Transfer of Credit
Leave of Absence
Evaluations and Examinations
Public Presentation and Defense Examination
Publication and Submission
Regarding Tutoring Students for Compensation
Petition for Readmission After Reaching the Maximum Time to Degree
Copyright and Patent Policies
New Parent Accommodation
Family Leave of Absence Policy
Graduate Grades and Academic Standing
Change of a Graduate Group
Institutional Courtesy/Exchange Programs
University-Wide Academic Rules for Graduate Degrees
The master’s degree represents the successful completion of at least a full academic year (two terms) of graduate work including some training in research.
A minimum of eight course units is required for the master’s degree. Additional work may be prescribed in individual cases. Any student registered for the full amount of four course units may register as an auditor for one additional course with the permission of the graduate dean. No more than four course units in any one term may be counted toward the minimum requirement of eight course units. No course may be counted toward degree requirements if it has been used toward the requirements for more than one other degree.
A prospective candidate for a master’s degree must complete at least four course units in the field of the major, and the work as a whole shall be directed by the chairperson of the graduate group concerned.
In the case of a research requirement (thesis, seminar, or laboratory course), the candidate shall also:
(1) prepare a thesis in the field of the major subject; or
(2) complete a course of research character or engage in supervised research, as the graduate group shall direct, which, in either case, shall be of at least one term in duration and shall include the preparation of at least one comprehensive scholarly or scientific paper.
A thesis or research paper based on joint work with other researchers is allowed, provided that, in such cases, a unique and separate document is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a master’s thesis or research paper by more than one degree candidate is not allowed.
If a thesis is required, two printed copies shall be deposited in the Graduate Division Office by the date specified in the degree calendar for that term. Specific information regarding the form in which the master’s thesis manuscripts are to be prepared must be obtained from the Graduate Division Office.
A general examination by the graduate group in the major subject is required in addition to all other examinations. The purpose of this examination is to test the candidate’s knowledge of his or her major subject in its broader aspects and proficiency in the particular courses he or she has taken. This examination may be oral, written, or both, at the discretion of the graduate group. The mere satisfaction of minimum requirements does not entitle the student to be admitted to this examination.
With the approval of the Graduate Council of the Faculties, the graduate group may substitute other assessment procedures for the general examination as a means of assuring that master’s students have broad knowledge of the field.
At least eight course units of the total program required for the master’s degree must be completed in a graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania or through an approved program at another school. Where more than eight course units are required, graduate work done at other universities may be accepted for the balance of the course requirements, if approved by the graduate dean. A student may transfer courses completed at other graduate schools of the University with the approval of the appropriate graduate dean. No work done as an undergraduate, whether done at this institution or at any other, will be counted toward a higher degree. (Graduate courses completed by an undergraduate as part of submatriculation in a graduate group count as graduate courses and, therefore, may be counted toward graduate degree requirements.)
Credit towards satisfaction of the minimum course requirements for a post-baccalaureate degree can be given for a maximum of four course units of work completed while registered in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies.
The minimum requirement of eight course units must be completed within six consecutive years with the understanding that one additional year will be allowed for the completion of a thesis if required.
Registration takes place in the fall and spring semesters. Research masters students who are candidates for an August degree remain full-time students through August 31st without summer registration.
A student who wishes a leave of absence must submit a written request to his or her graduate group chairperson for initial approval and then to the appropriate dean for final approval. The granting of a leave of absence does not automatically change the time limit. Time spent in military service does not count under the time limit.
The doctor of philosophy degree is conferred in recognition of marked ability and high attainment in a specific branch of learning. The Ph.D. degree is granted by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania upon the approval of the Graduate Council of the Faculties and upon satisfaction of all degree requirements, including acceptance of the dissertation by the student’s Dissertation Committee. Students may enroll in more than one degree program with prior permission of both schools/programs; only one Ph.D. is earned.
The University’s standards, set forth below, are to be viewed as minimum requirements. The school or the graduate group has the right to establish additional requirements and to refuse to examine any student who is not qualified according to its standards. If there are additional program or school requirements, that information must be communicated and available to all students.
Graduate groups determine the curricular requirements for their programs. The course of study can include a combination of specific required courses, electives, teaching, independent study or laboratory rotations, colloquia, and demonstration through examination of comprehensive knowledge in the major field.
A student who enters the Ph.D. program with a bachelors degree will be expected to spend two to three years taking 3-4 course units a semester before satisfying the graduate group’s academic requirements, passing the required examinations and being advanced to candidacy. Graduate groups may require more extensive preparation through additional work, especially those programs with substantial language requirements. Students in some programs, such as those in science fields, may begin dissertation-related research before advancing to candidacy. Students who enter with a masters degree or other transfer credit may satisfy the formal course requirements more quickly. Graduate groups have flexibility to establish the optimal timetable and requirements for their own students and to respond to the specific academic needs of individual students.
The customary maximum load for a Ph.D. student is four course units each semester; exceptions for a fifth course unit may be made in extraordinary cases upon approval of the graduate dean.
Graduate groups may establish examination requirements in addition to the University’s standards described below.
A Qualifications Evaluation of each student is conducted in the first two years. The evaluation is designed by the graduate group and may be based on an examination or on a review of a student’s overall academic progress. Satisfaction of this requirement is necessary in order to continue in the graduate program and is recorded in the student’s academic record. The student and the school’s graduate office must be notified of the outcome of the evaluation.
A Candidacy Examination on the major subject area is required. This examination is normally held after the candidate has completed all required courses and may be satisfied by the successful defense of a dissertation proposal. It may be oral, written, or both, at the discretion of the graduate group. Feedback will be provided to the student within one month. Satisfactory completion of the Candidacy Examination requirement is recorded in the student’s academic record. Upon successful completion of the Candidacy Examination, the student is advanced to candidacy. Normally, a student should advance to candidacy by the end of the third year. The maximum time limit for a student to be advanced to candidacy is five years, after which time the student will be dropped from the rolls.
The student and dissertation supervisor meet regularly (at least twice a year and, in many cases, much more frequently) to establish expectations and review the progress of the student’s research.
DISSERTATION COMMITTEE COMPOSITION AND MEETINGS
Upon advancement to candidacy, each student has a Dissertation Committee consisting of at least three faculty members (including at least two members of the graduate group). At least half of the members of the dissertation committee must be members of the graduate group at the time of appointment to the committee. Faculty who are not members of the graduate group may serve only with the written approval of the graduate group. The authority to approve membership on committees may be delegated to the graduate chair. A graduate group may establish additional requirements, such as a requirement for outside reviewers on the dissertation committee.
The Chair of the Dissertation Committee must be a member of the Standing Faculty in the graduate group. If the Chair of a dissertation committee leaves the Standing Faculty before the dissertation is completed, then a new chair from the Standing Faculty in the Graduate Group must be appointed as chair. The dissertation committee chair is responsible for convening committee meetings, advising the student on graduate group and university expectations, and assuring the graduate group chair that the group’s requirements have been met. The Dissertation Supervisor may serve as Chair of the Dissertation Committee, but is not required to do so.
The Dissertation Supervisor is the person primarily responsible for overseeing the student’s dissertation research. A student may have both a Dissertation Supervisor and a Dissertation Co-Supervisor, or two Dissertation Co-Supervisors, if that responsibility is shared equally.
Dissertation Supervisors, and Dissertation Co-Supervisors, must be members of the Standing Faculty at Penn, with special approved exceptions. A member of the Associated Faculty (such as Research Faculty or Adjunct Faculty) may be permitted to serve as a Dissertation Supervisor with prior approval of the Vice Provost for Education on a case by case basis. The Graduate Group Chair may petition the Vice Provost for Education, in advance, for an exception. In such cases, a member of the Standing Faculty in the graduate group must be appointed as the Dissertation Committee Chair.
The Dissertation Committee meets at least once annually with the student to review the student’s progress. The student prepares an Annual Dissertation Progress Report and the committee gives timely feedback (within one month) and confirms whether progress is satisfactory. A copy of the signed progress report is submitted to the Supervisor/Advisor and Graduate Group Chair and is documented by the school in the student’s PhD Worksheet.
Dissertations based on joint work with other researchers are allowed, provided that, in such cases, a unique and separate dissertation is presented by each degree candidate. The candidate must include a concise account of his or her contribution to the whole work. Authorship of a dissertation by more than one degree candidate is not allowed.
A public, oral presentation of the dissertation is required. The presentation may take the form of a workshop based on a complete draft of the dissertation, or it may be based on the final version of the dissertation, depending on the rules of the graduate group. In either case, the presentation must either include or be followed by an oral examination. This examination may be private if specified by the rules of the graduate group.
At least three members of the dissertation committee must participate in the defense. Participation of one of the three may be via video or audio.
In exceptional and compelling circumstances, and with the permission of the Graduate Group Chair, a student may defend the dissertation using video conferencing (e.g., Skype, Google Chat, FaceTime).
By the prescribed deadline, the graduate group shall report to the Graduate Division Office of the School of Arts and Sciences regarding acceptance of the dissertation and its suitability for immediate publication. The report shall include the date and location of the oral presentation or the date of the meeting of the dissertation committee, the names of the dissertation committee members, and whether they individually approve the dissertation. The student and the Advisor/Supervisor will also be given a copy of the report.
Dissertations must follow the format prescribed in the Dissertation Manual. Candidates also should familiarize themselves with any special requirements imposed by the graduate groups under which they are working.
The dissertation is, essentially, a manuscript. In some fields, the dissertation may consist of articles published by the student during the course of the PhD program, accompanied by a narrative explaining the context and significance of the collected works. Essential supplementary mixed media files, such as photographs, audio recordings, and film may be submitted to augment the written text.
All Penn PhD dissertations are published by ProQuest and a hard copy is placed in the Penn Library once the student graduates. Beginning in fall 2015, Penn will also require open access publication of dissertations in the institutional repository, Scholarly Commons. Students should discuss with their advisor whether a delay in publication is necessary or advisable. Students may apply for delay in publication by Proquest and in Scholarly Commons as follows: A request for a three-year delay is approved automatically. A request for a delay of an additional three years requires approval by the Graduate Group Chair. In the event that a further delay is needed, the graduate should petition his or her School’s Graduate Dean (or Associate Dean for Graduate Studies) for an extension.
All PhD dissertations must be submitted in digital format through ProQuest’s ETD Administrator module.
REGARDING TUTORING STUDENTS FOR COMPENSATION
Many PhD programs have an academic requirement that students teach for one or more semesters. Teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships are done under the supervision of the faculty instructor. The Center for Teaching and Learning is a valuable resource for all graduate students interested in improving their professionalism as teachers – even those who do not have the opportunity to serve as a TA.
A Teaching Assistant (or Teaching Fellow) shall not be allowed to tutor for compensation any student that s/he is grading or has influence in assessing.
A student who will conduct dissertation research abroad for the semester registers for Dissertation Research Abroad status. Full tuition is charged to students in years 1-5, reduced tuition to students in years 6-10; a reduced general fee is charged for students on Dissertation Research Abroad regardless of their year.
As of 2010-11, the University’s maximum time limit for completion is ten years after matriculation; some graduate groups and schools have established more stringent criteria. Graduate students who have been dropped after ten years may petition the graduate group to return as a student for a maximum of one year in order to achieve recertification and defend the dissertation. (See sections below on Petition for Readmission and Recertification.)
Combined degree students (e.g., M.D.-Ph.D.s) typically enroll full-time in medical school during the first two years of study and do not begin full time Ph.D. course work until the third year; for these students, the ten-year time limit begins at the start of full-time Ph.D. study.
PETITION FOR READMISSION AFTER REACHING THE MAXIMUM TIME TO DEGREE
A student who has been dropped after reaching the maximum time limit may petition the graduate group to return as a student for a maximum of one further year in order to achieve recertification and complete and defend the dissertation. Faculty members have no obligation to continue working with a student who has been dropped, nor is there any presumption that a graduate group will respond favorably to a petition for re-admission. If a graduate group wishes to recommend re-admission, it must present to the graduate dean a list of faculty members willing to serve as a dissertation committee and a detailed, realistic plan of how the student will, within one year of reenrollment, achieve recertification, pass the dissertation examination, and submit the final copy of the dissertation. If re-admission is approved by the graduate dean, the student must pay Reduced Tuition for two semesters, unless all requirements are completed within one semester. A student may petition for readmission at the time s/he is dropped from the program, or at a later date. The student should be fully ready and committed to completing within a one-year timeframe; enrollment will not be extended beyond that final year, and no further petition for readmission will be considered by the University.
If the graduate group and graduate dean approve the petition for readmission, the student must immediately be recertified. In order to ensure that a student’s dissertation research remains at the frontier of current research in the field, the student must retake and pass the Candidacy Examination, or satisfy alternative recertification criteria designed by their graduate group and approved by the Graduate Council of the Faculties. The new deadline for completion of all requirements for the Ph.D., including recertification, shall be within one year.
APPROVED INDIVIDUAL GRADUATE GROUP RECERTIFICATION POLICIES:
The following policies have been approved by the Graduate Council of the Faculties and supplement the University’s Recertification Policy.
ANTHROPOLOGY (Revised July 2010)
Students who have not completed the dissertation within the University’s maximum time limit may apply for readmission, but must then complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year. In order to reapply, the student should have a complete draft of their dissertation that has been approved by their advisor. At that point, the student should meet with the graduate chair, who will then bring the student’s case before the graduate group for a vote. Should the vote support the student’s readmission, the graduate chair will present the case to the graduate dean, outlining the student’s outstanding requirements and a timetable for completing them. In some cases, the student may be asked to repeat the Candidacy Examination in order to demonstrate a satisfactory grasp of current scholarship in the field. The graduate dean then reviews the case, and if it is approved, writes a letter formally spelling out the arrangements, and the tuition and fees that the student will be expected to pay.
COMMUNICATION (Revised June 2010)
Students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including the deposit of the dissertation, within ten years of matriculating must submit all written work they have completed on their dissertation to a committee comprised of a minimum of three members of the Communications standing faculty. This committee may be the student’s dissertation committee or, if that committee is not intact, an Ad Hoc committee appointed by the Committee on Graduate Studies. The committee members will evaluate this material (they may, at their discretion, meet with the student), and take one of the following actions: (1) require the student to retake all or part of the Comprehensive Examination (if the committee believes there is a question about the continued currency of the student’s research); (2) impose other conditions such as the committee believes will ensure the currency and timely completion of the student’s work toward the Ph.D.; (3) recommend to the Committee on Graduate Studies that the student be disqualified from continued doctoral candidacy (if the committee believes the written work provides insufficient evidence of progress toward the completion of an adequate doctoral dissertation). In the case of (1) or (2), above, the committee will report its decisions and actions to the Committee on Graduate Studies. Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year.
COMPARATIVE LITERATURE (Revised July 2010)
Students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including the deposit of the dissertation, within the University’s maximum time limit must retake the dissertation prospectus exam (also known as the “final exam”). This exam will involve submitting an updated version of the prospectus to the student’s committee; the committee must approve the new prospectus in order for the student to satisfy the recertification requirement. Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year.
ECONOMICS (Revised July 2010)
Students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including the deposit of the dissertation, within the University’s maximum time limit retake the Dissertation Proposal Defense Exam; and write and submit a review of the most recent literature on the dissertation topic, to be formally approved by the dissertation committee (which also conducts the proposal defense). Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year.
EDUCATION (Revised July 2010)
Ph.D. students in the Graduate Group in Education who have not completed all their degree requirements within the University’s maximum time limit must submit a progress report and plan to his or her dissertation committee. The purpose of this report/plan is: to document which degree requirements the student has completed; to provide a rationale for why he or she has been unable to complete all the requirements within the time limit and to provide a timeline/schedule of steps for completion of the remaining requirements within a one year extension. The student’s chair and a majority of his or her dissertation committee must review and approve the progress report and plan. The student must then submit the progress report and plan to the Committee on Degrees for their review and approval.
The student must re-take a preliminary exam that documents familiarity with the current status of their field.
HISPANIC STUDIES (Revised October 2017)
Students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D., including the deposit of the dissertation, within the University’s maximum time limit must 1) submit an updated version of the prospectus and 2) submit a review of the most recent literature on the dissertation topic. The student’s committee must approve the new prospectus and review of literature in order for the student to satisfy the recertification requirement. Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year.
LINGUISTICS (Revised July 2010)
A student can be re-certified by submitting a revised dissertation proposal reflecting current scholarship on the topic and then undergoing a new dissertation proposal defense, following the usual procedures for the Graduate Group. Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the Ph.D., including deposit of the dissertation, within one year or less as determined by the Graduate Group.
NEAR EASTERN LANGUAGES AND CIVILIZATIONS (Revised October 2010)
For Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, students who apply to be re-enrolled in the PhD program must pass a recertification examination demonstrating satisfactory grasp of current scholarship in their field. The Graduate Group Chair and the dissertation committee will constitute the recertification committee for this purpose. After an initial oral examination, the committee may, at its discretion, require that the student retake the Candidacy Examination and/or submit a revised dissertation proposal prior to recertification. Upon satisfactory re-certification, the student must complete all requirements for the PhD, including deposit of the dissertation, within one year.
POLITICAL SCIENCE (July 2010)
All students who have not completed all requirements for the Ph.D. (including deposit of the dissertation) within the University’s maximum time limit must submit to their full dissertation committee (i.e., the supervisor and two readers) a copy of all written work they have completed on their dissertation. The committee members will evaluate this material, and report to the whole group, recommending that one of the following actions be taken:
The student is required to retake the qualifying examination (if the committee believes there is a question about the continued currency of the student’s research). The student is disqualified from continued doctoral candidacy (if the committee believes the written work provides insufficient evidence of progress toward the completion of an adequate doctoral dissertation). Other conditions are imposed on the student’s dissertation research, such as the committee believes will ensure the currency and timely completion of the student’s work toward the Ph.D. within one year of recertification.
SOCIAL WELFARE (Revised July 2010)
Ph.D. students who have not completed all their degree requirements within the University’s maximum time limit may apply for recertification The standards for granting an extension are: There is a full committee working with a student on a dissertation; the student’s dissertation work represents an extension of preliminary degree work and is conducted in constant consultation with the dissertation chair and committee; a plan for completion within one year is realistic, particularly in relation to the student’s prior diligence in completing work; the Dissertation Committee Chair supports the student’s plan for completion of the dissertation.
An application for an extension consists of the following steps: The student meets with the dissertation chair about an extension and the chair calls a meeting of the full dissertation committee. The Dissertation Committee hears a student presentation detailing work thus far on the dissertation and a plan for completion within one year. In addition to fielding questions about the dissertation work and the feasibility of the completion plan, the student may also be orally examined on the broader social welfare context of the dissertation work, to demonstrate currency in the field. The presentation is given in a closed meeting to dissertation committee members and steering committee members. The Dissertation Committee makes a recommendation to the doctoral program director on whether or not the student should be recertified.
Upon receiving the recommendation of the dissertation committee, the doctoral program director makes the final decision about whether or not the extension is granted. The doctoral program director will inform the student of a decision. Decisions to recertify will be relayed to the University administration by the program director.
Beginning in fall 2008, Ph.D. students will be charged full tuition until they have completed five years of full-time study or the equivalent of approximately 30 course units. The time may be as brief as three years if a student enters with credits from a post-baccalaureate degree program or successfully completes the Ph.D. in fewer than five years.
If the student has not earned the Ph.D. degree by the end of five years, the student will be charged reduced tuition until the degree is awarded, or for a maximum of five additional years. Continuous enrollment is required through year ten (or until graduation), with an exception for approved leave (for family leave, military, medical reasons). After a maximum of five years at reduced tuition, the student ceases to be enrolled. With permission and recertification from the graduate group, a student may re-enroll for a final year in order to defend and deposit the dissertation. Such a student must pay reduced rate tuition for a final two semesters, unless all requirements are completed within one semester.
A student engaged in research overseas may be registered for Dissertation Abroad; charges are posted for Reduced Tuition and Reduced General Fee.
Credit may be transferred toward the Ph.D. from a masters degree or other work completed in a post-baccalaureate degree program, upon recommendation by the graduate chair and approval of the graduate dean, reducing full tuition registration by up to two years. No work done as an undergraduate, whether at this institution or at any other, will be counted toward a Ph.D., A.M., or M.S., with the following exception: graduate courses completed by undergraduates as submatriculants in a graduate group may be counted toward graduate degree requirements.
Continuous registration as a graduate student is required unless a formal leave of absence is granted by the dean of the student’s school. A leave of absence will be granted for military duty, medical reasons, or family leave; this leave is typically for up to one year and “stops the clock” on time to completion. Personal leave for other reasons may be granted for up to one year with the approval of the Graduate Dean, but it does not automatically change the time limit. Leave should not be granted for the purpose of evading tuition charges. Additional requirements for return may be imposed by the Graduate Dean. No language or other degree examinations may be taken while a student is on leave of absence. A student without an approved leave of absence who fails to register each semester will be considered to have withdrawn from candidacy for the degree; approval by the Graduate Dean and recertification are required for reinstatement.
Dissertation registration takes place in the fall and spring semesters. Dissertation students who are candidates for August degree remain full-time students through August 31st without summer registration.
If graduate credit is sought for research work pursued at laboratories not officially a part of the University of Pennsylvania (for example, where the investigator is not a member of the graduate group), the student must obtain prior permission from the graduate chair. University policies regarding intellectual property apply in the case of research conducted in extramural settings.
A dissertation submitted as part of the requirements for a degree is the property of the University. Any copyrights or patent rights arising therefrom shall be governed by the policies of the University of Pennsylvania, including the Patent and Tangible Research Property Policies and Procedures and the Policy Relating to Copyrights and Commitment of Effort for Faculty.
A student in a Ph.D. program at Penn is eligible for time off of eight weeks for the birth or adoption of a child. The student must complete the online New Parent Accommodation/Family Leave Request Form at least 60 days prior to the anticipated start date of the leave so that appropriate arrangements can be made to cover any teaching/research responsibilities.
The graduate group chair and dissertation advisor will be notified via email of the details of the student’s accommodation request. The graduate group is responsible for making the necessary arrangements within their department and school.
A. Normally the “Time Off” period commences within two weeks of the birth or adoption.
B. During the “Time Off” period, the student remains enrolled full-time. In order to facilitate a rapid return, s/he may participate in the program as fully as s/he deems appropriate. By remaining on full-time status, student visa status and loan repayment schedules, if any, will remain unchanged.
C. The student is entitled to academic accommodation including relief from academic requirements, such as postponement of exams and course requirements.
D. A student receiving stipend support is entitled to continuation of support during the “Time Off” period as follows:
1. Students receiving stipends from University/school funds are entitled to draw support for eight weeks during the academic year.
2. Students funded by government grants or other external funding sources are entitled to benefits as determined by the funding agency.
FAMILY LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY
A student in the Ph.D. program at Penn may take an unpaid Family Leave of Absence for the birth or adoption of a child, child care, or care of an immediate family member (spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
The graduate group chair and dissertation advisor will be notified via email of the details of the student’s leave request. The graduate group is responsible for making the necessary arrangements within their department and school.
A. Students may take a Family Leave of Absence for one semester or for two semesters.
B. The student must complete the online New Parent Accommodation/Family Leave Request Form at least 60 days prior to an anticipated leave so that appropriate arrangements can be made to cover any teaching/research responsibilities. In unanticipated and/or emergency situations, students should fill out the form as soon as possible.
C. Family Leave “stops the clock” on the student’s academic requirements, including service requirements, for the duration of the leave.
D. During the period of Family Leave, the student may arrange to continue Student Health Insurance, but is responsible for the payment of his or her own premiums. Upon paying a fee, students on approved Family Leave will retain their PennCard, e-mail accounts, library privileges, and building access.
E. Funding commitments from the institution are deferred until the student returns from Family Leave. Students receiving funding from external sources, such as government grants, are subject to the conditions established by the funding source.
F. Service requirements (e.g., teaching, research) will be met by the student following return from Family Leave.
G. Requests for extension of Family Leave beyond one year, or for repeated Family Leaves, may be made. Approval of an extension, deferral of funding, and continued academic accommodation is at the discretion of the Graduate Dean.
*Important: If you anticipate adding a dependent (e.g., newborn) to your Penn Student Insurance Policy while on Family Leave, you must remain in active student status at the start of the fall semester. Students should arrange with their school/division to maintain full-time student status for at least 31 days from the start of fall classes, after which time the Family Leave status can be recorded in the Student Records System. After the birth/adoption, contact the SHS Insurance Coordinator to enroll the dependent. The premium for dependent coverage is payable directly to Aetna Student Health.
GRADUATE GRADES AND ACADEMIC STANDING
The grading system is as follows: A, excellent; B, good; C, fair; D, poor but passing; and F, failure. At the graduate level, the grade of C, while passing, does not constitute satisfactory performance. Letter grades may be modified by a plus (+) or minus (-) sign at the discretion of the school. The minimum standard for satisfactory work for the graduate faculties is a B average in each academic year, but the graduate group may set additional requirements that determine advancement; these requirements may require a student to withdraw despite a satisfactory grade average, if the quality of the student’s work is not at a level that predicts successful dissertation research.
The mark of S is used to indicate satisfactory “progress”. It may be used as a permanent grade for 999 courses only. It is a temporary grade for all other courses.
The mark of I is used to designate “incomplete.” A student who fails to complete a course and does not withdraw or change his/her status to auditor within the prescribed period shall receive at the instructor’s discretion either a grade of I (incomplete) or F (failure). It is expected, in general, that a student shall complete the work of a course during the term in which that course is taken. The instructor may permit an extension of time up to one year for the completion of the course. In such cases, any course which is still incomplete after one calendar year from its official ending must remain as “incomplete” on the student’s record and shall not be credited toward a degree.
A student who desires to attend a course without performing the work of the course must first secure the consent of the instructor. He or she must register in order for the audited course to appear on the transcript; no credit will be received for the audited course. A teaching fellow registered for three course units may register as auditor for one additional course with permission of the graduate group chair.
A student may request that the school graduate office change his or her status in a course to auditor, provided that the request is endorsed by the chairperson of his or her graduate group and the instructor giving the course and is submitted to the graduate office no later than the end of the second week of the term.
A student who wishes to change his or her graduate group must submit an application for admission to the new graduate group.
The Exchange Scholar Program allows Penn Ph.D. students to apply to study for a semester or academic year at one of ten other participating institutions: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, and Yale.
Through cooperative arrangements with Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania students may, upon presentation of the proper credentials and with the permission of the instructor concerned, enroll for courses in these institutions. The University of Pennsylvania will accept toward a masters or Ph.D. degree up to the equivalent of three course units for work completed under this arrangement.
Through a cooperative arrangement between The Annenberg School for Communication and Johns Hopkins University, students selected as exchange scholars from the Annenberg School for Communication may count up to one academic year of study at John Hopkins (taken while registered at Penn), subject to the approval of the graduate group, toward the Ph.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ph.D. and research masters students enrolled in Anthropology, or History of Art may, upon approval of their graduate group and the instructor, enroll for a maximum of two courses in the Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware. The University of Pennsylvania will accept credits completed under this agreement for a masters or Ph.D. degree.
Ph.D. students enrolled in Ancient History, Classical Studies, Religious Studies, Germanic Languages and History may, upon approval of their graduate group and the instructor at the host institution, enroll for a maximum of four courses for graduate credit at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
Ph.D. students enrolled for at least one full academic year in the Graduate Groups in Ancient History, Classical Studies, Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, History of Art, Religious Studies, German, Political Science or History may, subject to the approval of their graduate group and the instructor, enroll for a maximum of four courses at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Each year, up to two English Ph.D. students (one in film and one in poetics) may, upon approval of the graduate group and the instructor at the host institution, take one course each offered by Temple University’s Department of Film and Media Arts and in English.
Under the terms of the PhD Student Exchange Program with Rutgers University, PhD students in all fields may take up to four courses at Rutgers University upon approval of their graduate group chair.
Details regarding the institutional exchange agreements are available from the Office of the Vice Provost for Education.
Updated January 24, 2018