PhD Degree Requirements – Post Masters Students

PhD Degree Requirements for Post-Masters Students

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) and the Astronomy Department guarantee five full years (12 months each) of financial support for students who maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. This support will be in the form of Teaching Fellowships, Research Assistantships, or Graduate Fellowships. Funding beyond five years is generally provided (but not guaranteed) to students who are working productively toward the PhD degree. The time limit for completion of the PhD is seven years (exceptions require a petition to GRS). A leave of absence of up to two semesters is permitted for appropriate cause, but the leave period counts towards the seven-year time limit. All classes must be completed with a grade B or better to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. The following are required to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress:

End of First Year

  • Completion of the 2 courses numbered AS705-749 offered that year

No Later than End of Second Year

  • Completion of the remaining course numbered AS705-749.
  • High Pass grade on the Written Astronomy Comprehensive Exam
  • Completion of AS 802 and 803 or approved substitutes.

No Later than End of Third Year

  • 4 credits for the astronomy seminar courses: GRS AS 850, 851, 865, or 866
  • Passing grade on the Oral Qualifying Examination

No Later than End of Fourth Year

  • Selection of the PhD Steering Committee by the end of the Fall semester.
  • Interim Progress Report submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) by the end 
of the spring semester, to be prepared in consultation with, and approved by the members of the PhD Committee.

No Later than End of Fifth Year

  • Interim Progress Report submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) by the end 
of the spring semester, to be prepared in consultation with, and approved by the members of the PhD Committee.

No Later than the End of Sixth Year

  • Dissertation Prospectus submitted to the DGS and GRS approximately one calendar year before the Final Oral Exam. Year-specific deadlines are available from GRS.

No Later than the End of Seventh Year

  • Coursework: complete all required courses.
  • Dissertation Abstract: approved by the DGS and chair, and submitted to GRS three weeks prior to Final Oral Exam.
  • Properly formatted draft of thesis submitted to readers and GRS two weeks before Final Oral Exam.
  • Departmental Seminar: a presentation of PhD research to the PhD committee and an audience of departmental students and faculty. It must be held immediately before the Final Oral Exam.
  • Final Oral Exam: At least four members of the PhD examining committee must vote to pass the candidate.
  • Dissertation: the final version of the dissertation and abstract, as revised following comments and suggestions by the PhD examination committee and the Department of Astronomy faculty, must be approved by the readers, as well as by the chair and director of graduate studies of the Department of Astronomy. The candidate should consult the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for the precise format and number of copies of the dissertation to be submitted to the Graduate School.
  • Registration requirement: A student must be registered in the preceding semester and in the semester during which the degree requirements are completed.