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Failing to meet language requirements? What happens?


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This is purely hypothetical but suppose I needed an extra year to fulfill my language requirements, what would happen?

I realize this is different from university to university, but just trying to get a lay of the land. 

I feel I could benefit from being a little bit slower in moving to my next language. 

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As you said, this varies wildly from department to department. Though generally it seems that not having passed language exams will prevent one from moving to the next step: e.g. you must pass (usually) two modern language exams before you can take your comps/prelims; and you must pass your comps/prelims before you can pass your dissertation proposal, and so on. This means (at least) a) you will likely take more than 5 years to finish and b) you may run out of funding before you finish. Though again, you should check with your department (these things are likely listed in something called "guidelines" on your department's website).

Edited by sacklunch
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I know of some people who have finished their generals but not yet finished their language exams. It varies by department/school, but for some programs I'm familiar with, it would seem that the language requirements might simply be a formality with a seemingly strict deadline that's only loosely enforced. Perhaps check with your advisors to see how strictly they hold you to the language-requirement deadline. 

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5 hours ago, MarthUser said:

I know of some people who have finished their generals but not yet finished their language exams. It varies by department/school, but for some programs I'm familiar with, it would seem that the language requirements might simply be a formality with a seemingly strict deadline that's only loosely enforced. Perhaps check with your advisors to see how strictly they hold you to the language-requirement deadline. 

This is what I was thinking/hoping. Thank you!

On 7/4/2018 at 5:54 PM, sacklunch said:

As you said, this varies wildly from department to department. Though generally it seems that not having passed language exams will prevent one from moving to the next step: e.g. you must pass (usually) two modern language exams before you can take your comps/prelims; and you must pass your comps/prelims before you can pass your dissertation proposal, and so on. This means (at least) a) you will likely take more than 5 years to finish and b) you may run out of funding before you finish. Though again, you should check with your department (these things are likely listed in something called "guidelines" on your department's website).

Yeah, you're right. I remember looking at it and it wasn't clear what the "penalty" was for failing to meet the requirement. However, I may not have been looking at the right place. 

And yeah, I should probably just look this info up but I just wanted to get a general sense, as I had a nagging suspicion that it's not usually a super strict condition, as long as you get it done soon enough. Shrug.

Thank you, both of you.

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Nobody can answer this except for people in your department. Specifically, ask whoever the graduate chair/coordinator/director of graduate studies (or equivalent) is. You may also have a program handbook that spells out the policy's details.

At my program, students could complete the language requirement at any time during their enrollment in the PhD program, and could take the test(s) any number of times. The logic requirement, however, had to be passed by the end of our second year, and we only got two tries. (With appropriate exceptions for medical problems, leave, etc.)

Edited by maxhgns
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47 minutes ago, Averroes MD said:

This is what I was thinking/hoping. Thank you!

Yeah, you're right. I remember looking at it and it wasn't clear what the "penalty" was for failing to meet the requirement. However, I may not have been looking at the right place. 

And yeah, I should probably just look this info up but I just wanted to get a general sense, as I had a nagging suspicion that it's not usually a super strict condition, as long as you get it done soon enough. Shrug.

Thank you, both of you.

I should also add that you may check into possible exemptions. At my school, I was exempt from both my modern language exams since I have over 3 years of college credit for each. You may have enough credit for one or even two; or you could plan on taking more classes to reach whatever number of required classes exclude you from the tests (but at the 3 year mark you damn well better pass those tests!).

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3 hours ago, sacklunch said:

I should also add that you may check into possible exemptions. At my school, I was exempt from both my modern language exams since I have over 3 years of college credit for each. You may have enough credit for one or even two; or you could plan on taking more classes to reach whatever number of required classes exclude you from the tests (but at the 3 year mark you damn well better pass those tests!).

Yeah, I'm only looking for an extra year.

However, I might not need this extra year... just thinking this out.

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