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Academic Policies

9. Readmission

from the Graduate School:

Reenrollment is the annual process in which every department and the Graduate School evaluate the academic progress of graduate degree candidates. The reenrollment process, which is conducted during the latter half of the spring term, is often supplemented by other departmentally specific evaluations conducted at different times during the academic year (for example, doctoral students' thesis committee meetings, which may occur once or several times during an academic year). Students are encouraged to participate actively in the annual readmission process by preparing their own written statement of academic progress during the current year and goals and objectives for the coming year. All students eligible for reenrollment, including those writing dissertations, must make formal application each year through their departments. Students who have satisfied all academic requirements within their departments and have demonstrated their readiness for continuing graduate work will be offered reenrollment no later than June; others will be notified about reenrollment when a basis for judgment is available.

Satisfactory academic progress is measured by the department. For students who have not yet taken the general examination, this includes completing high-quality work in courses and seminars, satisfying the residence and language requirements, and performing effectively in any assistantship or research position the student may hold. For students who have sustained the general examination, significant progress toward the completion of the dissertation is the central criterion. The Graduate School holds that academic programs should be completed quickly, compatible with good training, and therefore does not usually approve requests for reenrollment to a year of study beyond a department's normal program length.

Individual departments may set specific requirements of their own in addition to those of the Graduate School, including completing specific courses or completing a specified number of courses, sitting for special examinations prior to the general examination, or submitting a certain number of dissertation chapters. Each department sets its own policy regarding incomplete grades in graduate courses, auditing, or taking courses on a pass/fail basis. Students are urged to read carefully the specific department's program descriptions and to confer with the director of graduate studies if there are any questions.

Recommendation for readmission for the following year of those students who have demonstrated their capacity for graduate work is made in March or April. Those who do not attain the standard expected will be so informed at this time.   If the student does not wish to reenroll, he or she should discuss the decision with the advisory committee.  If the advisor wishes to recommend that the student be denied readmission, the advisor should make a recommendation to the advisory committee.  The advisor and committee then confer with the DGS and a vote must be taken by the full faculty if the recommendation is to deny readmission.

Readmission decisions regarding students taking generals in spring will be deferred until after the examination. Others, whose performance is in doubt, may also be deferred, for example first-year students whose progress on their research project is inadequate.

When notified to reenroll, usually in late March, students should log on to the Princeton University SCORE website (, click through to the Graduate Reenrollment section, fill in the online form, and submit.  This information will then be transmitted to the Advisor who will review the application, make any comments, and submit to the DGS.  The DGS will review the application, enter department support recommendation and submit to the student for review.   The student reviews the application, makes comments, and submits the application to the DGS who then submits the final copy to the Graduate School.