15. Normative Time

At UCSB, "normative time" is the number of years department faculty believe reasonable for a full-time student, entering under normal circumstances, to complete the PhD. As of fall 1999, normative time is as follows in Comparative Literature:

  • 7 years for those who earn the MA at UCSB (2 years for the MA plus 5 for the PhD);
  • 6 years for those who entered with an MA from another institution.

Under Graduate Council policy, students admitted Fall 2010 or later follow departmental time-to-degree standards approved by the Graduate Council. Students admitted are given four years from beginning graduate study at UC Santa Barbara to advance to doctoral candidacy, and seven years total to complete a doctoral degree. Time abroad is counted in normative time. Doctoral students entering the University prior to Fall 2010 are still subject to the normative time and time-to-degree standards in place at the time of their admission.

Note: For ALL PhD students, there is a 4-year time limit for advancing to doctoral candidacy. However, we expect that students entering with the MA from another institution will advance more rapidly than this, and probably complete the degree before reaching normative time. Again, for students earning the MA at UCSB, the 2 years spent in the MA program are counted in these 4 years; such students must complete their exams and advance to candidacy at the end of their 4th year, which is to say in the spring quarter. Students who are beyond normative time cannot be considered for campus fellowships.

15.1. Summary of Normative Time

15.1.1. For those earning the MA/PhD at UCSB

  • Years 1-2: 2 years MA work at UCSB
  • Years 3 and 4: 2 years to advance to candidacy (4 years total, at the most)
  • Years 5-7: 2-3 years for thesis (potential 1 year abroad)
  • 6-7 years total

15.1.2. For those entering with the MA from another institution

  • Year 1: Fall quarter of 2nd year - First Field Exam
  • Years 2-3: 2 years to advance to candidacy (3 years total; absolute limit is 4)
  • Years 4-6: 2-3 years for thesis (1 year abroad)
  • 6 years

15.2. Tentative Schedule

These times translate into the following tentative schedule:

15.2.1. For those earning the MA/PhD at UCSB

  • Year 1: Course work
  • Year 2: First Field Exam and 40 units of course work should be completed by the end of the second year
  • Year 3: Course work, second field exam and possibly third field exam
  • Year 4: ABD should be attained by the end of the 4th year (in spring quarter) by completing all three field exams and the remaining 24 units of course work and by successfully defending a dissertation prospectus.
  • Year 5: Possible research abroad. Work on dissertation
  • Year 6: Work on dissertation
  • Year 7: Work on dissertation and defense

15.2.2 For those entering with the MA from another institution

  • Year 1: Course work
  • Year 2: First Field Exam in the first quarter of the second year. Course work. Possibly completing second field exam by the end of the year
  • Year 3: Completion of required 24 units of course work. Second and third field exams completed.
  • Year 4: ABD should be attained by the end of the fall quarter by successfully presenting a dissertation prospectus. Work on dissertation and/or research abroad.
  • Year 5: Possible research abroad, work on dissertation
  • Year 6: Work on dissertation and defense

15.3. Normative Time and Employment

Students who are beyond normative time can only be employed on campus if an exception is granted by the Dean of the Graduate Division. Although University policy states that a student may be a TA for 12 quarters, exceptions to this policy are usually granted, up to an absolute maximum of 18 quarters. Summer teaching appointments are not counted in these calculations.

15.4. "P-3" Status

Students who have been advanced to candidacy for more than 9 quarters as registered students (3 years) are considered to be "P-3," and cannot be considered for campus fellowships and cannot receive fee fellowship or block grant monies. They can, however, be awarded TAships at the discretion of the department, within the guidelines outlined above.