The student handbook is the official guide for policies and procedures governing student progress in their M.A. and/or Ph.D. degree program. Policies do change periodically. The policies listed in the handbook for the academic year in which the student starts their degree program are those that apply throughout the student's program. If a policy changes after a student has already started a program, the student has the choice of following the policies that were in effect when they started or the new policy.