Standards and Evaluations

The Department of Psychology has set forth both performance standards and evaluation procedures in order to optimize various aspects of the graduate program experience. By doing so, our intent is to foster opportunities for meaningful coursework and research experiences. Our goal is to also move students through the graduate program in a timely manner. In this way, students are supported and provided feedback throughout each stage of their graduate career.

Student Performance Standards

Continuation in the graduate program requires students to perform to the following standards:


  • All graduate students must maintain a B average (GPA of 3.0).
  • Courses for which a grade less than B was obtained cannot be counted towards degree requirements.

Research Productivity

  • Students should show continual activity in research throughout the term of their graduate studies.
  • The quality/quantity of this research is evaluated regularly by supervising faculty members.

Continued Progress Toward the Degree Goal

Students are expected to complete various elements of the graduate program (MA to PhD) within specified time limits.

Milestone Expected Within Status Review Max
MA proposal accepted 1.5 yrs 2 yrs 2.5 yrs
MA defense passed 2.5 yrs 3 yrs 4 yrs
Comp Exam proposal 3.0 yrs 4 yrs 4.5 yrs
Comp Exam passed 4.5 yrs 5 yrs 5.5 yrs
PhD proposal accepted 4.5 yrs 5 yrs 6 yrs
PhD defense passed 6 yrs 7 yrs 8 yrs
Internship application (for clinical students only) 4.5 yrs 6 yrs 6.5 yrs
  • Column One - Milestones of the Graduate Program.
  • Column Two - For each milestone, the number of years expected from entry into the program to complete the milestone .
  • Column Three - If students fail to complete the milestone by the time of the year-end evaluation, the program area faculty will consider whether the student's rating should reflect unsatisfactory progress and, if so, a meeting will be scheduled with the student, the advisor, and the Program Director to discuss the student's progress. During this meeting, the student will present a timeline for degree completion. Once approved by the advisor and the Program Director, this timeline will be used to assess student progress each year until degree completion. Any deviation from this timeline will result in a review by the program area faculty, who may place the student on probation or consider a recommendation for dismissal from the program.
  • Column Four - The maximum amount of time allowed for each milestone, which will be followed unless there are extenuating circumstances that are approved by the program area faculty.

Note that these progress guidelines will be adjusted individually for students who enter the program with a MA degree.

Student Evaluations

Graduate student academic performance is evaluated annually following procedures established by the individual program area.

Evaluation Procedures

  1. Students should submit information about their academic progress to their Program Director.
  2. The Program Director will share students' submissions with the program area faculty.
  3. The Program Director will generate a written evaluation in consultation with the student's program area faculty and based on the student's submission. This evaluation includes an assessment of the student's overall performance, as well as specific areas of concern (if any exist).
  4. The evaluation is presented to the student, and a meeting to review the evaluation is scheduled between the student and their faculty advisor, if needed.
  5. A copy of both the student input (their original submission) and the written evaluation is submitted to the Graduate Studies Chair for placement in the student's file.

Satisfactory Evaluations

  • Satisfactory evaluations will be given to those students who meet the performance standards in all areas.
  • Excellent evaluations will be given to students performing beyond the performance standards.

Unsatisfactory Evaluations

An unsatisfactory evaluation is given to students who fail to meet any or all of the performance standards.

  • Departmental Probation: An unsatisfactory evaluation may result in a student being placed on departmental probation. Continuation in the graduate program will be contingent on the timely and satisfactory completion of remedial requirements as described in the evaluation.
  • Graduate Division Probation: In situations where remedial requirements are not completed in a timely and satisfactory manner, the student may be placed on probation at the Graduate Division level.
  • Termination: If students do not complete the necessary remedial requirements after one semester of being placed on probation by Graduate Division they may be terminated. Students terminated from any program in the Department of Psychology are considered terminated from the entire Department of Psychology.