Mentoring Quick Guide:

The DGS, ICaP, and main English offices are always ready and willing to advise students and their mentors about any departmental or university requirements or questions. But because many students will naturally go to their major professors first, we’ve put together a quick cheat-sheet to some of the most common queries that come up.

What is the time-to-degree for the graduate program?

How do we deal with the language requirement?

What if students need to undertake academic travel during the semester?

What do we need to know about the Plan of Study?

Can students work more than the standard 0.5 appointment?

What do I do if my student is having problems with an instructor or other university official?

I want a copy of the grad manual to make sure I’m up to date on the latest details. Where do I get it?

 


What is the time-to-degree for the graduate program?

For MAs: Students should finish their 30 credits of coursework and the language requirement within two years, at the end of which they may either take the MA exam or defend a thesis.

For MFAs: Students should finish their 30 credits of coursework within two years. Ideally the language requirement should also be finished in this interval. Students then have a third year to compose and defend an original creative thesis project.

For PhDs: Think 2:1:2 – Students have two years for coursework, one for exams (prelims in the fall and the prospectus defense in the spring), and two years for dissertating. Ideally the language requirement will also be completed within the two coursework years, but, in any case, students cannot advance to ABD status without it.

 

How do we deal with the language requirement?

This is treated in detail in the grad manual, but here’s a nutshell version:

There are many ways to fulfill the requirement, but they essentially boil down to taking coursework, passing an exam, or being a native speaker of a language other than English (requires the approval of advisor and DGS). MFA students may also elect to do a translation project (see grad manual for details). To fulfill the language requirement, a language needs to be modern (e.g., not Latin), and spoken by humans (i.e., we do not at this time accept programming languages).

Purdue offers a number of graduate-level language classes; to use one for the requirement, students need to earn a B- or higher. Incoming students may also be able to satisfy the requirement through a major or minor done at the undergraduate level, or through a language requirement undertaken during a previous MA degree. Consult the DGS office in such cases.

MA and MFA students cannot graduate without fulfilling the language requirement, even if they’ve fulfilled every other requirement. PhD students cannot advance to ABD status without fulfilling the language requirement. For these reasons, we strongly urge students and their advisors to plan for this requirement earlier rather than later.

What if students need to undertake academic travel during the semester?

First of all, we have travel support: remind them to apply for it!

It is best for students not to miss their teaching obligations during the semester; however (just as with their professors), we know this is sometimes unavoidable, and we want our students to represent Purdue in the outside world proudly and with confidence. Students should do everything possible to minimize missed classes, and must inform the relevant directors if they need to miss class for any reason (illness, travel, FMLA, etc.).

For ICaP: Linda Haynes

For lit or film classes: Barbara Dixon

For CW classes: Brian Leung

For PW classes: Michael Salvo

Students should try to arrange for their own substitutes, but program directors also stand ready to help them with this as needed.  

Important: as per university policy, any student missing more than 10 days of class will be dropped from payroll retroactive to the first missed class date.

 

What do we need to know about the Plan of Study?

The Plan of Study should be filed in October of a student’s second year (i.e., in the third semester). Details vary by degree and program, so check with the grad manual or DGS office, but here are a few constants:

  • Students need 30 credits (10 classes)
  • To count on the Plan of Study, a class must be worth 3 credits, and must be graded (no S/U or P/NP)
  • Students may use up to two 590 classes (to use more, you will need to petition the DGS)
  • Students may, under some circumstances, use a language class on the PoS, but only if it is not being used to fulfill the language requirement

And please remember that the Plan of Study is easy to amend. Its purpose is not to lock students into a course of study early on, but rather to make sure they’re on track and have a valid pathway to finish their course of study on time. Substituting courses, adding or changing committee members, etc. are perfectly normal actions; just see the DGS office for the necessary form.

 

Can students work more than the standard 0.5 appointment?

Generally speaking, yes they can, if they are making good progress to degree and have your written permission (Janeen has the form).

However, working over 0.75 time requires the consent of both the adviser and the DGS – and is strongly discouraged.

What do I do if my student is having problems with an instructor or other university official?

That’s why we have a DGS office! Send them to us; we can either help or put them in touch with others who can.

 

I want a copy of the grad manual to make sure I’m up to date on the latest details. Where do I get it?

There are always copies available in the DGS office, and it’s accessible online as well.

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