Second Language Studies Ph.D.

Ph.D. milestones

Milestones toward completion of a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies

  1. Apply for admission to the Ph.D. program. The deadline for international applications is December 1; the deadline for domestic applications (including IU-internal and SLS-internal applications) is January 15 (for full consideration for financial support).
  2. Once you have entered the SLS department, you should make an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) during the registration period each semester. The DGS will temporarily serve as your advisor immediately upon your admission to the SLS department, but his/her primary responsibility is to help you stay on track for timely completion of your degree.
  3. Once you have determined the SLS faculty member whose research interests most closely correspond to your own, you should consult with this faculty member about becoming his/her advisee. Ideally, you should have your advisor in place no later than the fourth week of your second semester. You should realize that it is entirely appropriate to change your advisor, if your research interests change during your semesters of course work.
  4. As soon as possible, you should establish an Advisory Committee. Your Advisory Committee should consist of your advisor, (at least) one additional SLS faculty member, and (at least) one faculty member from another department, typically the department in which you plan to obtain your Ph.D. minor. Absolutely no later than one year after entering the Ph.D. program (and preferably sooner), you should file a form with the Graduate School formalizing your Advisory Committee. Once your Advisory Committee is in place, you should turn primarily to your advisor and other members of your Advisory Committee for substantive advising on your academic program. You should also continue to meet with the DGS every semester during the registration period. (NOTE: The Graduate School imposes certain restrictions on the composition of Advisory Committees relating to whether faculty members are members of the "Graduate Faculty." See DGS for details.)
  5. Complete all of the course work required for the Ph.D. as well as your minor and fulfill the language requirements. (You should ensure that the relevant minor dept. and language departments provide the SLS dept. secretary with written documentation).
  6. In the semester immediately following the completion of all course work for the Ph.D., you should take the General Qualifying Examination (GQE). This requires consultation with the DGS, who administers the GQE in consultation with relevant SLS dept faculty members.
  7. By the end of the semester following successful completion of the GQE (and preferably sooner), you should take the Research Qualifying Examination (RQE). Your Advisory Committee administers the RQE.
  8. As soon as you have passed the RQE, you should initiate a Nomination to Candidacy Edoc to the Graduate School.
  9. Once the Nomination to Candidacy edoc has been approved and upon your advisor's approval, you should now establish a Research Committee as soon as possible, but in any case before the beginning of the semester immediately following successful completion of your RQE. Your Research Committee will consist of the director of your dissertation, (at least) two additional SLS department faculty members, and (at least) one faculty member from another department, typically the department in which you obtained your Ph.D. minor. Here is how to proceed: Taking into consideration your Advisory Committee's feedback on your RQE, you should draft a brief prospectus of your planned dissertation research. This should be one to two pages in length. You should discuss this draft prospectus with faculty members you feel would be appropriate members of your Research Committee. Once the requisite faculty members have agreed to serve as members of your Research Committee, you should file a form with the Graduate School formalizing your Research Committee. You should then submit a revised version of your prospectus to the Graduate School. (NOTE: The Graduate School imposes certain restrictions on the composition of Research Committees relating to whether faculty members are members of the "Graduate Faculty." See the DGS for details.)
  10. Once you have entered candidacy you must produce an annual progress report to your research committee once per academic year. The dissertation proposal counts as the first progress report. This 20-minute progress report presentation must include at least 10-15 minutes of detailed PhD and/or research progress and a one-page written summary of dissertation progress and other achievements you’ve earned over the past year. Students should also provide a one-page list of questions or concerns and prospective goals for the following year. These meetings will take place throughout the year. By December, we will have all PhD candidate presentations completed and reported. These progress reports are due by January for review by the Chair and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  11. You should now prepare a dissertation proposal. The dissertation proposal should be on the order of fifty (50) pages and should include a pilot study of your dissertation research. The dissertation proposal must be approved by your Research Committee, after you have defended it in a public colloquium.
  12. Complete the remaining research and writing of your dissertation, in consultation with the director of your dissertation and other Research Committee members. You cannot expect your Research Committee to approve a draft of your dissertation on short notice. When you believe that your dissertation is ready, you should submit it to all members of your Research Committee, who will have thirty (30) days to read and evaluate it. Research Committee members may conclude that the dissertation is ready to defend as is, that it would be ready to defend with only minor changes, or that it should be substantially revised and submitted again for their consideration.
  13. When the Research Committee arrives at a consensus that your dissertation is ready to be defended, the date of a defense should be scheduled. The dissertation defense cannot be scheduled on short notice. At least forty five (45) days before the scheduled defense, you must submit an announcement of the defense (including a summary of the dissertation) to the Graduate School. You will need to be currently enrolled at the date of your dissertation.
  14. Once the dissertation has been successfully defended and the final draft of the dissertation has been approved by the Research Committee, you must submit the dissertation to the Graduate School following guidelines in the Graduate School Bulletin.