General Timeline

One of the keys to successfully managing graduate school is long-term planning.  It is important that students have a clear idea of exactly what needs to be done and by when in order to finish their degrees in a timely fashion. The following timeline gives a good idea of what a typical graduate student career should look like from year 1 to year 4, when the dissertation prospectus is approved. (Course offerings may vary slightly).

Note that students are required to register for a minimum of 12 units each semester, and therefore may register for additional JSP seminars or graduate seminars outside the department in some instances. Students are encouraged to complete JSP requirements early to become familiar with the faculty and the curriculum, identify a dissertation topic, and develop a relationship with an advisor.  There is ample space in later years for additional training outside the program.

Year 1

  • JSP Orientation Seminar (semester 1)

  • Statistics Course

  • 2 JSP “Foundation” Seminars

  • Doctrinal Law Course

  • Pedagogy Seminar (semester 2) → Required to GSI in Year 2

Summer 1

  • Summer grant for research with a JSP faculty member

Year 2

  • Research Design (Methods) Course

  • 1 JSP “Foundation” Seminar

  • 2 Additional JSP Seminars

  • Interdisciplinary writing workshop (or a later semester)

  • Begin serving as a GSI 

  • Second-Year Progress Review at the end of the Spring semester

Summer 2

  • Summer grant for research with a JSP faculty member OR for independent research under the supervision of a JSP faculty member

  • Start preparation for the Disciplinary Exam

Year 3

  • Continue serving as a GSI

  • Take Disciplinary and Topical Exams

Summer 3

  • Draft dissertation prospectus

  • Take the Qualifying Exam and advance to candidacy, triggering eligibility for the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF)

Years 4+

  • Dissertation research and writing

  • GSI if not supported by the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF) or another fellowship