Doctoral students who have an MA or equivalent degree from another university, and some students who have an MA from UWM in areas other than their concentration, must take the Academic Review. The review must take place in the semester during or following the completion of 12 credits. (An incomplete grade cannot delay the Academic Review.)
All doctoral students who receive their MA from another university are placed on provisional status when they enter UWM. The Academic Review is designed to assess the progress of these PhD students and determine whether their provisional status is removed.
The Academic Review usually lasts from one and a half to two hours. A student meets with three graduate faculty members to discuss a Review portfolio, which consists of two unrevised course or seminar papers completed at UWM, their academic record (MA and UWM doctoral transcripts, Program of Study), and a brief paragraph describing current fields of interest and research questions of interest after the first year of doctoral study. The student and faculty members discuss the two papers, the student’s course of study and its connection to completed and required course work in the concentration, and the statement of current research interests.
Ideally, the Academic Review is a conversation about the student’s progress as shown in the papers. The committee’s questions can be open-ended or direct. Broad, open-ended questions ask the student to discuss the papers in light of the student’s goals for these projects and in the context of their coursework or the future direction of their scholarly interests. The direct questions ask the student to discuss specific theories, texts, or concepts addressed in the papers. The specific format, including the length of time spent on each paper and their current research interests, the order, and the types of questions, will vary depending on the chair’s preferences.
Students will be notified verbally of the results within 24 hours after the Academic Review. The committee will make one of the following recommendations on the Warrant for Academic Review:
- Remove provisional status and continue in the concentration
- Remove provisional status and continue in the concentration contingent upon completing a specific course or courses in areas judged to be weak, or upon rewriting one or both papers in accordance with committee standards or recommendations. The Academic Review Committee can require students to take additional courses in excess of the 54 credits needed for the PhD.
- Dismissal from the Graduate Program
Within one week of the Academic Review, the chair of the Academic Review Committee must submit a letter that assesses the student’s work and makes a recommendation to the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. The student receives a copy of this letter.
Arranging the Academic Review
Early in the semester in which students will complete 12 doctoral credits, they should set up a meeting with their plan coordinator to discuss possible members of the Academic Review Committee. Together the student and the graduate coordinator choose the chair and two other committee members. In some circumstances, the plan coordinator in consultation with the committee chair and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies may recommend a two-member Academic Review committee. The Associate Chair for Graduate Studies must give final approval. When possible, at least two members of the Academic Review Committee should belong to the student’s concentration. In consultation with the chair of the committee, students prepare the statement of current fields of interest and select the two papers for review.
At least two weeks before the Academic Review, students should inform the Graduate Program Associate about the date and time of the review and the names of the committee members. The Graduate Program Associate will schedule a room for in-person reviews and send an official announcement to the student and the members of the committee.
Students must give copies of the paragraph describing current fields of interest and the papers to the members of the committee at least two weeks before the date of the review. Failure to deliver the aforementioned paragraph and papers on a timely basis may result in the cancellation or postponement of the review.