Information for All Students in the Program
- Normal Progress and Required Course Loads
- Leave of Absence
- Conditions for Dismissal
- Grievance Committee
- Useful Forms
The MA degree (Stage I) can be completed in one academic year (or in two semesters plus a summer) by a student taking a four-course load. If a student is teaching or is otherwise employed, progress will be slower; for most students, practically speaking, Stage I leading to the MA will be a two-year program. Students entering the program with a bachelor's degree are allowed five calendar years in which to win the MA. (Note: Students who for legitimate reasons must interrupt their studies should consult with the Director of Graduate Studies. If a Leave is approved, their time limit may be extended be petition to the Graduate College.) Graduate students who have not been registered for more than one year at the Urbana campus cannot register without an approved petition for re-entry.
Candidates for the PhD who enter with the bachelor’s degree must finish their MA (Stage I) and PhD (Stages II and III) work in seven years after their first registration in the Graduate College. Candidates who enter with the MA degree already earned elsewhere must finish their PhD in six years after their first registration in the Graduate College.
Students must enroll for the appropriate number of courses to maintain their tuition waiver. Normal progress is reckoned variously according to each student’s commitments to the University and the Department as follows:
- Students receiving no financial aid (no fellowship, no teaching assistantship, no tuition waiver) may take as many as 20 hours of course work per semester or as few as four hours. They must maintain a grade average of 3.0 or better and complete a degree within the time limits set by the Graduate College.
- Students holding a fellowship are required to take a full load of courses at least 12 hours (or the equivalent) per semester. They may take up to 20 hours.
- Students holding a one-third time teaching assistantship must take at least 12 hours (or the equivalent) per semester.
- Students holding a two-thirds time teaching assistantship must take at least 8 hours (or the equivalent) per semester.
- Students holding a one-half time teaching assistantship must take 8 hours (or the equivalent) during the semester in which they are teaching two sections and must take 12 hours (or the equivalent) during the semester in which they are teaching one section.
Anyone hoping for exceptions to these course load requirements—either an over-load or an under-load—must first obtain the permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.
NOTE: One of the non-credit 500 or 501 language courses may be counted as equivalent to an hour in reckoning study load or workload.
If certification for full-time status is required which does not take teaching assistantships into account (for example, for loans, immigration, or fellowships), registration must be for at least 12 hours or an equivalent combination. To register for appropriate course loads in such instances, see the Assistant or Director of Graduate Studies in room 210 English Building.
Anyone who wishes to interrupt study for a semester or longer must petition to the Director of Graduate Studies for an official Leave of Absence. Such leaves cannot exceed a period of one calendar year plus a summer session or the equivalent. Application for an official Leave of Absence should be made to the Director of Graduate Studies no later than six weeks prior to the semester in which the leave is to begin. Time on leave does not count as time in the program. Graduate students who have not been registered for more than one year at the Urbana campus cannot register without an approved petition for re-entry.
Students whose grade-point average falls below 3.0, or who have used up their time in the program, or who are not making adequate progress toward their degree, or who are dismissed from the University for violation of statutes will be dropped from the program.
Each year graduate students and faculty elect a Graduate Student Grievance Committee composed of three members of the faculty and three graduate students. Students who have special concerns they wish to discuss or who believe they have grievances may first consult their advisors, other faculty members whom they trust, or the Director of Graduate Studies. Many concerns and perceived grievances can be addressed satisfactorily in this way. But for other ongoing concerns and serious grievances students should contact the chair of the Grievance Committee.