Biological Sciences (M.S.)

Progress Toward Degree

Program of Study and Forming a Graduate Committee

During your first semester of graduate school you should declare your program of study and form a graduate committee that is composed of your faculty advisor, a second faculty member from biology, and an outside faculty member from a department other than biology. Additional faculty members or external scientists/faculty can be added as approved by the faculty advisor. You must submit a form indicating the composition of your committee. Work with your advisor and committee to identify the electives that are relevant for your career goals and degree.

Thesis Proposal Defense (M.S. Students)

During your second semester of graduate school you should organize a committee meeting to discuss your proposed thesis research and your plan for how you will accomplish this work. While it depends on the faculty advisor, you will typically need to prepare a written document outlining your thesis plan and give a presentation about this plan. Following the completion of this meeting you will need to submit a form indicating the committee's decision regarding your thesis plan.

Public and Private Thesis Defense (M.S. Students)

Typically during your fourth semester of graduate school you should begin to finalize writing your thesis and preparing for your final public and private thesis defense. A public defense is a requirement for the Biology M.S. program and your public defense must be advertised at least a week in advance. In addition to a public defense, you will need to schedule a final committee meeting for your private defense.

Submission of the Thesis (M.S. Students)

After the completion of your public and private defense and the acceptance of your thesis by your graduate committee, you will need to upload your thesis into the institution repository and have it finalized for approval by the graduate school. The School of Graduate Studies provides detailed instructions on the formatting of the thesis document and how to upload your final submission. These instructions also include information on how to order bound copies of your thesis. Follow these formatting instructions carefully, as it will greatly expedite the final submission of your thesis if it is in the proper formatting style. Also do not forget to apply for graduation in the semester you intend to graduate.

Timeline of your Final Semester (M.S. Students)

The final semester of your graduate program includes numerous forms and deadlines (discussed above). Keep track of when all the relevant dates these forms and milestones must be completed by checking this calendar of the current academic years deadlines.