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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I enroll as a non-degree student?

No, you must enroll as a Ph.D. student.

 

I'm an Animal Biology Ph.D. student. When do I enroll in "590" and when in "599?"

For research prior to your prelim, enroll in "IB 590." After you have passed your prelim, enroll in "599," which requires a thesis to be deposited in the Graduate College.

 

What CRN do I use?

To obtain the correct CRN for your advisor for these courses, please contact Lisa in the Animal Biology office. Note: The CRN is not always the same number for all semesters. The number in the Course Schedule is a generic number and is NOT the correct number to use.

 

When do I have to take my prelim?

Following completion of coursework, students will take a preliminary examination (no later than the end of the 1st semester of their 3rd year). The examination will consist of both written and oral questions and will test the student's general knowledge in the three areas they have declared as being most relevant to their research (see list of topics). The written portion of the examination is to be completed within a one-week period. The format is to be determined by the graduate committee, but students are encouraged to devote one day each to the questions proposed by each committee member. During the examination, the student can use whatever literature is necessary to address the question. Following the written exam, the student will meet with each committee member to discuss the strengths and weaknesses revealed by the written exam. Within two weeks of the written exam, the student will complete an oral exam. As with the written exam, the oral exam will cover general knowledge in the student's three chosen areas. The duration of the oral exam will be approximately two hours.

 

In the second semester of their 3rd year, students will submit and defend a thesis proposal. The duration of this exam will also be approximately two hours. The purpose of this examination is twofold. First, the proposal should provide the thesis committee with enough information to determine whether or not successful completion of the proposed research would be sufficient for a PhD in Animal Biology. Second, the proposal should be written in such a way that it demonstrates that the student is proficient in scientific writing. A passing grade qualifies you as a PhD candidate.

 

What do I need to give to my Doctoral Committee prior to the proposal defense?

Two weeks prior to the proposal defense, you must present to the Doctoral Committee a proposal prepared in the format of a proposal for an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant. It should describe the objectives of the research project, the experimental plan and rationale, the results of pilot studies, a budget, and a tentative timetable for its completion. You will present evidence of feasibility and significance of the proposal, but the main research for the dissertation shall not have been performed prior to the proposal defense. A detailed report of the exam and a copy of the research proposal shall be submitted to the Graduate Committee.

 

What happens if I don't pass my prelim?

If the committee determines that a student's performance during the exam does not warrant a passing grade, they will defer their decision. A deferred decision will require you to take a second preliminary examination no later than the following semester. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

 

What's involved in the final defense?

Upon completion of your dissertation and the other requirements of the program, you shall be subject to a Final Examination, which shall consist of a defense of the dissertation. Copies of the completed dissertation, approved by the advisor, should be submitted to the Doctoral Committee at least two weeks prior to the Final Examination. The thesis will be judged in relation to published scholarly work in the field, and students are encouraged to begin publishing their results before taking their Final Examination. Passing this exam and presentation of the dissertation by the student at a public seminar sponsored by the program qualify you for the Ph.D. degree. Failure will require you to conduct additional research and to repeat the Final Examination.

 

What format does the dissertation need to be in? Who checks it?

Information pertaining to formatting can be found on the Thesis Office website. The Thesis Office and the Animal Biology Office Administrator will need to perform a thesis check one week prior to the date of deposit. (This allows time for any errors to be corrected.)

 

Who do I need to notify about setting up the prelim and/or defense?

The preliminary and final examination committees are appointed by the dean of the Graduate College, upon recommendation of the unit executive officer (Ken Paige). Three weeks prior to these exams, you must contact Lisa, the Animal Biology Office Administrator, to submit your request for a doctoral committee to the Graduate College.

 

What information do I need to supply?

Provide Lisa, the Animal Biology Office Administrator, with the following information for the prelim and final:

 

1. Date of exam

 

2. Members of your committee and their department: (a) chair (must be a member of the Graduate Faculty). For a prelim exam a member of the Doctoral Committee other than the major advisor will be appointed chair by the director of the program. For the final, the chair can be the major advisor; (b) contingent chair (optional); (c) director of dissertation research; (d) other members. The committee must include at least four voting members, three of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty and two tenured members of the faculty. Non-voting members, such as an external reader, a member of the faculty who is off campus, or others who can make a significant contribution to the research, may be appointed. For any non-member of the Graduate Faculty, a letter of justification is required. A CV would be helpful to submit; and (e) the committee should include faculty members from more than one area of specialization.

 

3. A two or three word specialization for each member (as it pertains to your research).

 

How do I get information about my Research Assistantship?

For information on RA appointments, contact your Advisor or the Animal Biology Office Administrator.

 

What about my Teaching Assistantship?

TA appointments are made by the department that controls the course.

 

What do I need to do to petition?

To petition, print out petition from the Graduate College. All petitions should be commented on and signed by your advisor and Ken Paige and brought to Lisa, the Animal Biology Office Administrator, to check. She will send the petition with supporting documents to the proper office for processing.

 

Who should I notify if my address or phone, etc., changes?

Inform the Animal Biology Office of all changes (address, phone, email, leaving campus for extended period of time, etc.). You should also inform Lisa, the Office Administrator, of all TA and RA appointments, grants, fellowships, awards, and publications each semester.

 

Can I take a course Credit/No Credit?

No. Animal Biology students cannot take courses Credit/No Credit.