Plan of Completion (POC) Guidelines

To remain within Normative Time, a student must advance to candidacy by the end of the fourth year and complete the PhD dissertation by the end of the seventh year .A student who has exceeded this timeline must submit a Plan of Completion (POC) in order to appeal to extend their financial aid. The POC takes the form of a letter prepared by the student and approved by the faculty advisor. It should be addressed to the Dean of Graduate Studies (presently Peter Biehl) and include the following:  
  • Why the student has exceeded normative time (family responsibilities, change of direction, medical, etc.)
  • A timeline outlining what is complete (QE/ATC dates, dissertation chapter drafts, etc.), what is left to do, and when each portion will be completed
  • The quarter the student intends to file for the Ph.D.
  • Signatory lines for the advisor; the QE or dissertation chair, if different from the advisor; and the Dean of Graduate Studies

Occasionally, the department may request a POC at the end of the sixth year in order to clarify the student’s academic progress. In this case, the letter should be addressed to the Department Chair and include the same information as above, except that the signature lines for the Dean of Graduate Studies may be omitted.