evaluation, Academic Standing, and Appeals Procedures for Graduate Students (November 1982) should be consulted.

In brief, a student is either in good standing or on some form of probation or subject to dismissal. Lapsing of candidacy and termination of candidacy are forms of probation. A student is subject to dismissal only if he or she has been given adequate written warning and a reasonable opportunity to correct any deficiencies. The written warning must include (a) the nature of the problem or deficiency; (b) steps that should be taken to correct the deficiency; (c) a reasonable period of time in which the student is expected to correct the problem or show improvement acceptable to program faculty; and (d) the approximate date at which the student's record will next be reviewed.

The following excerpt from page 15 of the Graduate Council's document should be noted:

Probation may be recommended by the Graduate Advisor for reasons including, but not limited to the following:
(l) Failure to maintain an adequate level of performance (e.g., as measured by GPA or the quality of written work) in courses central to the student's program of study;
(2) Failure on departmental "preliminary" or "permission to proceed" examinations, or failure to stand for such examinations in a timely manner;
(3) Failure to proceed to the comprehensive or qualifying examination within a reasonable period of time;
(4) Failure to make adequate progress in meeting other stated program requirements (e.g., submission of an acceptable dissertation prospectus, passage of required languages examinations, etc.);
(5) Failure to make adequate progress in thesis or dissertation research and/or writing.
Students in probationary status may not be admitted to examinations (Masters' comprehensive or Doctoral qualifying), nor be advanced to candidacy, nor hold an academic appointment, nor receive a graduate fellowship, nor be eligible to receive an advanced degree.

Classics MA Requirements | Classics PhD Requirements | PhD Reading Lists and Exam Format | Appeals Procedures