Fourth-Term Review

By the end of your third term in the Ph.D. program, the graduate chair will appoint another faculty member to join your mentoring committee in a review of your progress in the program. This committee, chaired by the appointed faculty member, will meet with you by the end of the second month of the fourth term to discuss its review of your work and plans.

Materials required for the Fourth-Term Review:

  • All of your term papers, for courses both inside and outside the department. If there is no term paper for a course, you should select a representative paper, papers, or writing sample
  • If you have taught, your student evaluations as well as the elementary language director’s written observations on your teaching
  • A 4-5 page statement in which you present a self-assessment of your intellectual development during the first three terms of graduate school at U-M and outline plans for continuing studies. The statement should detail (a) your progress and plans for acquiring appropriate general knowledge of your field; and (b) your plans for identifying and developing a special area of expertise within that field. You should refer specifically to courses already taken and to plans for further coursework through the end of the third year.
  • Your transcript
  • The letters of evaluation completed by faculty members at the conclusion of each graduate course

Discussion with the Committee
You will have a formal meeting with your review committee, generally between two and four weeks after the dossier has been submitted.

In this meeting, the committee will help you identify strengths and weaknesses and offer suggestions for improvement. The committee will also evaluate your coursework and offer suggestions regarding plans for continuing general education in your field and for identifying and developing a special area of expertise in which you would do dissertation research.

Part of the discussion may be conducted in your major language of specialization.

Results of the Review
Within a week of this discussion, the committee chair will provide you with a written summary of its evaluation, comments, and suggestions. These will include the committee's recommendation to the graduate committee as to whether you should be allowed to continue your study for the Ph.D. A negative recommendation is made when the review committee believes that you will not be able to pass the preliminary examinations or write an acceptable dissertation. In the event of a negative recommendation, you may send the graduate committee a letter replying to the review committee report. A final decision on whether you may continue in the program or not will be made by the graduate committee.

Applying for an M.A. degree
At this point, if you have completed all the requirements, you can apply to the Rackham School for Graduate Studies for an M.A. degree. To do this, you must have completed at least 24 credit hours, including Romance Linguistics 528 and Romance Languages 681. Applying for an M.A. degree does not automatically indicate termination of studies.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Assistant.