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Satisfactory Academic Progress

This page summarizes important deadlines and criteria for maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress can lead to being placed on probation by The Graduate School (TGS) and ultimate exclusion (dismissal) from the program and Northwestern University.

This page should be read in conjunction with the general degree requirements and the policies on Satisfactory Progress, Probation and Exclusion of The Graduate School.

M.A. DEGREE

Program length: Master’s students must complete all requirements for the master's degree within five years of initial registration in TGS. Students who do not complete degree requirements by the established deadlines will not be considered in good academic standing, will not be eligible for financial aid and will be subject to TGS 513 (advanced continuous registration). Students may submit a petition to extend the degree deadline, but those students will not be eligible for financial aid and will be subject to TGS 513.

Grades and cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): A student whose overall grade average is below B (3.0 GPA) or who has more than three incomplete (Y or X) grades is not making satisfactory academic progress and will be placed on probation by TGS.

Ph.D. DEGREE

Program length: Doctoral students must complete all requirements for the Ph.D. within nine years of initial registration in TGS. Students who do not complete degree requirements by the established deadlines will not be considered in good academic standing, will not be eligible for financial aid and will be subject to TGS 513 (advanced continuous registration). Students may submit a petition to extend the degree deadline, but those students will not be eligible for financial aid and will be subject to TGS 513.

Grades and cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA): A student whose overall grade average is below B (3.0 GPA) or who has more than three incomplete (Y or X) grades is not making satisfactory academic progress and will be placed on probation by TGS.

Candidacy. Effective with the entering class of 2013, doctoral students must be admitted to candidacy (demonstrated competency in the three core areas of econometrics, microeconomics and econometrics) by the end of their first year. The process for demonstrating competence is described in the Goals for First Year Graduate Students. Students failing to demonstrate competence will be excluded from the PhD program and from Northwestern University as of the final day of the Summer Quarter at the end of their First Year. (However, an "M.A. Pass" is also obtainable on the written preliminary examinations. It is sufficient for filing for a Masters Degree if the Economics 410, 411 and 480 sequences have been completed with a 3.00 grade point average, but it is not sufficient for staying in the Ph.D. program.)

Dissertation Prospectus: Students must have completed the taught course component of Ph.D. degree and had their prospectus (dissertation proposal) approved by their committee no later than the end of the Fall Quarter in their fourth year of study, which falls on the last date of the 13th quarter of study. Any student not meeting this milestone will be placed on probation. A student who fails to resume satisfactory academic standing after at most two quarters, which is the say the last date of the Spring Quarter in their fourth year of study (last date of the 15th quarter of study), will be excluded (dismissed) from the program and Northwestern University.

Good Progress on Dissertation: Students in their fifth year and above must be certified as making “good progress” on their dissertation by July 31 at the end of each year. Any student not meeting this milestone will be placed on probation. A student who fails to resume satisfactory academic standing after at most two quarters, which is the say the last date of the following Winter Quarter, will be excluded (dismissed) from the program and Northwestern University.

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