Guidelines for Satisfactory Progress

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are awarded competitively, and are granted and renewed with the stipulation that the recipient “maintain satisfactory performance as a student and as an instructor.” Current departmental policy is to provide support for MA and MFA students for two years and for PhD students for four years beyond the MA, unless at the time of entry into the doctoral program the Graduate Coordinator determines that more time will be necessary to fulfill the basic requirements.

Satisfactory progress toward the MA and PhD

  • By the end of the first academic year (2 semesters), the student must complete at least 12 credit hours (4 courses) exclusive of hours of ENG 6910 (Supervised Research) and LAE 6940 (Supervised Teaching).
  • A minimum 3.5 grade point average for all courses should be maintained. At any rate, the GPA of a TA must never fall below 3.0 since the Graduate School will not approve a re-appointment in that case.
  • A grade of I (Incomplete) is calculated as an “E” (that is, as a 0.0 grade) if it is not converted to another grade within one semester of its assignment. In other words, for every course you fail to finish in the fall, you will have the equivalent of an “E” factored into your GPA by the end of the following spring term; for every course you fail to finish in the spring, you will have an “E” calculated into your grade by the end of summer. It is therefore crucial that you do the work to remove an “I” grade as expeditiously as possible.
  • Students who enter the program with MAs must complete 12 credit hours (4 courses) in their first academic year.
  • By the end of the second summer of the second academic year the MA student must complete either 30 credit hours for thesis option (8 courses + 6 thesis hours) or 32 credit hours for nonthesis option (10 courses + 2 hours for comprehensive exam), exclusive of ENG 6910 and LAE 6940, required for the MA degree. Nonthesis MA students should take their track examination by the end of their fourth semester (not including summers).
  • No degree will be awarded to a student whose cumulative average falls below 3.0.
  • By the end of the spring of the fourth academic year (second year for students entering with an MA or MFA), doctoral students must complete the 51 hours (MA plus 7 courses) required by the Department for the PhD degree.

Satisfactory progress toward the MFA

  • By the end of the first academic year (two semesters), you must complete four graded courses (12 credit hours), exclusive of reading tutorials (CRW 6906). The four courses normally include two workshops, and all courses must satisfy degree requirements. You must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5.
  • All students are subject to an annual review of their progress late in the spring semester. If your GPA is below 3.5 at this time, your appointment may not be renewed. Normally students who have raised their GPA above 3.5 by the end of the spring semester will receive a teaching assistantship for their second year.
  • If your GPA falls below 3.0, the Graduate School will not process your fee waiver for the following semester and will not approve reappointment for the following year. If the low GPA can be raised by finishing an Incomplete, you may be able to clear the Incomplete before it affects your status. If at any point you expect to have problems with grades, please see the Graduate Coordinator to discuss your options.
  • A grade of I (Incomplete) is calculated as an “E” (that is, as a 0.0 grade) if it is not converted to another grade within one semester of its assignment. In other words, for every course you fail to finish in the fall, you will have the equivalent of an “E” factored into your GPA by the end of the following spring term; for every course you fail to finish in the spring, you will have an “E” calculated into your grade by the end of summer. It is therefore crucial that you do the work to remove an “I” grade as expeditiously as possible.
  • By the end of the spring semester of the second academic year, the student should complete the 48 credit hours required for the MFA degree.