2. Guidelines for Professional Development

The Comparative Literature faculty at UCSB believes that success in our graduate program, as in any post-graduate professional endeavor, requires that students make a serious personal commitment to their academic and intellectual development. The following guidelines are meant to give you an idea of what is expected of you as a graduate student:

  1. Regular attendance and active participation in graduate seminars.
  2. Several hours of preparation outside class for each seminar: a general rule of thumb is 3 hours of preparation for each hour of seminar time.
  3. Additional time for the preparation of seminar presentations and final seminar papers. Since students are attending 2 or 3 seminars at the same time, it is absolutely essential that they choose paper topics for each seminar as early as possible and begin immediately to carry out research on these projects.
  4. Attendance at departmental lectures and receptions, designed to promote intellectual interaction with visiting scholars that may well affect future career opportunities.
  5. Teaching. It is important to realize from the outset that a good deal of hard work is involved in the pursuit of graduate studies. Students must devote particular effort to establishing and maintaining a productive balance between their academic pursuits and their teaching obligations. This is a delicate issue, as the former tend to be more long-range in nature (final papers and exams, Masters and PhD exams, the dissertation, etc.) while the latter tend to be more immediate (daily class preparations and corrections, weekly office hours with students, TA meetings, etc.) Attaining such an equilibrium can be particularly tricky during the first year, especially for students unfamiliar with the fast pace of the 10-week quarter system. Early attention to this issue will prove critical to the student's academic success. It will also prepare students for the rigors of an academic career, and provide an advantage in a competitive job market, since the teaching-research equilibrium continues to be a major issue that all university faculty must deal with throughout their careers.
  6. TA training: It is mandatory for all TAs in the Comparative Literature Program to attend the departmental orientation at the beginning of Fall quarter and the various program workshops throughout the academic year. First time TAs must also attend the campus-wide TA orientation held the week preceding the beginning of Fall quarter.