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graduate_handbook:physics_graduate_policies [2018/04/04 14:25]
vinals [Tuition and Summer Registration Policy]
graduate_handbook:physics_graduate_policies [2018/04/04 15:16]
vinals [Preliminary Oral Examination]
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 The oversight of the graduate program in Physics has been delegated by the Physics Graduate Faculty to the Graduate Education Committee. The Director of Graduate Studies acts as an ex-officio member of the Graduate Education Committee. Requests for exceptions to the stated policies, or suggestions for policy changes should be directed to the Graduate Education Committee either through its Chair, or through the Director of Graduate Studies. The Committee will consider such requests and suggestions and either take action itself or, as necessary, forward them with a recommendation to the Physics Graduate Faculty for action. The oversight of the graduate program in Physics has been delegated by the Physics Graduate Faculty to the Graduate Education Committee. The Director of Graduate Studies acts as an ex-officio member of the Graduate Education Committee. Requests for exceptions to the stated policies, or suggestions for policy changes should be directed to the Graduate Education Committee either through its Chair, or through the Director of Graduate Studies. The Committee will consider such requests and suggestions and either take action itself or, as necessary, forward them with a recommendation to the Physics Graduate Faculty for action.
 +
 +===== Requirements for satisfactory progress in the graduate program =====
 +
 +^ Requirement ^ Remedy for non compliance ^
 +| GWE passed at the end of the first year | One more chance at the end of the second year. Student should complete requirements for M.Sc. before the second attempt |
 +| Minimum GPA in graduate core classes of 3.3 | Classes need to be retaken to resolve the issue by the end of the second year |
 +| Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 | One year probationary period, not extensible. New classes counting towards the degree need to be taken to raise the cumulative GPA above 3.0 |
 +| Oral Preliminary Exam passed by the end of the third year | Adviser may petition for a six month extension |
 +| Satisfactory annual report of progress by Oral Committee for TA appointment renewal | No Teaching Assistant appointment beyond the third year will be offered unless a positive statement of progress is made within the three months prior to the first appointment in any twelve month period |
 +| Degree completed in a maximum of 8 years | Petition before the University is possible for a one year extension. Follow University guidelines |
 ===== Financial Support Policy ===== ===== Financial Support Policy =====
  
 1. The financial aid resources of the School of Physics and Astronomy consist of teaching assistantships ("TA appointments"​),​ research assistantships ("RA appointments"​),​ Graduate School Fellowships awarded to the School for stipends and tuition, and a few Endowed Graduate Fellowships. RA appointments are granted by individual faculty members supported by research funds, and are subject only to review by the School Head. Such appointments are contingent on the availability of research funds. Other appointments are made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (TA appointments),​ or faculty committees acting through the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). They are all reviewed by the School Head. From time to time, the School may nominate students for various other awards. These recommendations are made on a merit basis, and are subject to the policies of the particular award. 1. The financial aid resources of the School of Physics and Astronomy consist of teaching assistantships ("TA appointments"​),​ research assistantships ("RA appointments"​),​ Graduate School Fellowships awarded to the School for stipends and tuition, and a few Endowed Graduate Fellowships. RA appointments are granted by individual faculty members supported by research funds, and are subject only to review by the School Head. Such appointments are contingent on the availability of research funds. Other appointments are made by the Director of Undergraduate Studies (TA appointments),​ or faculty committees acting through the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). They are all reviewed by the School Head. From time to time, the School may nominate students for various other awards. These recommendations are made on a merit basis, and are subject to the policies of the particular award.
  
-2. It is the policy of the School to support all graduate students making ​good academic progress on a 1/2 time basis. However, the resources available to the School may not permit such support in all cases. Thus, the School will generally allocate the available resources according to the policies specified here.+2. It is the policy of the School to support all graduate students making ​satisfactory ​academic progress on a 1/2 time basis. However, the resources available to the School may not permit such support in all cases. Thus, the School will generally allocate the available resources according to the policies specified here.
  
 3. Except in unusual cases, financial support for entering graduate students who do not receive fellowships will be in the form of a 1/2 time TA appointment. The TA appointment will be renewed for a second year subject to satisfactory academic progress by the student, and satisfactory performance of the required TA duties. Satisfactory academic progress does not require passing the graduate written examination during the first year. Graduate students who enter the program without financial aid, but who pass the graduate written examination will be treated in succeeding years as if they had entered with a 1/2 time TA appointment. 3. Except in unusual cases, financial support for entering graduate students who do not receive fellowships will be in the form of a 1/2 time TA appointment. The TA appointment will be renewed for a second year subject to satisfactory academic progress by the student, and satisfactory performance of the required TA duties. Satisfactory academic progress does not require passing the graduate written examination during the first year. Graduate students who enter the program without financial aid, but who pass the graduate written examination will be treated in succeeding years as if they had entered with a 1/2 time TA appointment.
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 Tuition cost is based on residence. The tuition for Minnesota residents is approximately half the tuition for non-residents. The key aspect is that any graduate student with a 1/4 time appointment or more as either a TA or an RA is considered a resident for each semester in which such appointment is held. Thus, a student not from Minnesota who is supported as a TA or an RA, even 1/4 time, has considerable financial benefit in addition to the stipend. This resident tuition status also applies to members of the student'​s immediate family. ​ For a student holding an appointment for two consecutive semesters, the resident tuition period extends up to four semesters beyond the term of appointment. See the Class Schedule for detailed rules. Tuition cost is based on residence. The tuition for Minnesota residents is approximately half the tuition for non-residents. The key aspect is that any graduate student with a 1/4 time appointment or more as either a TA or an RA is considered a resident for each semester in which such appointment is held. Thus, a student not from Minnesota who is supported as a TA or an RA, even 1/4 time, has considerable financial benefit in addition to the stipend. This resident tuition status also applies to members of the student'​s immediate family. ​ For a student holding an appointment for two consecutive semesters, the resident tuition period extends up to four semesters beyond the term of appointment. See the Class Schedule for detailed rules.
  
-==== Graduate Written Examination Policy ====+===== Graduate Written Examination Policy ​=====
  
-1. The Graduate Written Examination (GWE) will be prepared and administered by a faculty committee especially designated for this task. The examination will be graded without knowledge of the name of the examinee by various members of the faculty. The GWE Committee will compile ​the grades and make recommendations concerning the passing requirements to the Physics Graduate Faculty. The Faculty will make the final decision as to which students pass the examination.+1. The Graduate Written Examination (GWE) will be prepared and administered by a faculty committee especially designated for this task. The GWE Committee will assign ​the grades and make recommendations concerning the passing requirements to the Physics Graduate Faculty. The Faculty will make the final decision as to which students pass the examination.
  
-2. The criterion for passing the examination ​is to demonstrate a strong, usable ​knowledge of undergraduate physics at a level similar to the one taught to undergraduates at the University of Minnesota. To pass, students should demonstrate a broad range of knowledge in the core subjects of classical dynamics, electricity and magnetism, thermal and statistical physics and quantum mechanics. Students are expected to be able to apply their knowledge to solving explicit problems in these areas. In addition, students are expected to have some general knowledge about physics specialty areas such as astrophysics,​ atomic physics, condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, and space physics. The required level of understanding in these latter subjects is mostly qualitative. In the past, the passing score for the examination has been approximately one-half of the possible score. The faculty will adjust this level up or down in order to maintain a consistent level of difficulty with previous years.+2. The general ​criterion for passing the exam is to demonstrate a strong ​and comprehensive ​knowledge of undergraduate physics at a level similar to the one taught to undergraduates at the University of Minnesota. To pass, students should demonstrate a broad range of knowledge in the core subjects of classical dynamics, electricity and magnetism, thermal and statistical physics and quantum mechanics. Students are expected to be able to apply their knowledge to solving explicit problems in these areas. In addition, students are expected to have some general knowledge about physics specialty areas such as astrophysics,​ atomic physics, condensed matter physics, elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, and space physics. The required level of understanding in these latter subjects is mostly qualitative. In the past, the passing score for the examination has been approximately one-half of the possible score. The faculty will adjust this level up or down in order to maintain a consistent level of difficulty with previous years. Further information on the exam, and how to prepare for it is given [[http://​zzz.physics.umn.edu/​dgs_advice/​preparation_for_the_graduate_written_exam|here]].
  
-3. The GWE is given before ​the beginning ​of the Fall and Spring ​Semesters. It will be given in two parts on two successive days, each being 4 hours in length, long enough that the time period does not produce severe time pressure on well-prepared students taking the examination.+3. The GWE is given once annually at the end of the Spring ​Semester. It is comprised of two parts on two successive days, each being 4 hours in length.
  
-4. Students entering the graduate program in the Fall Semester must pass the GWE no later than the Fall exam of the next academic ​year. Those students ​entering in the Spring Semester must pass the exam no later than the Spring exam of the next academic ​year.+4. Students entering the graduate program in the Fall Semester must pass the GWE no later than the Spring ​exam of their second ​year. Under exceptional circumstances, ​students ​who fail to pass the GWE by the time set above may be permitted another attempt of the exam upon application to the Director of Graduate Studies. Necessary conditions for another attempt of the GWE is that the student has completed all credit requirements for the M.Sc. degree by the end of their second year, and that the adviser believes that there is a high likelihood that student will pass in his/her third attempt. Students not passing the GWE should complete an M.Sc. degree not later than their second year. With the exception noted, students past the second ​year who have not passed the GWE will not receive TA support.
  
-Students who fail to pass the GWE by the time set above may be permitted another attempt of the exam upon application to the Director of Graduate ​Studies. Necessary conditions for another attempt of the GWE is that the student and adviser must guarantee that the student is on track to receive an M.S. degree not later than the end of the semester ​in which the GWE would be attempted and that the M.S. degree program should be filed with the Graduate School. Students not passing the GWE should complete an M.S. degree ​as soon as possiblepreferably no later than the end of the Spring Semester of their second academic year. Students past the second year who have not passed the GWE are not guaranteed TA support in the following years.+6. Extensions or variations ​to the timetable given in the previous paragraphs ​may be granted by the Graduate ​Education Committee only in exceptional cases such as extended illnessleaves ​of absence, etc.
  
-6. Extensions or variations to the timetable in the previous paragraphs may be granted by the Graduate Education Committee only in exceptional hardship cases such as extended illness, leaves ​of absence, etc.+===== Assignment ​of M.S. and Ph.D. CommitteesDissertation defense =====
  
-==== Assignment of M.S. and Ph.DCommittees ====+1. For the M.Scdegree, a committee is required to review the thesis (Plan A), and to administer a final oral examination (Plans A and B)This committee consists of three members, one of whom must represent the minor field or be outside of the major field of the thesis/​project.
  
-1. For the M.S. degree, a committee ​is required to review ​the thesis (Plan A) and to administer a final oral examination ​(Plans A and B)This committee consists of three members, ​one of whom must represent the minor field.+2. For the Ph.D. degree, a committee ​reviews ​the dissertation ​and administers the final examination. ​The committee consists of at least four members: the advisera theorist and an experimentalist from the major field of research, and a member from outside the Physics Graduate Program. The outside member may be from the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics,​ or from the Program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, if that person is able to represent the minor field.
  
-2For the Ph.D. degree, an initial committee is required to administer ​the preliminary oral examination and a second ​committee ​reviews the dissertation and administers the final examination. Usually these committees have the same membership, but that is not required and may change based on various considerations. ​ These committees consists of four members: the adviser, a theorist and an experimentalist from the major field of research, and a member from outside the Physics Graduate Program. The outside member may be from the Minnesota Institute ​for Astrophysics or from the Program in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, if that person is able to represent ​the minor field.+3The student in consultation with the adviser will nominate ​the committee members. The committee will be submitted ​for approval ​to the DGS.
  
-3. The Director ​of Graduate Studies will nominate ​the committee ​members in each case after receiving suggestions from the student and the adviser.+4. The adviser cannot serve as the chair of the committee.
  
-4At least one member of the Committee must have a physics specialty area (condensed matter, nuclear, etc.) which is outside of the specialty area of the student.+5The required steps for scheduling ​the final defense are given in the following [[https://​onestop.umn.edu/​academics/​doctoral-oral-exam-scheduling|Graduate School Page]].
  
-5. The adviser cannot serve as the chair of the committee.+5. The Director ​of Graduate Studies may make last-minute substitutions due to absence or illness using the above criteria. The Graduate School must approve of these substitutions.
  
-6. The Director of Graduate Studies may make last-minute substitutions due to absence or illness using the above criteriaThe Graduate School must approve of these substitutions.+6. Instructions for [[https://​onestop.umn.edu/​academics/​thesisdissertation-submission-and-formatting|dissertation submission and formatting]].
  
-==== Preliminary Oral Examination ====+===== Preliminary Oral Examination ​=====
  
-Third yearsix month extension by petition.+The preliminary oral exam must be passed by the end of the third year in our graduate program. A six month extension ​is possible ​by written ​petition ​to the DGS by the student'​s adviser.
  
- The committee consists of  four members, three from Physics and one from outside Physics ​ (for example, MIfA, EECS, CEMS, etc.). If there is a minor, the outside member should be from the minor field. ​ Beside the adviser, there should be both an experimental and a theoretical faculty member in the student'​s subfield of physics.+The preliminary oral exam committee consists of four members, three from Physics and one from outside Physics ​ (for example, MIfA, EECS, CEMS, etc.). If there is a minor, the outside member should be from the minor field. ​ Beside the adviser, there should be both an experimental and a theoretical faculty member in the student'​s subfield of physics.
  
-At the end of the examination,​ the Committee has three options: pass, pass with reservations and fail. Pass with reservations means that the student will need to do some specific work in order to lift the reservations. The nature of the work will be communicated to the student in writing within one week after the examination. ​ If the student does not pass the examination,​ 10 weeks have to elapse before ​retake. Decisions of the Committee ​must be approved by at least a 3 to 1 vote.  For more details, check http://​www.catalogs.umn.edu/​grad/​gen/​phd.html.+At the end of the examination,​ the Committee has three options: pass, pass with reservations and fail. Pass with reservations means that the student will need to do some specific work in order to lift the reservations. The nature of the work will be communicated to the student in writing within one week after the examination. If the student does not pass the examination,​ 10 weeks have to elapse before ​one allowed ​retake. Decisions of the committee ​must be approved by at least a 3 to 1 vote.
  
 The examination should not exceed 90 minutes. ​ The examination should not exceed 90 minutes. ​
  
-The exam is based on a concise written summary of a potential ​PhD research projectwhich may form the basis for the Ph.D. thesis. ​ The recommended length is between 10 and 15 pages (double spaced). It should be given to all the committee members at least two weeks in advance. This summary is written in close consultation with the adviser. The oral is not scheduled until the adviser agrees that it is ready for close examination. Note that this summary does not have to take the form of a thesis proposal, nor need it contain any original research done by the student. The exam begins with a presentation of the summary, which should last no more than 20 minutes, although questions during this part may extend this time period. The presentation is followed by questions from the committee. The balance of the exam should consist of questions suggested by the research summary and how it fits into the general framework of physics, but not necessarily confined to the research area. The courses listed on the Degree Program form the basis for this general part of the exam.+The exam is based on a concise written summary of a proposed ​PhD research project which may ultimately ​form the basis for the Ph.D. thesis. The recommended length is between 10 and 15 pages (double spaced). It should be given to all the committee members at least two weeks before ​the exam. Note that this summary does not have to contain any original research done by the student, although it may have preliminary results. The exam begins with a presentation of the summary, which should last no more than 20 minutes, although questions during this part may extend this time period. The presentation is followed by questions from the committee. The balance of the exam should consist of questions suggested by the research summary and how it fits into the general framework of physics, but not necessarily confined to the narrow ​research area. 
  
-1. Under normal circumstances,​ students ​should pass the Preliminary Oral Examination by the end of their third year.+1. Students ​should pass the Preliminary Oral Examination by the end of their third year.
  
-2. Students may not schedule the preliminary oral examination with the Graduate School until they have passed the graduate written exam and have an approved Graduate Degree Plan on file. Since approval may require some time, students are advised to file their Plans as far as possible in advance of the time at which they wish to take the preliminary oral examination. The specific time of the examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance.+2. Students may not schedule the preliminary oral examination with the Graduate School until they have passed the graduate written exam and have an approved Graduate Degree Plan on file. Since approval may require some time, students are advised to file their Graduate Degree ​Plans as far as possible in advance of the time at which they wish to take the preliminary oral examination. The specific time of the examination must be [[https://​onestop.umn.edu/​academics/​doctoral-oral-exam-scheduling|scheduled]] with the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance.
  
 3. A student who fails the preliminary oral examination must wait at least 10 weeks before retaking it. Only two attempts to pass the examination will be allowed. 3. A student who fails the preliminary oral examination must wait at least 10 weeks before retaking it. Only two attempts to pass the examination will be allowed.
  
-4. If student ​is judged to have passed ​the preliminary oral examination with reservations,​ the student ​will receive a letter from the chair of the committee ​within ​one week of the examination indicating what needs to be done to lift the reservations. ​Copies ​of this letter ​should ​be sent to the Graduate School and to the Director of Graduate Studies. When the reservations ​are lifted, a letter ​should be sent by the chair of the committee to the studentagain with copies to the Graduate School and the Director ​of Graduate Studies, indicating that the reservations ​have been lifted.+4. If the student ​passes ​the examination with reservations,​ the student ​is informed immediately,​ but the committee ​is permitted ​one week in which to convey its reservations to the student in writing, informing the student ​of the steps that must be taken to remove them, as well as a deadline by which the committee expects ​the reservations ​to be removedA copy of this letter ​must be sent to the GSSP along with the Preliminary Oral Examination Form. When the student has satisfied the committee'​s ​reservations,​ a second ​letter ​or email informing ​the student and GSSP that the reservations have been removed and that the student may proceed toward the degree is also required. The committee ​chair should write both letters. The final oral examination may not be scheduled until GSSP has received a copy of the letter indicating that the reservations have been removed. If the committee ​members disagree as to whether ​the reservations have been satisfactorily removed, the committee chair asks for another vote, the results ​of which are subject to the same voting proportions as the initial vote. A student who is unable to satisfy the committee'​s ​reservations ​may be terminated from doctoral candidacy and from the graduate program.
  
 5. Students must pass the preliminary oral examination at least one semester before receiving their Ph.D. degree. 5. Students must pass the preliminary oral examination at least one semester before receiving their Ph.D. degree.
  
-==== Grading Policy ====+===== Grading Policy ​=====
  
-1. At least two-thirds of all credit hours in an M.S. or a Ph.D. program must be taken on an A-N basis.+1. At least two-thirds of all credit hours in an M.Sc. or a Ph.D. program must be taken on an A-N basis.
  
-2. There are no formal grading restrictions on 8xxx level courses; however, an adviser may require a student to take at least one 8xxx course in the student'​s sub-field on an A-N basis.+2. There are no formal grading restrictions on 8000 level courses; however, an adviser may require a student to take at least one 8000 course in the student'​s sub-field on an A-N basis.
  
-3. The required core courses ​Physics ​5001/2 and 5011/2, if they are used on an M.S. or a Ph.D. program, must be taken on an A-N basis.+3. The required core courses ​PHYS 5001/2 and 5011/2, if they are used on an M.S. or a Ph.D. program, must be taken on an A-N basis.
  
 4. Instructors must clarify to students during the first two weeks of classes the standards of performance required under both the A-N and S-N grading systems. 4. Instructors must clarify to students during the first two weeks of classes the standards of performance required under both the A-N and S-N grading systems.
  
-==== Criteria for Registration Warnings and Holds ====+===== Criteria for Registration Warnings and Holds =====
  
 Registration warnings and holds may be issued for the following reasons: Registration warnings and holds may be issued for the following reasons:
  
-1. GPA below 3.3 for Ph.D students and 2.8 for M.S. students.+1. GPA below 3.3 in required core courses, or cumulative GPA below 3.0 for Ph.D students and 2.8 for M.S. students.
  
 2. More than 6 credits of "​Incomplete."​ 2. More than 6 credits of "​Incomplete."​
  
-3. No approved M.S. program (for M.S. students) by the end of the third semester+3. No approved M.Scgraduate degree ​program (for M.Sc. students) by the end of the third semester.
- +
-4. No approved Ph.D. program (for Ph.D. students) by the end of the third year. +
- +
-5. No submission of a Ph.D. Thesis Title Form by the beginning of the second semester following the passing of the preliminary oral examination.+
  
 +4. No approved Ph.D. graduate degree program (for Ph.D. students) by the end of the third year.
  
graduate_handbook/physics_graduate_policies.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/13 13:57 by vinals