Academic Progress, Completion Activities and Milestones

Academic Progress and Milestones

Students progress toward the PhD degree in stages, guided by academic benchmarks known as milestones.

Milestones are established and administered by both the Social Welfare doctoral program ("Departmental Milestones") and the UC Berkeley Graduate Division ("Graduate Division Milestones"). There are nine academic milestones for the PhD in Social Welfare, summarized below and described in further detail throughout this Handbook:

  1. First Year Comprehensive Exam
  2. Qualifying Paper Proposal
  3. Qualifying Paper Results
  4. Qualifying Examination Eligibility:
    1. Formulate eligible QE Committee.
    2. Declare Fields of Expertise.
    3. Complete all Required Coursework.
  5. Dissertation Prospectus:
    1. Submit Dissertation Chair-approved prospectus to QE Committee four weeks before exam.
    2. Complete required revisions prior to submitting Application for Advancement to Candidacy.
  6. Qualifying Examination Approval
  7. Qualifying Examination Results
  8. Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy
  9. Dissertation Filed

Departmental Milestones Summary

Departmental Milestones are pre-candidacy benchmark activities administered by the Social Welfare PhD Program. These milestones appear on the student's Academic Progress Report (APR), but do not display in the student's Degree Progress Card in CalCentral. The GSAO for the doctoral program is responsible for updating Departmental Milestones for the student's APR.



Normative Time Deadlines

First Year Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive written exam based upon knowledge gained in SOC WEL 279 and SOC WEL 289A

Exam administered at end of first year in program

Qualifying Paper Proposal

A 2-4 page proposal for the developing and writing the Qualifying Paper

Due by October 15 of 2nd year in PhD program, or 3rd year of Combined MSW/PhD Program

Qualifying Paper (QP)

Preliminary exam (in the form of a single, standalone paper)

Typically completed by end of 2nd year in PhD program or 3rd year in Combined MSW/PhD program

Qualifying Exam  (QE) Eligibility

Formulate eligible QE committee; declare two fields of expertise to be examined on by the QE; complete all Required Coursework

By the end of semester prior to the QE

Dissertation Prospectus

Dissertation research plan and proposed timeline for completion

Dissertation Chair-approved prospectus required no later than four weeks prior to preferred QE date

Revisions accepted prior to submitting Application for Doctoral Candidacy

Graduate Division Milestones Summary

Graduate Division Milestones are those required for advancement to doctoral candidacy and eligibility for degree conferral. Graduate Division Milestones appear on the student's Academic Progress Report (APR), and are also displayed in the student's Degree Progress Card in CalCentral. The Graduate Division Degrees Office is responsible for updating Graduate Division Milestones as they are achieved by the student and submitted for approval.



Normative Time Deadlines

Qualifying Exam Approval

Submit Graduate Division Application for the Qualifying Examination via Higher Degree Committee eForm in CalCentral

Completed application must be received by Graduate Division at least 3 weeks before proposed examination date

Qualifying Exam Results

Report on the Qualifying Examination - eForm in Campus Solutions (submitted by faculty or staff)

Must be submitted to Graduate Division no later than 2 weeks after exam

Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy

Submit Application for Doctoral Candidacy via Higher Degree Committee eForm in CalCentral.

Complete CITI modules if working with human subjects or animals.

Upon passing QE: by end of 3rd year in program

Dissertation Filed

Follow steps outlined in Procedure for Filing Your Dissertation

By end of 5th year in program & according to published Degree Deadlines