Please note: The timeline below applies to students entering the program in 2019 or later.  Please contact your advisor or the DGS if you are in any doubt about which requirements apply to you.

Program Timeline

Years 1-2: Coursework

During this phase, students are to enroll in courses conducted by Social Thought faculty or elsewhere in the University. Students must take three courses per quarter. The Social Sciences Division requires students to have completed at least five graded courses by the beginning of the Spring quarter of Year 1 and at least twelve graded courses completed by the beginning of the Spring quarter of Year 2 to be eligible for continued financial aid.

In each of the first two years, students must submit two substantial essays. These will be written over the course of each year for regular courses, tutorials, reading courses, or independent study. Each essay must be certified by a member of the Committee faculty. At least one of the annual essays should be submitted by the beginning of the Spring quarter of each year.

Students must achieve a high pass on a foreign language exam administered by the University prior to taking the Fundamentals Exam.

It is recommended that students begin assembling a preliminary Fundamentals Examination list in consultation with faculty advisors within the first two years of entering the program.

Year 3: Exam and Proposal

Students must pass the Fundamentals Exam prior to the third week of the Spring quarter of their third year of divisional funding in order to register and receive a stipend in their fourth year.

A dissertation proposal writing workshop (SCTH 75005) will be led by a faculty member annually, usually in the Spring Quarter. Participation in this workshop is mandatory for students in the third year of study.

Students should begin to fulfill their teaching requirement in their third year.

Year 4: Proposal and Dissertation Writing

A dissertation proposal formulated in accordance with the appropriate guidelines must be approved first by the members of the dissertation committee after they meet together with the student and then by the Committee faculty as a whole before or at the eighth week faculty meeting in the Spring quarter of the fourth year of residence in order for students to register and receive a stipend in their fifth year.

Students should complete their fulfillment of the division’s teaching requirement in their fourth year.

Years 5 and beyond: Advanced Residency

Students in this phase of the program will focus, above all, on the completion of the doctoral dissertation.

The Division offers dissertation completion fellowships and the Committee offers Nef Fellowships to support students working on their dissertations beyond the fifth year.

To be eligible for divisional or departmental funding in the sixth year of study, students must submit two dissertation chapters to their dissertation committee chair that the chair attests are in near-finished form prior to the eighth week of Spring quarter in the fifth year of study.

A final draft of the dissertation must be submitted to the members of the dissertation committee at least six weeks before a meeting of the dissertation committee with the student to discuss it is scheduled, and this should be done in a way that will allow (a) time for revision (if that is necessary), and (b) another six-week period for the committee to read the revised draft. Thus, it is recommended to submit a full draft of the dissertation at least 15 weeks in advance of the deadline for submission set by the University Dissertation Office.

Students’ advisers and dissertation chairs are responsible for helping them to meet this timeline.


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