Annual Plan of Study Report

Graduate students are required to submit a plan of study report annually throughout their time in Joint Program. The objective of the report is to encourage you to reflect on your current intellectual interests and likely intellectual trajectory. Your Annual Plan of Study Report will be shared with the entire faculty during an annual review of the joint program.

While the report should furnish evidence of a coherent approach to coursework, prelim planning and, eventually, the dissertation project—we stress that this document does not constitute a contract; it is natural for plans and projections such as we ask to be provided in this type of report to change as you alter and refine your interests and goals.

Format & Deadline

The report itself ought to be in narrative form and approx 1-2 pages (single-spaced) in length. You must to turn in your report electronically to the Director of Graduate Study Assistant at UNC and at Duke by January 31 of each year.

Content of Report

Students who have passed their preliminary exams should submit a dissertation abstract and projected timeline for future work (completing chapters, applying for fellowships, presenting at conferences, submitting work for publication, etc.).

Students who have not yet passed their preliminary exams should consider the following questions when formulating their plans of study:

  • How do you understand and define your principal interests at this point in your career?
  • What are the key questions and concepts you find yourself grappling with?
  • What courses have helped you define these interests, and what sorts of courses do you hope to take in the future?
  • How do you see your intellectual projects and pursuits function within the broader discipline of German Studies?
  • What other disciplines or fields are important for the way you define and envision pursuing your interests?
  • Are there particular faculty beyond the program’s core faculty who might be able to help you acquire forms of expertise relevant to your long-term project
  • What methodological and theoretical training and expertise do you take to be particularly needed for successfully pursuing your intellectual objectives
  • Do your interests mandate additional language training?
  • What ideas do you have at the current moment about the shape of the reading lists for your comprehensive examinations
  • Required: When formulating your annual report, you must offer a short statement in which you compare your progress to the official program of study and state if you believe you meet, exceed, or find yourself behind expectations for your year in the Joint Program. This may involve identifying items on a checklist (e.g. second/research language requirement).

Committee to Supervise Your Program of Study

The Director of Graduate Studies in the major department will nominate a supervising committee for the approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs as early in the student's career as possible. The preliminary examination committee must be appointed and approved by the Associate Dean at least one month (30 days) before the preliminary examination can take place. The committee consists of at least four members, with one member designated as chair.

This committee should include at least three graduate faculty members of the major department and, usually, at least one from outside the department. For programs in which approval has been granted for related work from a clearly differentiated division within the department, one member of the committee may be chosen from that division. This committee, with all members participating, will determine a program of study and administer the preliminary examination.