By the end of the student’s second semester, the chair of his or her doctoral committee will be selected with the approval of the department chair. The department chair, in consultation with the chair of the doctoral committee and the student, will nominate a doctoral committee to be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School. This committee will consist of no fewer than four members, including at least one person from outside the student’s research field. Adjunct graduate faculty may serve on the doctoral committee; a majority of the committee, however, must be regular members of the graduate faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences. Replacements which may be required on the committee will be nominated by the remaining committee members and the department chair from among qualified faculty in consultation with the student.
The doctoral committee will consult with the student in the formulation of a program of courses and research study for the duration of the Ph.D. program. The committee will meet with the student at least once a year to evaluate progress toward completion of the degree requirements. This evaluation may include written and oral presentations required of the student by the committee. This committee assessment of the student’s progress will appraise the student’s background knowledge and his or her competence in carrying out original independent research and will determine whether the student will be retained in the Ph.D. program.
The Department of Biological Sciences research-tool requirement is fulfilled by completing two graduate-level courses totaling no fewer than six hours of credit and chosen by the student’s doctoral committee.
The student must pass a candidacy examination consisting of written and oral portions and administered by the doctoral committee. This examination will include a comprehensive coverage of the student’s academic background to enable the committee to evaluate the student’s potential for successful completion of the Ph.D. degree program. This examination will be taken at a time designated by the doctoral committee, but no sooner than the completion of the first 27 graduate-level semester hours and no later than the completion of the first 60 graduate credit hours, to be applied to the Ph.D. program. A student who fails this examination may, with the permission of the committee, repeat it once; the repeated examination will be at a time designated by the committee, but no sooner than the lapse of one semester and no later than eight months before granting of the degree.
After the student has completed all other requirements for the degree, including the writing of a dissertation on a research topic approved by the student’s doctoral committee, an oral defense of the dissertation will be conducted by the doctoral committee.
The doctoral candidate will present a public lecture, based on his or her dissertation.
Following approval of the dissertation by the doctoral committee, acceptable copies must be submitted to the Graduate School.