1.4 Degree Progress, Planning, and Time Limits

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1.4.1 Progress to Degree Checklists

The Progress to Degree Checklists are designed to help you navigate your progress to degree by providing a chronological framework that, semester by semester, lists significant milestones, forms, and ideas to consider as you fulfill Program of Study (POS) requirements and begin your professionalization.

1.4.2 Degree Planning Sheets (DPS)

The Degree Planning Sheet (DPS) will help you plan and document how you will meet your program of study requirements by listing the courses you have taken, are taking, and will take. All graduate students are required to complete a Degree Planning Sheet and other appropriate POS documentation by the announced semester deadline (typically in the 6th week of the semester). These must be submitted electronically to the Graduate Program Administrative Assistant (englgrad@iastate.edu), at the same time as submitting for approval the online Graduate College Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC).

You will work on this form in consultation with your assigned program advisor or Major professor. This departmental form also serves as a useful tool to help you complete the online Graduate College Program of Study and Committee Form (POSC) in your AccessPlus account. The DPS and the process for completing the POSC Form are addressed more completely in each degree program section of this manual.

The deadlines are listed below and exact dates each semester are posted on our Graduate Program’s Deadlines website.

  • 2nd semester of coursework for MA program graduate assistants (GAs)
    (or non-GA MA students upon completion of 9 POS credit hours after entry into the graduate program)
  • 4th semester of coursework for MFA program graduate assistants (GAs)
    (or non-GA MFA students upon completion of 27 POS credit hours after entry into the graduate program)
  • 5th semester of coursework for PhD program graduate assistants (GAs)
    (or non-GA PhD students upon completion of 36 POS credit hours after entry into the graduate program)

1.4.3 Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory progress toward your degree is defined by the following conditions:

  • you are not on academic probation with a GPA of 3.0 or below
  • you have no more than 6 credits of I (Incomplete) excluding Engl 599 or 699 credits
  • you have completed the Graduate College English Language Requirement if applicable
  • you have filed appropriate forms (e.g., DPS, the POSC Form) by the required time
  • you have taken and passed any required examinations (e.g., the PhD portfolio assessment) by the required semester

1.4.4 Time-to-degree limits

The Graduate College time-to-degree limit for all graduate students, both master’s and Ph.D., is seven years. In the English Department, an M.A. student is expected to complete the program within two years, an M.F.A. student within three years, and a PhD student with a master’s degree within five years (without the master’s degree within seven years). Extending the seven-year time limit will only be considered in the event of rare circumstances involving medical or other extenuating situations and are dealt with individually by the DOGE, the student’s POS committee, and the Graduate College.