Written Work, Grades, and Satisfactory Academic Progress
With the exception of the MA thesis, which may be developed from a paper originally written for course credit, no written work in the MA program may be submitted more than once for credit. Students are responsible for avoiding plagiarism and following the Graduate School’s general guidelines on academic honesty.
Students and faculty should consider that both the A and the A- are truly positive grades. Grades of A- do not indicate a lack of satisfactory progress, but simply register good work that can be taken a step further in future.
Grades of B+ signal work that raises concerns, and in the case of an MA student a pattern of B+ grades would indicate someone who shouldn’t go on in the program unless he or she is doing significantly better work in other courses. B is the minimum grade for counting a course toward degree requirements.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
GSAS has specific rules for satisfactory academic progress for MA students. Permission to register each term is contingent, in part, on judgment that progress in the degree program is satisfactory.
Master of Arts Thesis Honor
Occasionally the EALAC department awards special honors to MA theses, in recognition of their excellence. Theses awarded departmental honors must be based on original research, and should offer new insights to the fields in which they are written. The recommendation for honors is made by the thesis advisor, in a cover letter addressed to the Director of Graduate Studies. The letter should highlight the thesis’ strength and special contributions, and establish why the thesis ranks among the top 10% of EALAC MA theses. The cover letter must be submitted together with the MA checklist and the thesis (as an electronic copy) to the appropriate MA Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Studies. The nomination is reviewed by the Director of Graduate Studies who, in consultation with the MA Coordinator, may invite a second faculty member in the relevant field to provide additional evaluation if necessary, before giving his or her final approval. The honors will be entered into the department’s permanent records, and the thesis will be preserved in the department’s archive. Students will receive official documentation from the department certifying that their MA thesis received special departmental honors.