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.


Whether a full- or part-time student, all students admitted to the doctoral program must

  1. advance to candidacy within five (5) years from initial enrollment in the Ph.D. program, and

  2. complete all degree requirements within nine (9) years of entering the program.


All students in the doctoral program will be expected to demonstrate steady progress towards 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.

Students in major fields that require lengthy language or special skill acquisition will be granted an automatic 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. Doctoral students will receive written guidelines on progress-to-degree expectations and recommended plans of study at the start of their studies.
  2. Doctoral students will be expected to work closely with the advisor and other faculty in the development of a plan of study that is consistent with progress-to-degree requirements.
  3. Reading lists for comprehensive examinations will be available well in advance of the examination date.
  4. Special fields will be selected from the standard list of Fields of Study, as defined by the faculty in the major fields, and should be considered as a field relevant to the topic of the dissertation prospectus. In the case of non-standard special fields, the Graduate Committee must be consulted.
  5. 800-level seminar work should be undertaken in a manner consistent with progress-to-degree requirements, including seminar research and writing that helps a student advance toward timely defense of the prospectus defense.
  6. Faculty and/or the History Graduate Students Association may, at their discretion, organize colloquia and workgroups to support post-comps students in the development of the dissertation prospectus and the dissertation.
  7. The Director of Graduate Studies will coordinate a periodic review of each student's progress-to-degree as well as the overall progress-to-degree by degree cohort.

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.

Progress-to-Degree: Students with Continuous Funding

Students who receive continuous support in the form of assistantships, fellowships, and/or awards administered through the Department of History are expected to follow a rigorous standard of progress-to-degree. This schedule includes the following:

1) Sitting for the comprehensive examinations in the fourth semester but no later than the fifth semester of full-time study for students entering with a masters in history or a related discipline or no later than the sixth semester of full-time study for students entering with a bachelor of arts

2) Defending the dissertation prospectus within nine (9) months of formal notification of passing the comprehensive examinations

It is expected that students on continuous funding who seek support for dissertation research and writing make "good-faith efforts" to seek major external fellowships, scholarships, and awards.

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 his/her disposition of petitions for extensions.