The contents in this handbook are for students in the Statistics-PhD program to navigate the various resources and policies of the doctoral program. Information provided in this guide is relevant as of the posted modify date below. Questions regarding particular processes or policies should be directed at the indicated contacts under each category.
Work in progress 8/25/2021
The Statistics-PhD program requires a minimum of 96 credit hours for completion. This is comprised of 64 credit hours at the advanced doctoral level and 32 credit hours at the MS level.
Review complete course requirements here: https://stat.illinois.edu/academics/graduate-programs/degree-programs/phd-statistics/coursework
Students should register for at minimum 0 credit hours of STAT 599 Thesis Research before deposit.
Course registration questions can be addressed here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course registration FAQ (Seat Availability, Registration Errors, Course Capacities, Individual Studies & Thesis Research, Internship, etc.): https://stat.illinois.edu/course-information-pages/registration-frequently-asked-questions-info
Registration Errors: https://stat.illinois.edu/course-information-pages/common-registration-errors
Term Specific Registration Information: https://stat.illinois.edu/academics/registration
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GRADUATE COLLEGE TIME REQUIREMENTS FOR DEGREE
- Bachelors to PhD Program Time Limits - 7 years from first term enrolled in doctoral program.
- PhD Program Time Limits with a MS at Illinois - 5 years (2 yrs. for MS and 5 yrs. for PhD)
- PhD Program Time Limits with a Non-Illinois MS - 6 years from first term enrolled in doctoral program
- Qualifying Prep Courses
- STAT 424, 425/527, 426, 510, & 511
- Grad Academy/Grad Symposium
- Complete EPI (International student only)
- Qualifying Exam (after completion of first year)
- Two day exam, four hours each, consisting of five questions per day
- Begin work with Research Advisor
Third – Fourth Year
- Prelim Exam (Thesis Proposal)
Fourth – Fifth Year
- Final Exam (Thesis Defense)
- Dissertation Deposit
- Annual academic reviews completed in first half of fall term
- Bi-annual TA reviews completed at end of each fall/spring term.
The Department of Statistics offers Doctoral students an “Open Offer”, which means they will hold either a teaching or research assistantship or a fellowship for up to five academic years (Fall and Spring terms only) from their first term of enrollment, providing satisfactory progress is evident by the student. After the fifth year if additional thesis work is required, additional support may be provided on a term-by-term basis. Summer support is not guaranteed and is not included in this policy. Students are required to meet the following criteria in order to maintain their “Open Offer” status:
- Secure a thesis advisor by the end of the first academic year.
- Complete any required ESL courses by the end of the first academic year (for international students only).
- Pass the Qualifying Exam by the end of the first year or pass the make-up exam within one academic year if the first attempt results in a failing grade.
- Not take a leave of absence from the program unless otherwise approved.
- Maintain a satisfactory GPA.
- Not be on probation status at any time during the duration of the program.
- Maintain consistent and regular meetings with thesis advisor.
- Complete the Graduate Student Self-Evaluation by the deadline.
- Complete the Teaching Assistant Self-Evaluation by the deadline.
- Have a satisfactory progress on the Graduate Student Annual Evaluation at all times.
Graduate students who are awarded a research or teaching assistantship must complete the required paperwork each semester to finalize their appointment prior to the appointment start date – August 16 for fall term and January 1 for spring term. Failure to complete this process by the specified dates each semester will delay students’ appointment start date as well as the first paycheck. Start dates cannot and will not be backdated based on a delayed response.
Most students entering the PhD program will need to provide work authorization documentation and complete new hire procedures before their appointments can officially begin. The Statistics Human Resources office will send information on these required documents and procedures before the appointment begins.
Students offered a graduate assistantship assignment are required to reply to the offer letter sent to them before the indicated deadline in order for their appointment to be successfully applied and initiated.
Teaching Assistantship Terms
Students who hold a teaching assistantship with the Department of Statistics are subject to performance evaluations at the end of each academic term the student holds the teaching assistantship. Evaluations are on performance of required duties in conjunction with the assignment of the teaching assistantship.
1. Evaluations will be administered at the end of the current academic term that the graduate employee holds the assistantship.
2. The graduate employee will be asked to complete a self-evaluation of their performance during the academic term that the appointment was held.
3. The graduate employee’s supervisor will at the same time complete a performance evaluation based on the assigned duties during the academic term. The graduate employee will have a chance to review and reply accordingly to the supervisor’s evaluation.
4. The Program Director of the graduate employee’s degree program will initiate any further discussion regarding the outcome of the performance evaluation. These discussions can vary based on the evaluation. The Program Director will be forthcoming with the topic of discussion in the event the graduate employee would like to request the presence of a Union Representative from the Graduate Employee Organization.
Students who hold a teaching assistantship are expected to honor their commitments to the accepted position by satisfactorily completing assigned duties, having clear and responsive communication to the supervisor, and being readily available to begin their assignment effective the start date of their offered position.
1. Assistantantship responsibilities may include one or more of the following:
- Involved with instruction
- Teach classes
- Lead lab/discussion groups for a course
- Develop instructional materials
- Proctor exams
- Hold office hours
- Other duties as assigned
C. Approved/Unapproved Time Off
Graduate employees who hold a teaching assistantship must seek prior approval from their current or next immediate supervisor for any time off during the assigned assistantship period(s) for approved time off (the exception being unforeseen emergencies). In the event the graduate employee has planned holiday or personal time that overlaps from one appointment to another, the employee will need to seek approval from both supervisors.
Assistants shall receive holidays off without loss of pay in accordance with the campus holiday schedule provided by Illinois Human Resources, which may be modified from time to time. Any other event (extended holidays, personal time, or during academic breaks such as spring break, winter break, etc.) which may prevent a graduate assistant from performing their duties effectively during any duration of time outside of the campus designated holidays must be discussed with and approved by the immediate supervisor(s).
D. Appointment Start Dates
Appointment start dates for the respective terms will always begin on August 16 for fall, January 1 for spring, May 16 or June 16 for summer. Dates outside of those designated days will be determined on a case-by-case basis in the event a graduate employee is unable to begin their appointment on the standard effective date without prior approval otherwise.
If the graduate employee is unable to begin the assigned appointment by the effective date of the received offer and the assigned supervisor does not approve of the requested time, Department HR will modify the offer effective start date to reflect that of the new start date, thus imposing a financial penalty to the first monthly stipend payment. A base rate calculation of the amount of working days missed in that current pay period will be deducted from the beginning of the pay period to reflect that of the accurate starting date of the graduate employee.
Graduate employees who have a teaching assistantship during the fall and or spring term should seek prior approval from their supervisor(s) before scheduling trips during extended academic breaks, such as winter break.
If a graduate assistant wishes to resign after acceptance of an appointment, the assistant must provide a written statement a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the effective date of resignation requesting the resignation.
If a graduate assistant wishes to resign from their appointment after the start of the effective date, the employee must schedule a meeting with their supervisor to discuss the resignation and upon a continuation of the request must submit a letter of resignation to the Department HR office. A fourteen (14) calendar day notice is required of resignation.
F. Procedure for Unsatisfactory Performance or Violation of Policy
A graduate employee who has violated any of the aforementioned assistantship policies or have received unsatisfactory performance evaluations may be subject to disciplinary action. The Department of Statistics will operate on a three-strike policy (three (3) violations), unless the actions are beyond correction or violate any University polices that may warrant full dismissal. The three-strike policy may take into consideration any and all performance evaluations that may be considered poor, engaging in unapproved time off that conflict with the obligation of the appointment offer, or other behavior that may be deemed unprofessional to that of the standing as a graduate employee.
When assistantship performance is unsatisfactory, the assistantship duties may be reduced and appointment fraction and pay may be reduced correspondingly, or the assistant may be dismissed. In cases where assistantship performance is unsatisfactory, the matter will first be discussed with the assistant prior to any action being taken. An assistant shall be given two (2) business days advance notice of such a discussion. An assistant shall be entitled to the presence of a Union Representative at such a discussion if the graduate employee has reasonable grounds to believe that the results of the discussion may be used to support disciplinary action against them and requests the Union representation.
Any graduate employee who receives three-strikes may be dismissed from their current assistantship appointments with the Department of Statistics, jeopardizing any future appointments within the department. A graduate employee will have the opportunity to appeal all grievances against them within a timely manner.
G. Employment Dismissal
Dismissal is termination of an assistantship during a semester or other period of appointment. The parties recognize the authority of the University to dismiss or take other appropriate disciplinary action against an assistant for just cause, which shall include but not be limited to the following reasons: failing to attend mandatory orientation or other sessions; engaging in misconduct in the performance of University duties or academic activities; neglecting or refusing to perform assigned duties; demonstrating unsatisfactory performance; violating University regulations or policies; violating University regulations or policies related to discrimination and harassment; acting outside the appropriate exercise of University responsibilities so as willfully to physically harm, threaten physical harm to, harass or intimidate a visitor or a member of the University community with the effect of interfering with that person’s performance of University duties or academic activities; or damaging, destroying or misappropriating property owned by the University or any property used in connection with a University function or approved activity. Dismissal may result from an accumulation of minor infractions as well as for a single serious infraction. The assistant will be provided with written notice and an opportunity to respond to the Unit Executive Officer prior to dismissal. A supervisor alerted to the possibility of misconduct by an assistant shall attempt to resolve the issue and clarify the facts directly with the assistant. Discipline shall be issued in a private manner so as not to cause embarrassment to the assistant. Discipline short of dismissal may be taken which may include a Written Reprimand. A Written Reprimand shall state the facts supporting the discipline and be in the form of an official, signed letter. The assistant will be provided with an opportunity to respond to the supervisor and, if desired, to the Unit Executive Officer. Discipline in the form of a Written Reprimand is not required prior to seeking to dismiss an assistant. If any discipline is taken against an assistant, the assistant will receive a copy of the disciplinary action.