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Carnegie Mellon Department of Chemistry

Guide to Graduate Studies

Ph.D. Requirements

Dissertation Progress Meetings

For students entering Fall 2015 and later

Expectations

To ensure ongoing and timely discussion of the student’s progress after he/she reaches ABD status, the Advisory Committee Chair should work with the student to convene a meeting approximately annually after the third year. The goals of the meeting (in most cases, though it may vary with the student’s research group) are to:

A brief written summary of the meeting should be prepared by the Committee Chair and shared with the student, Advisory Committee members, and the Graduate Program Committee, preferably using the Preparing for a Dissertation Progress Meeting form.

Outcomes

If, at any of these meetings, the Advisory Committee finds the student’s performance to a significant concern, the student’s Research Advisor and/or Committee Chair should communicate these concerns to the Graduate Program Committee within one week. The Graduate Program Committee will review the student’s standing in the program at the time of the last departmental review and possibly recommend a committee meeting very soon. In serious cases of little or no progress or lack of annual committee meetings, the advisor, in consultation with the Advisory Committee and the GPC Co-Chairs, may place a student on probation in the group if he/she is considering terminating the student from the group (see Academic Actions and Appeals).

Probation in the group would normally last for 3–4 months during which the student would retain their level of financial support. The advisor is expected to notify the student in writing of the conditions for regaining good standing in the group and when those conditions have been satisfied. If an ABD student is on probation, he/she is strongly advised to consult the departmental ombudsperson regarding strategies to address the situation. Note that, since opportunities to change research groups after reaching ABD status are quite rare, probation as an ABD student comes with a significant risk of termination from the group and Ph.D. program.

For students entering Fall 2014 and earlier

Expectations

To ensure annual discussion of the student's progress after he/she reaches ABD status, the Advisory Committee Chair should work with the student to convene a meeting each year after the third year. In the fourth year, the meeting must be held by mid-semester of the seventh semester in residence unless an extension is granted by the GPC. The goal of the meeting (in most cases, though it may vary with the student's research group) would be to review the scope of a preliminary dissertation outline and very rough timeline for completing the needed work. In the fall of the fifth year (and if needed, sixth year), the goal of the meeting would be to discuss progress on the earlier plan and to identify and deal constructively with obstacles to completing the plan within the year. In both cases, a written summary of the meeting should be prepared by the Committee Chair and shared with the student, Advisory Committee members, and the Graduate Program Committee, ideally with a copy of any thesis outline discussed during the meeting.

Outcomes

If, at any of these meetings, the Advisory Committee finds the student's performance to be inadequate, the student's Research Advisor and/or Committee Chair should communicate these concerns to the Graduate Program Committee within one week. The Graduate Program Committee will review the student's standing in the program at the time of the last departmental review. In serious cases of little or no progress, the advisor, in consultation with the Advisory Committee and the GPC Co-Chairs, may also place a student on probation in the group if he/she is considering terminating the student from the group (see Academic Actions and Appeals). Probation in the group would normally last for 3-4 months during which the student would retain their level of financial support. The advisor is expected to notify the student in writing of the conditions for regaining good standing in the group and when those conditions have been satisfied. If an ABD student is on probation, he/she is strongly advised to consult the departmental ombudsperson regarding strategies to address the situation.