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. 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).
The department recommends that Graduate Teaching Assistants have their teaching evaluated by faculty. Students should ask professors of their choice to visit their classes, and then, perhaps, repeat the procedure in subsequent semesters as a way of measuring improvement. Evaluation results may be provided via a meeting between the student and the faculty member, a standard departmental peer evaluation form (available in the departmental office), or a letter. 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.
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 and Professional Assoc., 426 Kansas Union, 864-4914
Graduate Studies, 213 Strong Hall, 864-8040
Student Financial Aid Office, 50 Strong Hall, 864-4700
International Student & Scholar Services, 2 Strong Hall, 864-3617
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.