As I look back on my most recent post, I note to myself just how aggressive the plan I laid out 2 months ago really was. Although I’m theoretically working only 20 hours a week and am theoretically able to dedicate the rest of my time to my studies, the theoretical and the actual don’t always match. I’ve “donated” a lot of extra time to my employer over the past two months and I’m struggling to figure out how I can more efficiently organize my time. As a result, I’m nowhere near as far as I’d like to be on my field of study plan, and will need to be more creative going forward. After speaking with a classmate, I learned a couple of important pieces of information I will need to work into my plan.
What did I learn? After completing all required courses (both core and elective), PhD students need only 6 credit hours to remain full-time. Awesome! I have carried 9-11 credit hours every semester since I started the program and, after this semester ends, I have completed all required courses. Great news! I also learned that I may be able to take those 6 credit hours as directed readings since I’ve not taken any directed readings yet. A directed reading is an individualized course put together by agreement between the student and a professor with a syllabus and agreed-upon deliverable(s). So, the combination of a reduced hours requirement and ability to take directed readings should definitely help. I will be checking with the university staff to make sure everything works, but things are looking up.
Back to my plan … given the slow progress this semester, here is my updated plan:
201211 – 201304 – Write Field Statement / Finalize Field Committee / Finish Coursework (including directed readings)
201304 – 201305 – Finish Field Statement / Obtain Final Concurrence from Committee
201305 – 201305 – Take Field Exam
201306 – 201307 – Propose Dissertation
201308 – 201403 – Write Dissertation
201404 – 201405 – Defend Dissertation
We’ll see how well this plan survives … 🙂