Biology Department photograph montage

General Program Requirements and Information

Selection of Committee

  • The committee must consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of five members. You should pick individuals with scientific expertise that can help you with your project and/or faculty that have had you in courses that can get to know you and write recommendation letters later.
     
  • The chair and the second member of your committee must hold tenured/tenure-track faculty appointments in your major department.
     
  • In circumstances where special expertise is available in another department, the graduate dean may authorize a designated tenured/tenure-track faculty member from a related department to serve as second reader.
     
  • With special permission, some long-term lecturers with terminal degrees in their field or with special expertise may serve as the second reviewer provided their curriculum vitae is on file in the Division of Graduate Studies.
  • The third member of a committee may be a lecturer or from outside the major department or university. Lectures or readers outside the university must hold a PhDs and have a current curriculum vitae on file in the Division of Graduate Studies.
  • To officially change the composition of your committee, you must submit a petition
     

Thesis Prospectus

Advancement to Candidacy (ATC)

  • Identifies ALL courses you have taken or plan to take to complete degree requirements.
  • Must be filed to the Biology Department Secretary the semester before you enroll in 895 or 898 (not in summer), typically your third semester. The written thesis is fulfilled by submitting EITHER Biology 895 OR 898. Please consult with your research advisor to determine which is the most appropriate for your field and your project.

Culminating Expereince (CE)

  • Title of your thesis (12 words or less)
  • Summary of thesis project to Graduate Division
  • Thesis committee established
     
  • If your thesis research requires an Animal/Human Subjects Protocol Form (see below), the Culminating Experience Form must be filed with the Protocol.
     
  • Due: October 1 (for graduation the following spring semester) to the Biology Department Secretary. Due: November 1 (to division of graduate studies)
     
  • The culminating experience is fulfilled by enrolling in EITHER Biology 895 OR 898. Please consult with your research advisor the semester before completing your ATC and CE forms to determine which is the most appropriate for your field and your project.
     
  • Biology 895 (Field Work or Research Project) Form
     
  • Biology 898 (Thesis) Form

 

Animal/Human Subjects Protocol Form

  • Only applies to research using vertebrates.  Consult with your research advisor in the 1st semester to determine if this form is necessary for your degree progress.

Report of Completion

  • The Report of Completion must be signed by all committee members.  It is required that you submit your thesis at least 2 weeks prior to your defense date, unless previously arranged with each of them.


The written thesis is fulfilled by submitting EITHER Biology 895 OR 898. Please consult with your research advisor the semester before completing your ATC and CE forms to determine which is the most appropriate for your field and your project.
 

  • Biology 895 (Field Work or Research Project): (4 units) unique to each project, but often quite succinct and in formal publication format. Start work in consultation with your advisor and committee to determine exact format.

 

  • Biology 898 (Thesis) (4 units) specific formatting required by the Graduate Division (e.g. margins, type of paper, etc.) and generally very comprehensive



Thesis Defense
 

  • It is required that you post fliers announcing your defense in Hensill Hall at least one week prior to the defense date.
  • Work with your committee to schedule a date for your thesis defense. Reserve a room for your defense with the Biology Graduate Secretary.
  • Report of Completion of Specified Graduate Program Requirements form (this form is initiated by the head of your committee). This form will be electronically signed by your committee on the day of your defense.


Please see the biology department graduate administrator to review what you will need on the day of your defense.