University of Minnesota  Appendix

Annual Graduate Student Reviews: Guidelines


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

The following are guidelines for conducting annual reviews of graduate student academic performance. In addition to fulfilling the requirement to assess student academic performance, programs may also find the results of annual reviews useful for such things as program planning, recruitment, and meeting certain national data reporting requirements.

Please note that the annual graduate student academic performance and progress review is not the equivalent of the annual performance review required for students with graduate assistant (GA) appointments, which is governed by Administrative Policy: Graduate Assistant Employment.

Performance Goals and Expectations

What particular goals and expectations does your program have in place to measure adequate student degree progress for the master’s (Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C) and doctoral degrees? Things to consider may include:

  • The student’s GPA
  • The number of incompletes
  • The student’s progress in completing milestones (e.g., core coursework, preliminary written/oral examination, research design, data collection/analysis, filing the degree plan)

Timetable for the reviews

Identify the time of year the review will be performed, and how often students will be reviewed.

NOTE: At a minimum, an annual review is required of all master’s and doctoral students.

Participation in the review

Who participates in the review with the student

  • The adviser
  • The DGS
  • A graduate-program specific committee assigned to the task

Information that will serve as the basis for the review

  • University-wide requirements for student academic progress
  • Program requirements and the goals/expectations as outlined in the graduate program student handbook
  • Student transcript(s)
  • Milestones completed
  • Student publications, presentations, teaching requirements

Collection/distribution of relevant information prior to the review

  • Identify the information required for the review, and the process and timeline for collecting/distributing the required information
  • Ensure that all parties are aware of their responsibility for the collection/distribution of relevant information for the review and of the timeline for doing so

Communicating the review outcome to the student

  • Specify who is responsible for communicating the review outcome to the student (e.g., the DGS? The committee chair?)
  • If the review involves multiple participants, they must be copied on the communication with the student
  • Communicating the review outcome must meet the following requirements, as specified in Administrative Policies: Doctoral Degree: Performance Standards and Progress, and Master’s Degree: Performance Standards and Progress:
    • Master’s students deemed not to be in good standing must be informed of the results of the review in writing, with a copy to the student’s advisor
    • All doctoral students must be informed of the review outcome in writing
    • Students should receive their written evaluation in a timely manner, ideally no more than one week following the review

Students deemed not to be in good standing

Students who do not meet the minimum University-wide requirements for performance standards and degree progress for master’s and doctoral students and/or the requirements and established goals/expectations of the graduate program should be provided with clear, written instructions on the conditions that must be met to remain in good standing as a graduate student in the program that include:

  • a (reasonable) timeframe for meeting those conditions
  • the protocol/procedures that will be used to determine whether the conditions have been met (e.g., a follow-up meeting of the review participants will be held)
  • the outcome that will result should the requirements/conditions not be met

Maintenance of records related to student annual reviews

Specify where within the graduate program the student evaluations will be maintained.