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Graduate Degree Progress Student View

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General Information

The Graduate Degree Progress Report (DPR) is designed to be a roadmap to your graduate degree. It will help you understand and track degree requirements, as well as enable Institute faculty and staff to perform actions related to your progress. Please understand the DPR is simply a tool and it remains your responsibility to be aware of and satisfy all degree requirements. Accordingly, you should use the Report in conjunction with the Caltech Catalog and your adviser. Any questions about particular requirements should be directed first to your option representative or graduate option administrator.

Overview of Tabs and Sections

The DPR is organized into three tabs: MS Candidacy, PhD Candidacy, and PhD Examination. When you access the report, you will be directed to the appropriate tab: MS-only students will go to the MS Candidacy tab (and will not see the other two tabs); PhD students who have not passed candidacy will go to the PhD Candidacy tab; and PhD students who have already passed candidacy will go to the PhD Examination tab. The PhD Examination tab is read-only until you have passed candidacy.

Each tab is organized into sections, which have large orange-red headers. These sections are explained below.


Figure 1. The PhD Candidacy tab showing the Institute Requirements header.

Institute Requirements (MS Cand, PhD Cand, PhD Exam): This section contains Institute requirements that are required of all students. Many of these requirements are tracked by the Graduate Office or the Registrar.

Plan of Study (MS Cand, PhD Cand): In this section you will build your Plan of Study, or the list of courses used to fulfill your option's course requirements. Check with your option to find out when you should begin this task. Your Plan of Study is approved by your option representative; once submitted for approval, he or she will be able to modify it if necessary.

Option Requirements (MS Cand, PhD Cand, PhD Exam): This section contains option-specific requirements. Check with your option if you have questions about these.

Candidacy Examination Data (PhD Cand): In this section you will build your candidacy examination committee as well as enter information about the exam itself. Check with your option to find out when you should begin this task, as options handle this differently. Once your committee is submitted for approval, your option administrator will be able to modify it if necessary.

Degree Progress Meetings/Events (PhD Exam, certain options only): In this section you will enter your option's mandated degree progress meetings. Check with your option to find out when you should begin this task.

Examination Committee (PhD Exam): In this section you will build your thesis examination committee as well as enter information about the thesis defense itself. Check with your option to find out when you should begin this task, as different options handle this differently. Once your committee is submitted for approval, your option administrator will be able to modify it if necessary.

Commencement Information (MS Cand, PhD Exam): In this section you will enter information that will appear on your diploma and in the commencement brochure. Your previous degrees are also displayed here.

Congratulations (MS Cand, PhD Cand, PhD Exam): This section only appears after you have completed all requirements on the tab. Depending on the tab, further information related to commencement, etc. will be provided.

Understanding Requirements

There are four basic types of requirements: Data, Approval, Examination Result, and Information Only.

Data requirements are automatically fulfilled by information in the system and do not need any human intervention. These will have a status of "Not Fulfilled" or "Fulfilled."

Approval requirements are the equivalent of a signature or a signoff, and must be entered by the person in the appropriate role. These begin in the status of "Not Started." At the appropriate time (which may triggered by an action or based on the academic calendar), the status will change to "Pending Approval." When the appropriate person has given their approval, the status becomes "Approved."

Examination Result requirements are a specific type of Approval requirement, and represent a faculty signature or signoff on your candidacy exam or thesis defense. Before the examination takes place, the status will be "Pending Exam Date." After your exam has occurred, the status will be "Pending Result" until the committee members enter their results, at which point you may receive a "Pass" or "No Pass" on the candidacy examination, or a "Thesis approved" or "Thesis not approved" on your thesis defense. Please note: if you receive a "No Pass" or "Thesis not approved" result, check with your option immediately to determine what steps you must take next.

Information Only requirements are strictly to provide information. No action is required.

Data and Approval requirements can be waived by someone with the appropriate role. In that case, the status will show as "Waived."

Notes can be attached to requirements when they are marked fulfilled or approved or when a result is posted. If a requirement has a note, a hyperlink will appear next to the status and you can bring up the note in a pop-up window. Notes are required when a requirement is waived or a negative examination result is posted. If you see Notes, you should definitely read them, as they may contain important information.

Email Notifications

The GDP system will send email notifications to you and other campus constituents as appropriate at key points during your degree progress. These emails will be sent at night and include the following:

Candidacy Examination

When you first enter and save a candidacy examination date, an email will be sent to you, the option representative, the option administrator, the Graduate Office, and all candidacy committee members. Further reminders will be sent one week prior to the examination date, and again two days prior.

Admission to Candidacy

When you are admitted to candidacy (all of the requirements on the PhD Candidacy tab are completed), a congratulatory message will be sent to you, the option representative, the option administrator, the Graduate Office, the Registrar's Office, and ISP if you are an international student.

Degree Progress Meetings

If your option participates in scheduled Degree Progress Meetings (the section appears on the Exam tab), then email reminders will be sent when a meeting is first entered, one week prior to the meeting, and two days prior. These reminders will be sent to you, the option representative, the option administrator, and all members of your PhD committee.

Doctoral Examination

When you first enter and save a thesis defense date, an email will be sent to you, the option representative, the option administrator, the Graduate Office, and all PhD committee members. Further reminders will be sent one week prior to the examination date, and again two days prior.

Completion of Requirements

When you have completed all requirements for your degree, you will be emailed a Completed Requirements letter as a PDF attachment. This will also be sent to the Registrar's Office, the Graduate Office, and the option administrator.