Tips and Advice for Academic Requirements

  • The requirements for a Ph.D. may appear to be rigid and inflexible. Certain components certainly are that way. But others may have some flexibility. If you have special circumstances and need some flexibility, talk to the GAAC, Department Head, or Coordinator for Academic Affairs about your situation. Reasonable requests are usually granted.
  • Learn LaTeX. Just do it. (or don't. plenty of people have graduated without knowing latex.)
  • Before orals, you are generally taking classes full time (~3 classes a semester, the field trip, and maybe some 699 independent study or 900 research if you have a semester of just 2 graded classes). After orals, you generally sign up for less credits, and you now sign up for 920 (dissertation units).
    Fees increase at 7+ units; you should feel free to enroll for whatever courses and units you need or want, but you will have to pay more if you go above 6 units.
    If you do not have a RA/TA and were only enrolled in 900-level units, 3 units could be considered full-time (depending on other factors like fellowship requirements, visa requirements, etc.). But the general rule of thumb is: take as many credits as you need to get through classes before orals; after orals, take 6 units total if you are on an RA/TA (i.e. 6 units of 920 or 1 unit for the field trip and 5 units of 920, 3 units of a graded class and 3 of 920, etc).
  • Don't let your cumulative GPA fall below 3.0 or you'll be very sorry.

For more information about minimum enrollment and full-time student status, check out the Full Time Status and Enrollment Maxima, UA Policies page and Minimum Enrollment page.