Indiana University
People  |    

Graduate Program | Policies and Procedures

Department of Telecommunications
Graduate Student Policies and Procedures

(revised: November 2012)

 

I. Procedures and Standards for Awarding of Associate Instructorships and Other Departmental Assistance

II. Summer Support for Graduate Students

III. Procedures and Standards for Recommending Graduate Students for Internal (to IU) Non-Departmental Awards

IV. Guidelines for Travel Funding

V. Procedures for Disseminating Information to Graduate Students

VI. Procedures for Changing Degree Plan

VII. Procedures for CORE Course Substitution

VIII. Procedures and Standards for Continuing from a Master’s Program to the Ph.D. Program

IX. Comprehensive Exam Policy

X. Office and Supply Policies

XI. Computer Priority and Access Policy

 

I. Procedures and Standards for Awarding of Associate Instructorships and Other Departmental Assistance

There are typically two categories of graduate student applicants for financial assistance: (1) new students who simultaneously apply for funding and admission to our graduate program and (2) continuing students who were either not funded at the point of admission to our graduate program or whose funding has run out.  In general, the same standards are applied to both groups of applicants for financial assistance.  However, procedures for each vary.

Applicants for admission to the program indicate their interest in being considered for assistantships and fellowships by checking the appropriate boxes on their admission applications.  Continuing but unfunded students apply by letter or by email, addressed to the graduate program administrator, Tamera Theodore. Students should be aware that the department relies on its limited financial resources as a means of recruiting new students.  Students not funded concurrently with their initial application for admission and students who have exhausted their funding contracts should not anticipate a high probability of receiving assistance later.

The department starts making decisions about financial assistance in January or February.  Already funded graduate students will continue to receive funding as stipulated in their contract unless they (1) are not making adequate academic progress or (2) did not meet their Student Academic Appointee responsibilities in a satisfactory way. Typically, in January or early February the department notifies all non-funded graduate students in residence of the opportunity to be considered for financial assistance for the following academic year. Students who request funding on a semester-by-semester basis are required to notify the department of their interest via email.  The department may ask them to submit supplemental materials.

The Graduate Committee rank orders new applications for financial assistance employing the same criteria used for admission, as well as the candidate’s record as it is relevant to teaching.  Top-ranked applicants are offered assistantships.  The number of assistantships varies from year to year depending on the department’s budget and the number of graduate students from the previous year who have completed their studies or expended their eligibility for support.  Some students may be notified that they are on a “wait list” and may be offered assistantships later if offers are declined by others or if additional funds become available.

Successful applicants for support at the Master’s level are eligible for up to two years of support from any funds administered by the department.  Ph.D. students are eligible to receive four years of funding.  A student who completes both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Department of Telecommunications could receive six years of support. 

 Since the department offers, and supports, M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, it makes an effort to distribute the money it has available to support graduate students pursuing all three degrees.  Graduate student progress is reviewed periodically.  Students who are in good academic standing and making reasonable progress toward their degree can expect to receive the maximum amount of support allowed for their degree. If a student’s academic performance is unsatisfactory or progress toward the degree is inadequate, funding is likely to be terminated.

>>Back to top.

II. Summer Support for Graduate Students

In most instances, the department will be unable to offer summer financial assistance to graduate students.  Associate Instructor appointments are normally only available for the two regular semesters.
On a highly variable basis, the department is able to offer financial assistance to a small number of graduate students in the summer.  These opportunities typically take the form of associate instructorships for a summer class.

Largely for budgetary and scheduling reasons, these opportunities develop very late in the spring semester often at the last moment before a summer session begins.  This means that the procedures for filling these positions must allow for substantial flexibility.

The department typically has a preliminary sense of the probabilities of summer support for graduate students in late April.  At that time, it notifies all graduate students in residence of the opportunity to apply for summer support.  Those interested notify Tamera Theodore, the graduate program administrator.

Selection of students for summer support is made collaboratively by the Chair of the department and the Director of Graduate Studies.  At times, it may have to be made by the Chair acting individually but, whenever possible, it is expected that the Chair will collaborate with the Director of Graduate Studies, and if necessary, the Graduate Committee.  Three factors are typically considered.  First is departmental need.  In most instances, these summer teaching opportunities for graduate students will require specific skills (e.g. telecommunications production skills) and/or background experience (e.g. familiarity with the summer course). In order to protect the integrity of our summer course offerings, the “fit” between a graduate student’s skills and prior experiences and a specific summer assignment is particularly important.  Second is academic record.  All other things being equal, we prefer to give summer assignments to graduate students with the highest level of academic performance.  Third, graduate students who are paid research assistants to individual faculty for a given summer will receive less consideration than graduate students who do not have such appointments for the Summer.

>>Back to top.

III. Procedures and Standards for Recommending Graduate Students for Internal (to IU) Non-Departmental Awards

On occasion, the department is asked to recommend graduate students for consideration of internal (to IU) but non-departmental forms of financial assistance made available by the university.  Such assistance includes dissertation fellowships and travel grants to attend profession conferences and conventions.

When these opportunities come up, the graduate program administrator, Tamera Theodore, distributes the information to all eligible graduate students.  Interested graduate students may be asked to submit materials to the Graduate Committee who will determine if that student is qualified for nomination for the award.

The number of names the department can forward for consideration for these types of awards is usually limited.  Thus, the Graduate Committee rank orders all students who request consideration.  In arriving at this rank ordering, the Graduate Committee considers (1) the specific criteria or standards specific to the award, (2) the academic record of the student, and (3) the significance of the award to the applicant given the progress of the applicant toward degree completion.  Under this last criterion, for example, the Department would probably choose to nominate (or rank higher) a well-qualified third year Ph.D. student seeking travel funds over a first semester Ph.D. student.

Selection of graduate students for research assistantships tied to grant money is normally made by the individual faculty member who received the grant.  Whenever possible, these opportunities are made known to all qualified graduate students.  The Graduate Committee recommends that faculty consult with them in the selection process of research assistants, however, the decision is ultimately that of the individual faculty member.

>>Back to top.

IV. Guidelines for Travel Funding

Limited departmental funding for graduate students to help supplement travel expenses associated with national and international conferences is available.  Awards are determined on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. The paper must be accepted for presentation based on peer review; that is, it is competitively reviewed by peer scholars.
  2. The student’s work has some supervision by a faculty member in Telecommunications at IU.
  3. The student will be presenting the paper at the conference.
  4. The student presents the paper at a T600 seminar meeting or similar event within the department prior to the conference.
  5. The student must request support from the department Chair in writing at least 30 days prior to departure.

Students who meet these criteria will receive funding.  Unfortunately, given limited resources, the department will only be able to cover up to $150.00 for one paper per student each fiscal year (the fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30).  To apply for departmental travel funding, please obtain an application from the graduate program administrator. Applications must be received by June 10th to receive travel funding for the current fiscal year.

Due to budget restrictions, departmental travel funds are not available at this time.

>>Back to top.

V. Procedures for Disseminating Information to Graduate Students

All graduate students are expected to establish and use electronic email accounts.  The department uses electronic mail as its primary means of making announcements to graduate students.

All graduate students have mailboxes which are located on the first floor of the building.  When printed communication with students is necessary, the department handles that through those mailboxes.

>>Back to top.

VI. Procedures for Changing Degree Plan

With some regularity students admitted to our Master’s degrees petition the department to switch from one degree to another (e.g., M.A. to M.S.) or to change from one degree track to another (e.g., M.S./Management to M.S./Design & Production). 

Degree objective changes should not be considered during a student’s first semester in a degree or degree track (M.S./Management or M.S./Design & Production).  While it is important for student interests and objectives to be matched with degrees/tracks as soon as possible, it seems reasonable to expect an incoming student to complete one semester in our graduate program before filing a request for change.

Course and general admission requirements vary across degrees/tracks.  Here are the specific procedures for all potential requests for degree/track objective changes.


Changing from M.S./Management or M.S./Design & Production to M.A.


 A student who wants to change degree objectives must petition the Graduate Committee in a memo, providing a rationale for the request.  The following materials must accompany the petition:

  1. Completed forms to designate a M.A. Committee
  2. Letter of support from the designated M.A. Committee Chair
  3. Proposed M.A. Program of Study & Rationale, including all CORE course requirements, approved by the student’s anticipated M.A. Committee
  4. Writing sample
  5. GRE scores
  6. A list of three references (name & contact info)

Similar to the way in which new applicants are reviewed, the Graduate Committee will use these materials in addition to the student’s academic file to review the petition and vote on admission to the M.A. program. If the student’s request is approved, the proposed M.A. Committee and M.A. Program of Study & Rationale will automatically be approved as well.


Changing from M.A. to M.S./Management    

A student who wants to change degree objectives must petition the Graduate Committee in a memo, providing a rationale for the request.  The following materials must accompany the petition:

  1. Completed forms to designate the M.S./Management Committee
  2. Letter of support from the student’s designated M.S./Management Committee Chair
  3. Proposed M.S./Management Program of Study & rationale, including all CORE course requirements, approved by student’s anticipated M.S. Committee   
  4. A list of three references (name & contact info)

The Graduate Committee will use these materials in addition to the student’s academic file to review the petition (similar to the way in which new applicants are reviewed) and vote on admission to the M.S./Management program. If the student’s admission is approved, the proposed M.S. Committee and M.S. Program of Study & Rationale will automatically be approved as well.


Changing from MA to MS/Design & Production 

A student who wants to change degree objectives must petition the Graduate Committee in a memo, providing a rationale for the request.  The following materials must accompany the petition:

  1. Completed forms to designate the M.S./Design & Production Committee
  2. Letter of support from the student’s designated Committee Chair
  3. Proposed M.S./Design & Production Program of Study & rationale, including all CORE course requirements, approved by student’s anticipated M.S. Committee  
  4. A list of three references (name & contact info)
  5. Creative portfolio

The Graduate Committee will use these materials in addition to the student’s academic file to review the petition (similar to the way in which new applicants are reviewed) and vote on admission to the M.S./Design and Production program. If the student’s admission is approved, the proposed M.S. Committee and M.S. Program of Study & Rationale will automatically be approved as well.


Changing from M.S./Design & Production to M.S./Management

A student who wants to change degree objectives must petition the Graduate Committee in a memo, providing a rationale for the request.  The following materials must accompany the petition:

  1. Completed forms to establish the M.S./Management Committee
  2. Letter of support from the student’s designated Committee Chair
  3. Proposed M.S./Management  Program of Study & rationale, including all CORE course requirements,  approved by student’s anticipated M.S. Committee  
  4. A list of three references (name & contact info)

The Graduate Committee will use these materials in addition to the student’s academic file to review the petition (similar to the way in which new applicants are reviewed) and vote on admission to the M.S./Management program. If the student’s admission is approved, the proposed M.S. Committee and Program of Study & Rationale will be approved as well. 


Changing from M.S./Management to M.S./Design & Production 

A student who wants to change degree objectives must petition the Graduate Committee in a memo, providing a rationale for the request.  The following materials must accompany the petition:

  1. Completed forms to designate the new M.S./Design & Production Committee
  2. Letter of support from the student’s designated Committee Chair
  3. Proposed M.S./Design & Production Program of Study & rationale, including all CORE course requirements, approved by student’s anticipated M.S. Committee    
  4. A list of three references (name & contact info)
  5. Creative portfolio

 The Graduate Committee will use these materials in addition to the student’s academic file to review the petition (similar to the way in which new applicants are reviewed) and vote on admission to the M.S./Design & Production program. If the student’s admission is approved, the proposed M.S. Committee and Program of Study & Rationale will be approved.

>>Back to top.

VII. Procedures for CORE Course Substitution

Substitution of core course requirements must be supported by the student’s Committee Chair who petitions the Graduate Committee. A favorable vote by the Graduate Committee prompts the Director of Graduate Studies to petition the University Graduate School.

There are three identified circumstances for core course substitution requests.  Procedures for handling each are described below.
 

Non-IU substitution – course taken at another institution that will serve as a substitution for a required CORE course

With the support of the student’s Master’s or Ph.D. Advisory Committee Chair, the student petitions the Graduate Committee. The following materials must be included with the petition:

  1. Program of Study & Rationale approved by the Committee
  2. Memo of support from Committee Chair affirming equivalency of CORE and substitution course
  3. Syllabus of substitution course (or other equivalent documentation about the course)

Note Master’s students:  only graduate coursework that was not previously applied toward a Master’s-level degree may be transferred to be applied toward an IU Master’s degree


Departmental substitution – other Telecommunications course that will serve as a substitution for a required CORE course

With the support of the student’s Master’s or Ph.D. Advisory Committee Chair, the student petitions the Graduate Committee. The following materials must be included with the petition:

  1. Program of Study & Rationale approved by the Committee
  2. Memo of support from Committee Chair affirming equivalency of CORE and substitution course
  3. Approved TEL-T 540 Independent Project Proposal or other substitution course syllabus (or other equivalent documentation about the course)


IU substitution – course taken in another IU school or department that will serve as a substitution for a required CORE course

With the support of the student’s Master’s or Ph.D. Advisory Committee Chair, the student petitions the Graduate Committee. The following materials must be included with the petition:

  1. Program of Study & Rationale approved by the Committee
  2. Memo of support from Committee Chair affirming equivalency of CORE and substitution courses
Syllabus of substitution course (or other equivalent documentation about the course)


>>Back to top.

VIII. Procedures and Standards for Continuing from a Master’s Program to the Ph.D. Program

The Graduate Committee applies the same admissions standards for internal and external applicants to our graduate program.  In other words, internal applicants have neither an advantage nor a disadvantage over external applicants.  The department requires students completing a Master’s degree with us to file an official IU paper application for graduate study in order to enter the Telecommunications Ph.D. program.

Master’s students who wish to apply to the Ph.D. program should submit a paper application, writing sample, and resume/CV.  They should also request three letters of recommendation and have those sent directly to the graduate program administrator, Tamera Theodore.  These letters and other application materials should be received by January 15 for admission to begin the following Fall.

The Graduate Committee considers the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and the academic record.  It may consult with faculty with whom the applicant has worked at IU beyond those who have submitted letters of recommendation.

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program are expected to complete their Master's degree (whether from this department or any other, at any university) before beginning Ph.D. coursework. Students pursuing the Ph.D. who have not finished the Master's degree will be considered as making unsatisfactory progress to the Ph.D. degree. All sanctions applied to cases of unsatisfactory progress may be applied in these cases, including termination of funding, academic probation, and removal from the Ph.D. program.

>>Back to top.

IX. Comprehensive Exam Policy

1) General Procedures

Comprehensive exams are taken after the completion of all coursework, including completion of all incompletes. Exams cannot be scheduled until grades of incomplete are removed from the student’s transcript. Students should coordinate written and oral exam dates with their Committee members first.  The next step is to contact the graduate program administrator, Tamera Theodore, at least five business days before the exam day to check on room availability and make other administrative preparations for the exam. Faculty must submit exam questions to Tamera electronically at least one full business day prior to the exam. 

Primary responsibility for formulating the content boundaries and procedures for the examination resides with the committee.

Students and committee members should discuss expectations prior to the exam.  Specifically, they should discuss:

  • The number and scope of the questions that will be asked.
  • Procedures that will be followed before, during, and after the examination.
  • Preparation strategies.

Exam procedures are established by the Committee in consultation with the student.  Exams will usually be taken closed-book in camera (at a place designated by the graduate program administrator, Tamera Theodore, using a computer provided by the department, without texts or notes).  Under some circumstances, with the agreement of all members of the Committee, exams may be taken open-book in camera, take-home, or through a combination of procedures.  Responses to open-book and take-home exams are expected to be far more detailed, substantial and comprehensive in scope than those taken in camera.

Under normal circumstances, the oral defense of the exam questions will take place within three weeks following the submission of all responses. Failure to hold the oral part of the exam within this time window would constitute failure of the exam as a whole, in which case the entire exam must be rescheduled and re-taken. If for any reason (special circumstances of the project, illness, etc.) the student or the committee wishes to schedule the oral exam outside this three-week window, prior approval should be obtained in writing from the Director of Graduate Studies.

In the oral defense, students can expect to be asked to expand on the answers they initially provided and to defend and discuss their responses.  Students are advised to actively prepare for the oral defense.  This might include:

  • Critically re-reading the written answers.
  • Identifying weak or incorrect points in those answers.
  • Preparing corrections and strengthening answers.

2) M.S. Examination

The M.S. (management) exam consists of two sets of questions.  One set emphasizes the breadth of knowledge of the field and the other examines the depth areas of the individualized program.  Questions may cut across courses within each area. Normally the total length of the exam is eight hours of questions.

The M.S. (design and production) exam will generally consist of one set of questions covering the coursework and a second set covering the M.S. project.  Normally the total length of the exam is eight hours of questions.

Required CORE courses vary depending on program entry date and concentration track: 

Requirements prior to Fall 2012:

  • Management – T505 and either T522 or T502
  • Design and Production – T505 and T580

Requirements for students admitted Fall 2012 and later:

  • Management – T505 and TWO of the following: T502, T504, T522, T532, T571 or T610
  • Design and Production – T505 and T580

3) Ph.D. Examination

The Ph.D. exam usually consists of four sets of questions.  These emphasize (1) the breadth of knowledge and understanding of the field (covered by T501, T502, T503, T504), (2) research methodology, (3) the areas delineated in your individualized program, and (4) the minor.

In camera closed-book exams usually consist of 16 hours of questions, four hours each on the breadth and methodology sections, four hours on the concentration area, and four hours on the minor.  More time may be granted for open-book and take-home exams.  Absent unusual circumstances, the exams should be taken over the course of no more than five business days.

>>Back to top.

X. Office and Supply Policies

The Department has three full time staff members who support department activities.  Reed Nelson is the financial officer for the department.  He is responsible for payroll, travel, and other duties associated with the office of the Chair.  Reed handles paychecks as well as paperwork associated with travel grants. Tamera Theodore is the graduate program administrator.  She is responsible for records associated with the graduate program and for classroom scheduling.  Turn to Tamera when you have questions about department forms that document your progress or if you need to schedule a classroom.  The third position is the department’s secretary/receptionist, Ashleigh Nero.  Among other duties, Ashleigh handles walk-in traffic in the main office.  She also distributes mail, processes departmental requests for Maxi (duplicating) services, and manages faculty and associate instructor teaching evaluations.

Supplies:  Departmental supplies are not available for your own class and personal needs.

Copying:  We don’t provide copying for your own coursework needs or for papers you author unless they are co-authored with a faculty member who then uses his/her access code.

Copying via Maxi (an IU copying service):  We do not pay for this, either.  Co-authored papers with faculty can be charged by the faculty member.

Mail:  Each graduate student will be assigned a shared, locked mail box which is located on the building’s lower level.  See Tamera for assignment and combination.  All incoming mail is placed in the mailboxes.  We don’t pay for outgoing mail.  The drop-off point in the building for outgoing campus and US mail is in room 255.

Letterhead:  Not available for personal use.  But feel free to use these for job application cover letters, for writing letters of recommendation (Associate Instructors only) and for research paper submissions.

Phone:  The A.I. office (room 240F) has a phone but it’s not for personal use; it cannot be used for long distance calls. 

Use of existing office facilities in room 261 (e.g., staff workstations):  Not permitted, even with staff permission.

Use of departmental production equipment:  Equipment is not available for free for out-of-class purposes.  If graduate students want to use the department’s equipment for out-of-class purposes, they might be able to rent it.  For more information, see John Walsh (email jdwalsh).

Graduate Student Media Lounge:  TV 322 functions as a lounge (to read, eat lunch, play games, etc) and as a research environment.  This space should be used by graduate students only (Associate Instructors should not meet with their students in room 322). Similarly, the Faculty/Staff Lounge (TV 301) is reserved solely for faculty and staff employed by our department and by Radio & TV Services. Students may not use TV 301.  

Third Floor Conference Room:  Faculty use TV 320 for research, departmental, and committee meetings. At the same time, this is a space that graduate students can reserve for oral defense meetings of exams, theses, final projects, and dissertations.  To book the room for such purposes, email one of the main office staff members. Please specify the faculty member with whom you will be meeting. On a side note, graduate students are encouraged to use the seminar table in room 326 for research/creative project meetings that do not involve faculty.    

Lockers: Many of you will have a locker to use.  See Tamera for availability and assignment. 

Computer room:  See Computer Priority and Access Policy section.

Keys:  Students are generally not provided keys to the building. Occasionally a student may use a key for access to specific rooms in the building – see Reed or Tamera for conditions and procedures.  See Tamera about access to rooms 322 and 326.  See Rob Potter about access to the ICR Lab in Eigenmann Hall.

>>Back to top.

XI. Computer Priority and Access Policy

1) Room 326

TV 326 – the Grad Lab – is the primary graduate computer lab where anything from media production to data analysis with SPSS can be done. The room also holds a conference table, a wall of whiteboards, a work table for interface modification and construction, and a data projector to facilitate group project meetings and discussions.

The computers in this room are to be used ONLY by Telecommunications graduate students and by non-Telecommunications graduate students enrolled in Telecommunications classes who have been granted access authorization.

Many Telecommunications students (particularly those enrolled in design and production courses) need powerful computers which have advanced multimedia design software installed. Room 326 offers this kind of work space.  Computer clusters around campus often do not meet these needs, although this is changing (see information about the lab in TV 250). 

While we encourage all of our graduate students to use these computers, we recognize that students involved in multimedia projects have few alternate places to work.  Therefore, the priority of use for computers in room 326 is:

  1. Students engaged in academic projects using Director, Flash, and 3-D Modeling
  2. SPSS data analysis
  3. Word processing
  4. Net search
  5. Email

2) Room 240F (Associate Instructor Office)

The computers in room 240F are provided for use by Associate Instructors holding office hours.  These machines do not have multimedia design capabilities.  They can by used for word processing, net searches, and email.  However, unlike room 326, these computers are only available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The priority of use for computers in room 240F is:

  1. Instructional support
  2. Word processing
  3. Net search
  4. Email

3) Room 250

TV 250 is a UITS (University Information Technology Services) Student Technology Center.  Classes are scheduled in this room throughout the day, but the room is available for use by all students whenever classes or special events are not in session.  A schedule will be posted outside the room.  STC reservations can also be made with the UITS reservations form.

In general, hours of operation are as follows, but please check the STC website for updates:

Monday:  7 AM-11 PM    
Tuesday:  7 AM-11 PM    
Wednesday:  7 AM-11 PM
Thursday:   7 AM-11 PM
Friday:  7 AM-11 PM
Saturday:  7 AM-11 PM     
Sunday:  7 AM-11 PM

During holidays and semester breaks, the availability of STCs & RTCs is often limited to staffed locations for safety and security reasons.

Unstaffed STCs in academic centers will close at the end of classes before holidays and semester breaks, reopening the afternoon prior to -- or the morning of -- the resumption of classes depending on the length of the holiday or break.

A verbal warning is issued before the lab closes to let people know to wrap up their work.  Once the lab door officially locks, the motion detectors will trip the alarm if anyone stays in the room.  IUPD will then be dispatched and a security report will be submitted.  So, the closing times need to be adhered to strictly.

Additional information about TV 250 and other STC’s can be found at here.

>>Back to top.

 

Nov 2012 TT
Information contained in this document is subject to revision.  Please contact the graduate program administrator if you have questions about specific policies and procedures