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Milestones and Requirements

To remain in good academic standing and to be considered on track within the Asian Languages and Cultures PhD program, students must meet certain milestones throughout their program. 

  • Language Requirement
  • Fourth Term Review
  • Preliminary Examinations
  • Advancement to Candidacy
  • Prospectus Defense
  • Dissertation Defense

Language Requirement

By no later than the end of the student’s third year, s/he will be required to demonstrate a high degree of proficiency in the Asian language most relevant to the student's research plans.  In some cases this will involve both modern and pre-modern forms of that language. It is often the case that graduate students in ALC must take undergraduate language courses in order to develop the necessary proficiency. Specific language requirements will be determined by the Chair of the student's Mentoring Committee.

Fourth Term Review

The purpose of the Fourth Term Review is to evaluate and discuss with the student his/her progress in the program. The student will meet with his/her mentoring committee and the committee, along with the Graduate Program Committee, will determine if the student is advised to continue onto their third year of the program. 

Preliminary Examinations

A "prelim" is an examination taken during the third year in residence of the Ph.D. program.  The purpose of prelims is to encourage breadth and evaluate the student's competence in specific fields. Passing prelims qualifies the student to proceed to the next stage of the program and receive a recommendation for candidacy.  Prelims must be completed before the beginning of the seventh term. 

Advancement to Candidacy

Upon a successful pass of all prelims and no later than April 30 of the student’s third year, a student will be recommended for candidacy to Rackham Graduate School. In order to advance to candidacy, a student must have:

-Successfully completed 36 credit hours in approved courses,

-Finished all incomplete coursework to this point,

-Met the primary and secondary/research languages requirement,

-Passed all preliminary examinations. 

Prospectus Defense

The dissertation prospectus must be presented to the student's Dissertation Committee no later than December 1 of the seventh term. The prospectus should summarize research on a topic, identify research objectives and methods, and indicate the value of the research for the field or discipline in general.

Dissertation Defense

Complete copies of the dissertation will be submitted to the student’s Dissertation Committee for review no later than two weeks before the date of the oral defense.

An oral defense will follow the submission of the dissertation. During the defense, the candidate will make a presentation and answer questions regarding the dissertation and related topics. The student's committee will then decide on the outcome of the defense, suggesting edits and necessary revisions for completion of the program.