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Grading and Seminar Evaluations

Students enrolled in department seminars receive credit for their participation on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis. In addition to assigning a S/U grade, the instructor in a seminar or independent study project prepares a brief but specific Report on the Graduate Student evaluating each student's contribution and achievement. These reports are kept in the student's cumulative file. Copies of these evaluations are given to students by the graduate coordinator as a matter of record. Students may write comments in response to faculty evaluations. These will also become part of the file. These records constitute the basis for the department's annual report to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (OGSR) on each student's status.

Seminar Requirements

Each student in the seminar will participate by doing at least one project, such as an oral presentation, bibliographical work, seminar paper, or other similar project. The specific nature of the project or projects is set by the instructor and announced in advance. Seminar papers will not exceed 15 pages in length and must be submitted before the end of the quarter. Seminar papers should be relevant to the material covered in the seminar and not "recycled" from former seminars.

Students must strive to keep up with seminar readings, assignments, and papers. Failure to submit seminar papers in the quarter they are due will result in a U. Likewise, erratic attendance and failing to complete readings and other assignments will be noted in the narrative evaluation.


S/U: A grade of S indicates that the student has finished all the seminar requirements in a satisfactory manner and at a level equal to that of the other students enrolled in the seminar. A grade of U is understood to indicate that the student's performance was not on a par with that of the other students in the seminar. To maintain acceptable graduate status and continuation of funding, students may have no more than two Us on their record.

Incomplete: The Incomplete grade (I) may be assigned by the instructor when a student's work is of non-failing quality, but is incomplete for good cause. The student must obtain the instructor's approval on the "Request to Receive Grade Incomplete" form prior to the final examination week. Instructors are required to file the "Request to Receive Grade Incomplete and Removal of Grade Incomplete" form with their grade reports. They must fill out the portions stating the reason for the request and specify the work necessary for completion.

Graduate students assigned the grade of I will have one quarter to complete the necessary work or paper(s). If the work is not completed, the Incomplete will automatically be changed by the Registrar to an Unsatisfactory (U) or Failure (F) at the end of the quarter following the awarding of the Incomplete.

The department strongly discourages graduate students from requesting the Incomplete grade, since failure to remove the Incomplete will jeopardize both good standing and financial support.

Report on the Graduate Student

The faculty member's narrative evaluation (Report on the Graduate Student) centers on the nature of the student's participation in the seminar and completion of the projects assigned. It may include evaluation of a paper done in connection with work in the seminar. Faculty are expected to complete their narrative evaluations within 30 days following the close of the quarter in which the seminar was offered.

OGS Annual Evaluations

The University requires the Department to evaluate each doctoral student annually.

Students who have not advanced to candidacy will be evaluated by a faculty member of their section, usually one who has taught or advised them. According to the Graduate Council, the evaluation will indicate "the degree to which students are, over-all, progressing satisfactorily in their studies, their strengths and weaknesses as students and, where applicable, as teaching and/or research assistants. These evaluations should contain cogent and clear advice to students."

Students who have advanced to candidacy are evaluated by a member of their Ph.D. advisory committee; the form is counter-signed by two other committee members. According to the Graduate Council, this evaluation will "cover the student's progress to date, recommended modifications to the dissertations scope or methodology, timetable for completion, and recommendation for support in the following year."

Before the annual evaluations are sent to OGS, students will be asked to read and sign their evaluations. They will also be asked to indicate whether or not they agree with the evaluation. Annual evaluations are retained by OGS as part of students' permanent files.

Graduate Coordinator
Kristin Carnohan
115 Literature Building
(858) 534-3217

Application Open:
9/1 - 12/1 (deadline)