General academic advising is done by the Program Administrator. Be sure to meet with her prior to registration and before completion of program milestones (prelims, comps, etc.) to ensure you are adhering to the graduate school rules. Once students have passed their comprehensive exam, they are admitted to candidacy for their Ph.D. At this point, they are advised by the Graduate Studies Advisor, Dr. Pollock on how to create their own curriculum vitae, which they are now responsible for maintaining. Once they have been admitted to candidacy, students only have to meet with Dr. Pollock twice a year (at the beginning of each semester) and demonstrate, using an updated C.V., that they are making adequate progress.
The preliminary examination is given at the end of the first year, is the departmentally administered preliminary examination. The preliminary examination is a broad-based written examination covering the didactic material presented during the CPBS 7711 and CPBS 7712, and the exam incorporates a week-long programming problem. The exact format of the examination, time and number of questions, may change on an annual basis. A passing grade is required for continuation in the program. In the case of a failing grade, it is entirely at the discretion of the preliminary exam committee whether to permit re-examination on all or part of the requirement, or to terminate the student’s matriculation. Assuming successful completion of the preliminary examination requirement, a student may immediately begin work in a dissertation laboratory and become eligible to take the University comprehensive examination.
A dissertation (written presentation of novel research) is based on original investigations and showing innovation in computational bioscience methodology. The dissertation proposal should be in a format comparable to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R03 grant submission.
The University-based Comprehensive Examination is an orally defended dissertation proposal taken at or near the end of the second year. It is based on the student's dissertation proposal, but can include other areas of study as well. This exam typically takes the format of presenting the problem, defending its innovation and demonstrating a workable knowledge of the field of study to assure that independent work is eminent. The student's dissertation committee judges the quality of the examination and makes recommendations for further academic advancement.
It is necessary that students complete all course work or at least be finishing all course work in the same semester as the exam, pass their preliminary examination and have a dissertation topic before scheduling their oral Comprehensive Examination. After successfully completing this examination and meeting all other Graduate School requirements, students are recognized as formal Ph.D. candidates who can proceed with the independent research work that usually culminates in their Ph.D. dissertation.
Application for Admission to Candidacy
Continuous Registration Requirement
Defense of Dissertation
Upon successfully defending the innovation of the problem and student's independent research efforts, the Ph.D. candidate must complete all the contingencies and formal recommendations of the dissertation committee and the program director. A final grade for the 30 semester hours of dissertation research will be assigned only after the student submits the final, approved manuscript, documenting the completed, innovative and independent research work, to the Dean of the Graduate School. If approved by the Graduate School, the Dean of the Graduate School makes a recommendation to the Chancellor, on behalf of the entire graduate school faculty, who then awards the Ph.D. degree to the candidate.
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