Although the Graduate School sets minimal hours requirements for both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, most students take coursework beyond this basic core. Formal classes and seminars constitute the heart of degree programs, but independent study through readings-research-problem courses is often a useful adjunct. M.A. and Ph.D. students wanting to take more than 12 hours of independent study, and students wanting to take more than six hours of independent study courses, however, must first obtain permission from the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC). In addition, a one-page statement of the nature of each independent course shall be prepared by the student, signed by the professor involved, and placed in the student's file. If these statements are not so filed, the student will not be permitted to take the M.A. oral or Ph.D. comprehensive exam.
Students are strongly discouraged from requesting "incompletes" in lieu of regular letter grades. Students with six or more hours of "incomplete" grades will be denied permission to enroll until these hours are reduced to the allowable limit (i.e., five hours). "Incomplete" grades automatically revert to an "F" after one year.
The department is required to evaluate all Graduate Teaching Assistants at least once every academic year during the GTA's appointment. The performance evaluations must include classroom observations documented in writing and a written performance evaluation from the evaluator. Faculty evaluators are assigned each year. Evaluations must be completed by May 31 of each year. Beyond the obvious advantage of improving teaching, this process will enable faculty members to comment directly on teaching skills when writing letters of recommendation for on-campus awards or postgraduate positions.
All graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend the various departmental colloquia offered throughout the year. Enrollment in Geography 980 (Seminar in Geography: Colloquium) for 1 credit hour is required during each of the first two semesters of residence at KU.
Use of Departmental Resources. Only graduate students who hold teaching assistantships have access to photocopy and secretarial support. All graduate students have access to computers in the various laboratories so long as they follow posted guidelines. The department endeavors to provide desk space for every graduate student but people holding teaching assistantships and research assistantships have priority. All graduate students are provided with e-mail addresses.
Departmental Grievance Procedures. The Geography Department's grievance procedures are on file in the departmental office and are available upon request.
University Information and Resources:
Graduate Studies, 213 Strong Hall, 864-8040
International Student & Scholar Services, 2 Strong Hall, 864-3617
KU Financial Aid & Scholarships, KU Visitor Center, 1502 Iowa St., 864-4700
Student Rights and Responsibilities.
All graduate students are responsible for informing themselves of requirements of the Graduate School as stated in the most recent issue of the Graduate School Catalog, both the general requirements and those specific to geography. Members of the faculty and the staff of the graduate school are ready to answer questions and offer counsel.
The university’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities describes protected rights and expectations for conduct. Included are rights to free speech, expression, assembly, pursuit of educational goals, privacy, and due process. It also outlines how student and campus organizations may operate, and describes nonacademic misconduct such as threats and violence against disrupting classes and events. The complete text of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities is available on-line at http://www.vpss.ku.edu/rights.shtml or at the offices of the Vice Provost for Student Success and the Dean of Students.