Managing Time-to-Degree in the Graduate Programs
The PhD programs at UCSF are committed to helping students graduate in a timely fashion.
To that end, they employ several strategies, which are listed below. Please note that every
program does not employ every strategy; this list is a compilation of our “best practices.”
- Programs conduct a review of students’ progress at the end of the first year, which includes
consideration of evaluations from all course instructors and lab mentors
- In some programs, students must apply to take qualifying exams. In others, they are required
to take them by the end of the second year.
- The terminal master's degree is given to students who have not made satisfactory progress in
the first two or three years.
- Students work with their primary mentors to develop a timeline toward completion.
- Students complete a written annual plan that is shared with their primary mentors.
- Students and mentors/thesis committees meet at least annually to discuss the student’s
development plan. Some programs hold these meetings on a semi-annual basis.
- Students give a fourth year talk on their research, as a milestone between the qualifying exam
and the completion of the dissertation.
- Students must petition the executive committee for an extension to remain in the program
beyond six years.