COSAM » Departments » Biological Sciences » Graduate Studies » Ph.D. » Information

Ph.D. Information 

Research Proposal:

The dissertation Research Proposal should be approved by the advisory committee and submitted by the end of the student’s third semester (excluding summer). If a student enters Fall 2010, then the proposal is due by the end of Fall Semester, 2011. Students should consult the major professor for guidance in preparing the Research Proposal.

Preliminary Exam:

This exam consists of oral and written components and is given by the student’s advisory committee in the student’s major and minor fields. Course work should be completed before these exams are taken. The written segment does not require approval in advance by the Graduate School.   The oral portion does require approval by making application to the graduate school at least 1 week in advance. The oral exam is given after the successful completion of the written exam but well in advance of the final exam. Additionally, students must be registered for BIOL 8950 (proposal seminar) the semester in which the oral exam is taken.  At least 1 complete semester must intervene between the oral exam and the final exam (thus, the 2 exams cannot be taken in consecutive semesters). A unanimous vote of approval is required for successful completion of the oral exam. If the exam is failed, a re-examination may be given on approval of the advisory committee and the Dean of the Graduate Council. A student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree upon successful completion of both the preliminary (written and oral) exams.

  • Ph.D. candidates must submit a completed BIOL 8950 First Seminar Packet to rm 331.  The packet includes: BIOL 8950 First Seminar Evaluation Form (one for each committee member), Oral Exam Rubrics (one for each committee member).

Final Exam:


After the final draft of the dissertation has been approved by the student’s advisory committee, it is submitted to the Graduate School, and an outside reader is appointed to read it. When the Graduate School has approved the dissertation, then the student can apply for the final exam (obtain this form from the Graduate School). This application must be filed with the Graduate School at least 1 week in advance of the final exam. The student must be registered for another credit hour of BIOL 8950 (defense seminar) the semester undertaking the defense. The final exam is administered by the student’s advisory committee and the outside reader attends. Successful completion requires a unanimous vote (excluding the outside reviewer).

  • Ph.D. candidates must submit a completed BIOL 8950 Final Defense Packet to rm 331.  The packet includes: BIOL 8950 Final Defense Evaluation Form (one for each committee member), Oral Exam and Thesis Rubrics (one for each committee member), an Exit Survey for the student, and a Faculty Exit Survey.

Graduation Check:


It is the responsibility of the student to request a graduate check from the Graduate School to determine if all requirements have been met. To do this, indicate expected graduation date on registration card during registration for final semester. It is essential that the graduation check be done no later than the end of the semester prior to the semester of graduation.



Last Updated: 07/15/2016