Spring “Break”


It’s not exactly half way through the Spring Semester, but last week was Spring Break.  It’s not how I remember it when I was younger, that’s for sure!  I took some time off work so I could work on assignments that are due next week: an economics problem set and a stakeholder analysis paper.  The problem set is done … the paper still needs a little work, but there’s some time left before it’s due on Tuesday.

This past Monday, registration for the Summer Semester opened.  We had been told in advance that classes fill quickly, and since there were only a handful of courses being offered, all seats were filled within minutes.  For quite a while before the registration window opened, I debated whether I should take a class this summer.  In the end, I decided against it for this year, but am leaving the window open for next summer.

On Tuesday, the class list for Fall Semester was released and we were asked to update our goals/research statements by May 19.  The confluence of these two events is actually fairly significant given the program requirements for the next couple of semesters.

  • First, we are updating our goals/research statements in anticipation of a faculty meeting on May 20.  On that date, all faculty will be meeting to discuss the doctoral students and our progress in the program.  It is important that we keep these statements updated.
  • Second, we are required to choose a chair for our Field Committee by the end of the third semester (which will be Fall 2011).  Because the chair for the Field Committee usually becomes the chair for a doctoral student’s Dissertation Committee, this is an important decision.
  • Third, now that almost all core courses are out of the way (PUBP 800 is the final core course, and will be taken in the Fall), choice of course becomes more important.  Rather than deciding which core courses we’ll be taking, we will now choose courses based on our fields within public policy.

And finally … on a related note, the Comprehensive Qualifying Exam for most of us will be January 5-9, 2012.  This exam tests knowledge of the information covered in the program’s core courses (PUBP 800, 801, 804, 805).  The “comp” is one of two major exams before the dissertation (the other is the Field Exam).

So yes, it was Spring Break this week … I think! 🙂

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