Upon starting their research projects students will select a committee in consultation with their advisor. This committee will consist of the advisor and at least two others whom the student has chosen from among the physics faculty.
Starting from the second year of graduate study, the student is required to have an annual review every academic year, which is typically carried out early in the Spring semester and must occur before April 1 of that year. This review will normally consist of a presentation of recent progress by the student followed by discussion with the committee. (Students in their second year of study are expected to present the direction of their chosen research; the committee may choose to further examine the student's course preparation and give recommendations as appropriate.) The committee will then give a written evaluation to the student and a copy to the Graduate Studies Committee.
Requests for exemption will only be considered for special circumstances (e.g., students in their last year with a defense date already scheduled), and they must be made as a joint petition of the student and adviser to the GSC. The Physics Department expects that students will be able to complete the Ph.D. within six years of entering the program (or four years from passing the qualifying examination for transfer or special students).
Extension of financial support for the sixth and subsequent years requires the endorsement of the student's evaluation committee and the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee and the Department Chair. Extension of financial support beyond seven years will not normally be given.
Required elements of the annual review...
- A one to two page progress report indicating area of research, advisor, status of course work, research progress made towards your degree in the past year, remaining objectives for the completion of your degree, a proposed time table for achieving them and any remaining coursework. Report on Annual Progress Form (pdf)
- A 20-minute talk summarizing progress and plans (could be shorter for 2nd-year students)
- A copy of the two page evaluation form.
- An updated CV. CV example (pdf) CV template (word) CV template(LaTex)
- Each year students are required to submit their accomplishments to the W&M Physics Graduate Portfolio. Students should submit information on external awards, external talks, published papers, and external grants.