Registration and Degree Progress

Continuous Registration

All graduate students must register for courses and pay associated tuition and fees each semester, not including summer and winter sessions, until the degree is awarded.

Pre-candidacy doctoral students who will be away from the University for up to one year may request a waiver of continuous registration and its associated tuition and fees. Waivers shall be granted only if the student is making satisfactory progress toward the degree and can complete all the degree requirements within the required time limits. Interruptions in continuous registration cannot be used to justify an extension to time-to-degree requirements.

Once advanced to candidacy, a student is no longer eligible for Waivers of Continuous Registration. Doctoral candidates must maintain continuous registration in HIST 899 (Doctoral Dissertation Research) until the degree is awarded.

The Graduate School makes available an official Leave-of-Absence for Childbearing, Adoption, Illness, and Dependent Care. The Dean of the Graduate School must approve the leave. The time-to-degree clock is suspended during an approved leave-of-absence.

Additional information on Continuous Registration and Leave-of-Absence policies is published online in the Graduate Catalog.


All students admitted to the doctoral program are expected to

  1. advance to candidacy within three (3) years from initial enrollment in the PhD program, and
  2. complete all degree requirements within six (6) years of entering the program.


All students in the doctoral program will be expected to demonstrate steady progress toward the completion of degree requirements. At a minimum, the Graduate School requires students to maintain a B average in all graduate courses. However, the Department of History expects a higher level of performance, with the great majority of a student’s grades at the level of an A- or above.

Students in major fields that require lengthy language or special skill acquisition might be granted a one-year extension to progress-to-degree expectations. Additional extensions will require approval of the Graduate Committee.

In order to meet progress-to-degree expectations:

  1. 800-level research seminar work should normally be completed by the end of the fourth semester in the program.
  2. The major field reading list must be compiled and approved by the examination committee by the end of the summer after the student’s fourth semester in the program
  3. Students should complete their comprehensive examinations by the end of their sixth semester in the program. Students coming in with an MA in History should normally complete their comprehensive examinations by the end of their fifth semester in the program.
  4. Each student will be expected to submit a copy of the final dissertation prospectus approved by the advisor to the Graduate Program Coordinator at the beginning of their seventh academic semester in the program.
  5. All students should normally pass their language examinations during the third year of their program.
  6. The Director of Graduate Studies will review fully each student's progress-to-degree as well as the overall progress-to-degree by degree cohort at least once a year.

Failure to make satisfactory progress-to-degree or to maintain the expected grade point average may result in the suspension or loss of departmental funding, the denial of a petition for extensions, and in extreme cases, a recommendation for dismissal.

NOTE: The above guidelines on Continuous Registration, Time-to-Degree, and Progress-to-Degree guidelines are for students matriculating in fall 2018 or thereafter. Students entering the graduate program in prior semesters are subject to guidelines at time of matriculation.

Extensions and Waivers

The Graduate Committee will consider petitions for waivers to departmental guidelines. Petitions for waivers to Graduate School requirements must be submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School, using the appropriate form. In most instances, the petitioning student will be required to provide a rationale for the waiver request, and, as appropriate, a convincing plan of study. The advice of the student's advisor may be sought. The advisor will be required to endorse any waiver request that involves extensions to overall time-to-degree as well as the major benchmarks of progress-to-degree.

All petitions should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies. The Director of Graduate Studies, and in some cases the Dean of the Graduate School, will notify the student of their disposition of petitions for extensions.