Graduate student stipends in our department are tied to progress towards graduation as an incentive to complete degree requirements in a timely fashion. Graduate students who have passed the PhD written qualifying exam receive a 5% increase in their rate of pay. Another 5% raise is awarded to students who pass their PhD oral preliminary exam. Graduate students are expected to complete their PhD requirements within 12 semesters (6 years). Students who have not completed their degree requirements within six years but are making good progress will be supported to the extent possible, but shortages in the instructional budget may result in reduced TA support: 1/3 reduction for students in their seventh year, 2/3 reduction in the eighth year, and no guarantee of TA support beyond eight years. Whenever possible, graduate student stipends will be above the threshold to qualify for health insurance and tuition coverage; this is currently $7850/semester (as of 2017), which is approximately 90% of the base stipend. Implementation of these salary reductions is at the discretion of the Department Chair and the Director of Undergraduate Laboratories.