General Departmental Policies

Academic Honesty:

As apprentice and practicing teachers, graduate students are expected to be familiar with standards of academic honesty generally and as articulated on the Web at the Academic Senate website and of course they are expected to uphold these standards in their own work. Plagiarism or cheating are only under the most extraordinary circumstances questions among graduate students. However, one aspect of academic honesty deserves attention.

From time to time, students may find work they are doing in separate courses converging towards related projects or even a single project, and this is not only to be expected, but positively desirable when there is some real overlap in material. In cases where some of the same work might reasonably be submitted in different courses, a couple of principles need to be followed: first, that the permission of every instructor involved be sought in advance of beginning such a project; second, that the total amount of work reflect the number of courses involved. In the case of converging topics, faculty will probably want to see the work submitted in each course. In the case of the single paper submitted in two courses, the faculty in each course will probably want to confer with one another as well as with the student, and the final product should be a project which at least from the perspectives of research, subject matter, and, perhaps length, is doubly substantial. In the more problematic (and much less easy to justify) case of submitting revised versions of work previously handed in for an earlier course, faculty will certainly need to see both early and current versions of the work. Since all of these cases entail extra work for faculty, students should expect that sometimes permissions of this kind will be turned down even when they have intellectual merit. Once faculty approvals have been obtained, a record must be put in the student's file that details the nature of the project with the signatures of the faculty involved; forms for this purpose are available from the Graduate Coordinator.

It is the policy of the Academic Senate that "Submitting substantial portions of the same work for credit in more than one course without consulting all instructors involved" constitutes "Dishonest Conduct," the consequences of which are likely to be disastrous to a graduate student's career. When in doubt, therefore, graduate students should consult their instructors and inform them of all relevant circumstances.


Students who received an Incomplete in the department have up to one quarter to complete and hand-in the required course assignment. The Instructor has the right to require an earlier due date on Incompletes. Should the Incomplete occur in the spring quarter, the student has until late August to complete all required coursework in order to be eligible to TA in the fall quarter based on the School of Humanities' policy. Students must file with the Graduate Coordinator a “Contract” appropriately completed and signed by both the student and professor by the last day of electronic grade submission for the applicable quarter.. This contract should be honored no later than the ninth week of the quarter following the request for an Incomplete, so as to allow the professor enough time to evaluate the work and document the change of grade. During the academic year, to remain or be appointed TAs, students must have "Incompletes" made-up by the end of the following quarter.

A student who requires an Incomplete must negotiate a contract with the instructor and fill out a form available from the Graduate Coordinator. The contract must indicate reasons for the Incomplete including the status of the work in progress and give a due date for completion of the work. The student and the instructor must sign the contract, which goes into the student's file.

Incompletes made up before the beginning of the succeeding quarter usually cause no special difficulty. A due date after that will receive greater scrutiny and require more substantial justification. Failure to meet the new deadline can generate correspondence with the Associate Dean and jeopardize appointment to a teaching assistantship, which by University policy requires the satisfactory completion of eight units of courses each quarter in addition to the four attached to an assistantship. Beyond the contractual deadline, the School of Humanities makes the last business day of August a checkpoint for Incompletes for the preceding academic year. The School will not allow those with outstanding Incompletes at that time to hold Teaching Assistantships, and may recommend disqualification for students who still have not submitted the required work.

Independent Study Courses (290):

290 contracts must be signed by the student and instructor and submitted to the Graduate Coordinator by the second week of classes. The Graduate Coordinator will secure the Chair's signature and then place copies in the respective student's and instructor's mailbox. Evaluation of 290s must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator one week after grades are submitted for the applicable quarter.

Progress Toward the Degree:

The UCI Graduate Council has approved the following for the department:

  • normal time to advancement: 4 years*
  • normal time to degree: 7 years
  • maximum time to degree: 8 years

*It is expected that students entering with an M.A. will take one to two years less time to finish coursework and pre-candidacy reading.

Everyone concerned with the Ph.D. programs in East Asian Languages and Literatures has an interest in seeing degrees completed as soon as is consistent with sound professional achievement. Graduate students, especially, gain financially and professionally by finishing in a timely fashion. To prolong the degree is to risk flagging intellectual interest and energy, and there is strong evidence that a long, drawn-out degree makes the candidate less competitive on the job market.

Each stage of our Ph.D. degrees is designed to be reached in a normative period, and it is to every student's advantage to move forward according to those periods. Obviously, illness and unforeseen personal circumstances may cause delay, but where these are not an issue, the department does exert some pressure on the side of normal progress. Students should be aware that lack of reasonable progress is a consideration in the awarding of TAships. In extreme cases it can result in disqualification from the program.