Please make sure to also hit "save" at the bottom of the page after uploading your guidance committee/shared expectation form, otherwise the form will not be added to gradplan.
Graduate Student Annual Reviews and Forms
It is important that graduate students received regular formal feedback about their progress in the program. Therefore, the MSU Graduate School requires that all graduate students receive an annual review each year while in the program. In addition, evidence of an annual review within the past 12 months is required for the nomination of certain fellowships. The responsibility for making sure this process happens on time lies with both the advisor and the student. The responsibility that the documentation of the process is recorded in gradplan lies with the student.
- For all graduate students in the Department, an annual review must be submitted (uploaded into gradplan) by May 15th of each year.
- Students should avoid scheduling guidance committee meetings during the summer semester, effectively giving a window between August 15 and May 15th for scheduling the committee meetings
In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the annual review consists of one of the two following:
1) Until the student forms their guidance committee, the annual review requires the completion of the Shared Expectations form (discussed in more detail below). The first drafting of this forms needs to happen within one semester after the student chooses a (tentative) advisor and repeated annually until the guidance committee is formed.
2) Once the student forms their guidance committee, the guidance committee form (either for the first committee meeting or the form for the later committee meetings - details below) serves as the annual review.
Once the student has collected all the signatures on either of the above forms, they will send the form to the Graduate Program Director, who will review and sign the form, and subsequently return to the student. Please make sure to combine the form and any emailed approvals in one single PDF document prior to submission to the Graduate Program Director. The student then uploads the approved document in gradplan. The process is described in a job aid that can be found here;
Gradplan will serve as the official repository of these forms from which they can be drawn, for example, in support of a fellowship nomination. Students and their advisors are strongly advised to keep private copies of the signed forms. It advisable that all previously obtained guidance committee forms are also uploaded to gradplan.
Starting Fall 2022, students who have not yet passed their comprehensive exam should complete the "Developing Shared Expectations" form within one semester of choosing a (tentative) advisor. For students who have already passed the comprehensive exam, completion of this form one time is recommended, but not required, unless students change advisor. If students change advisor, the form should be filled out with the new advisor within one semester. Until the guidance committee is formed, students and advisors should review the form and update where necessary at least once per year. After completing or updating the form, it should be submitted to the graduate program director for signing. Note that the Shared Expectations form serves as the annual review until the student form their guidance committee. Therefore, the completed and signed form needs to be uploaded by the student as an annual review after all signatures are obtained. This can be done by logging into https://student.msu.edu/, proceeding to gradplan and then annual review.
To complete the form, it is best if the student and advisor meet after having considered the different questions independently so that the meeting is efficient, and all topics identified by the student and advisor can be addressed and included. It is perfectly reasonable to add items not specifically listed and the documentation added at the end of the form might be useful for that purpose. It might also be the case that some of the questions are not relevant.
Prior to holding your first guidance meeting and oral subject exam (these are usually combined), students must submit their GradPlan, listing their committee members. The membership of the committee must be approved before the public announcement is sent out/or committee meeting held. A job aid for utilizing the new GradPlan can be found at here.
To send out the public announcement - Send the following information to the PA Graduate
Program Coordinator, Kim Crosslan, the following information 2 weeks PRIOR:
Name, Date, Time, Room/Zoom link and passcode, Title and Abstract of the presentation, and Committee Members (please mark the chairperson with an asterisk). Add the title and abstract to the back of the evaluation/rubric form (see below) and also send this to Kim Crosslan, so she can include it in the email announcement. This is important if committee members/audience join online.
Starting Fall 2022, students who hold their oral subject exams should prepare copies of the evaluation/rubric form (link below) for all members of the guidance committee members (required) and for the other other members of the audience (optional - please discuss with advisor). These forms should be handed out prior to the oral subject exam (title and abstract printed on the back), so that committee members (and audience, if requested) can return the forms to the advisor at the end of the oral subject exam. The student should use the rubric as a tool to prepare for the oral subject exam (it basically provides a check list) and the student and advisor can review feedback by the committee (and audience) together with the goal to identify strengths and weaknesses.
Upon completion of the first guidance committee meeting, the first guidance committee report forms (link below) must be saved in 1 PDF along with approvals from all committee members (physically signed, digitally signed or email form) and sent to graduate program director, who will review and sign, and send back to the student for submission into gradplan (see above). The first guidance committee also serves as the oral subject exam and constitutes the completion of the comprehensive exam requirement. Therefore, the student must also complete the comprehensive exam completion form for physics and send to the PA Graduate Program Coordinator. For graduate students in astronomy and astrophysics, the completion of the comprehensive exam is marked by the second-year project and the completion of required course work and recorded by the comprehensive completion for for astronomy and astrophysics. Both of these forms are linked below.
It is also the responsibility of the graduate student to maintain their GradPlan in Campus Solutions and follow up with their committee members as needed. Note that the First Guidance Committee report needs to be uploaded as an annual review by the student after all signatures are obtained. This can be done by logging into https://student.msu.edu/, proceeding to gradplan and then annual review.
- Physics Oral Subject Exam Evaluation/Rubric Form - required starting Fall 2022
- First guidance committee meeting report - updated 10/25/2021
- Comprehensive Exam completion (Physics) - updated 12/22/2022
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Comprehensive Exam completion (Astronomy & Astrophysics)
- Record of 2nd year project for doctoral degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics
For second and later guidance committee meetings, please use the following form, which must be saved in 1 PDF along with approvals from all committee members (physically signed, digitally signed or email form) and sent to graduate program director, who will review and sign.
Note that the Second and later Guidance Committee reports need to be uploaded by the student as an annual review after all signatures are obtained. This can be done by logging into https://student.msu.edu/, proceeding to gradplan and then annual review.
Upon successful completion of PhD Thesis Defense, form must be saved in 1 PDF along with approvals from all committee members (either digitally signed or email form) and sent to PA graduate secretary for processing and recording in GradPlan.
PhD Completion Form
Additional information regarding Electronic thesis and dissertation submissions can be found at the The Graduate School
The Graduate School does have some paperwork that is required in order for your Ph.D. degree to be conferred by the Department, NatSci, Graduate School and Registrar's Office:
New ETD Approval Form
Doctoral students Exit Survey
SED Survey (Michigan State University REQUIRES verification of completion of the survey)
Starting Fall 2022, students taking PHY800 should fill out section A of the PHY800 planning and feedback form (link below) together with their PHY800 mentor at the beginning of the semester and section B at the end of the semester. The completed form should be sent electronically to the graduate program director and coordinator no later than the Monday of finals week in order for credits to be awarded for taking PHY800.