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Milestones for Graduate Students

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First Year

Q1 - Fall

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Take most required courses
  • LING 519 - RCR training courseAnswer

Q2 - Winter

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Continue taking most required courses
  • LING 519 - RCR training course

Q3 - Spring

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Complete the most required courses
  • LING 519 - RCR training course
  • Identify Qualifying Paper (QP) advisor (must be a core faculty in the Linguistics Department):
  1. In GSTS send an invitation to the research/QP advisor
  2. Once the invitation is accepted, mark committee as complete in GSTS
  3. DGS approves QP advisor in GSTS

Q4 - Summer

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Complete the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training – LING 519
  • Identify a Qualifying Paper second reader (can be someone outside the Linguistics Department):
  1. In GSTS send an invitation to the second research/QP advisor
  2. Once the invitation is accepted, mark committee as complete in GSTS
  3. DGS approves QP committee in GSTS

Second Year

Q5 - Fall

Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)

Q6 - Winter

Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)

Q7 - Spring

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Presentation of Qualifying Paper research to the Department:
  1. Present QP research at QP fest (DGS announces the date in the beginning of the Spring Quarter)
  2. QP draft must be written and reviewed by QP committee before the date of QP fest
  3. The Qualifying Paper must be revised after that incorporating comments that are received during the QP fest

Q8 - Summer

  • Full-time enrollment (3-4 units of coursework or LING590)
  • Qualifying Paper must be completed and approved by Qualifying Paper committee*:
  1. QP committee read and sign off the QP
  2. Send email with attached final copy of the Qualifying Paper to DGS and Graduate Program Assistant (GPA) cc-ing QP advisor and the second QP reader; that confirms that the QP has been approved
  3. GPA saves the QP and approval email in student’s file
  4. DGS updates GSTS to complete Qualifying Paper milestone

*This can be used to satisfy the requirements for an MA Thesis. Student needs to contact the Department office to apply for MA degree.

  • Identification of dissertation advisor:
  1. In GSTS send an invitation to the dissertation advisor (must be a core faculty in the Linguistics Department)
  2. Once the invitation is accepted, mark committee as complete in GSTS
  3. DGS approves the dissertation advisor in GSTS.

Third Year

Q9 - Fall

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500 and/or coursework)

Q10 - Winter

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500 and/or coursework)

Q11 - Spring

  • Full-time enrollment (TGS 500 and/or coursework)
  • Identification of complete dissertation committee (consists of the dissertation advisor as a chair and at least two other committee members*):
  1. In GSTS send invitation to the dissertation committee members
  2. Once the invitations are accepted, mark committee as complete in GSTS
  3. DGS approves the dissertation committee in GSTS
*If someone outside of Northwestern University is invited as a dissertation committee member, consult DGS and to set up NetID and password for that committee member.

Q12 - Summer

  • Full-time enrollment (TGS 500 and/or coursework)
  • Satisfaction of Foreign Language requirement
  • Using Plan of Study in GSTS confirm with DGS that all coursework requeirement have been completed
  • Complete and successfully defend (in a closed oral defense) a Dissertation Prospectus and advance to candidacy:
  1. Write up a dissertation prospectus and distributes it to the dissertation committee members; the dissertation committee read and comment on the prospectus
  2. Call for a meeting and defend the prospectus
  3. Once the prospectus is approved, send an email to DGS, cc-ing the dissertation advisor, all the committee members, and GPA to confirm the approval of the prospectus
  4. Submit Prospectus form on CAESAR
  5. DGS updates GSTS
  6. GPA approves Qualifying Exam and Prospectus forms in SES
  7. TGS advances student to the candidacy

Fourth Year

Q13 - Fall

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q14 - Winter

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q15 - Spring

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q16 - Summer

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Fifth Year

Q17 - Fall

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q18 - Winter

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q19 - Spring

Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)

Q20 - Summer

  • Full-time enrollment (TGS 500)
  • Successful oral defense of approved dissertation and graduation by 08/31:
  1. Send out the draft of the dissertation to the dissertation committee and set up a private defense with the dissertation committee
  2. The dissertation committee reads, attends the private defense and evaluates the dissertation
  3. The dissertation committee approves the draft of the dissertation for public defense
  4. Contact GPA to reserve a room for public defense and distribute a dissertation defense flyer
  5. Fill out Final Exam form on CAESAR
  6. After the public defense, revise the dissertation (if required)
  7. The dissertation committee approves the revised dissertation, and signs off on the Final Exam form
  8. Send an email with attached final pdf of dissertation and signed Final Exam form to DGS, cc-ing the dissertation advisor, all dissertation committee members, and GPA to confirm that dissertation is approved and signed off
  9. GPA approves Final Exam form in SES
  10. PDF of dissertation is kept for records and posted on the Linguistics department website
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