Department Graduate Committee
and Major Advisor

The Department of Biology Graduate Committee consists of the graduate program coordinator and two or more faculty members. This committee has general supervision over the work of students progressing toward the Master's degree, and will determine whether students are adequately prepared for graduate study in biology.

Each new graduate student should consult with the graduate program coordinator for advice in selection of the appropriate graduate program. Students wishing to complete a thesis are responsible for contacting potential major advisors. Students may only enter the Thesis Program (Plan I) if they are accepted by a thesis advisor, and the Biology Graduate Committee approves the student's petition to enter the Thesis Program. The major advisor in consultation with the student will develop a program of specific courses and an acceptable thesis research proposal based on the student's interests, abilities and preparation. The major advisor will direct the thesis research. The program of courses and the thesis topic, as well as any subsequent modification of these, are subject to approval by the Department of Biology Graduate Committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Students following the non-thesis program should consult directly with the Department of Biology graduate program coordinator.

Students currently enrolled in the graduate program wishing to take courses off campus and include them in the degree program must petition the Department of Biology for approval through the graduate program coordinator and the Graduate Committee, otherwise the course may not be accepted as part of the program. 1000- to 9999-level extension courses are not applicable to the graduate program.

300-level courses taken will be accepted only by written approval of the department. 300-level courses are seen as support courses and therefore are not generally applicable to the graduate degree program.

Courses taken to satisfy quantitative or qualitative deficiencies cannot be applied toward a master's degree.

Repeat of courses or the comprehensive final examination require approval of the Department of Biology Graduate Committee and may be granted for serious and compelling reasons.

Thesis Program (Plan I)

Students electing this program, Plan I below, must conduct an original research study and from these efforts write a thesis acceptable to the major advisor, the department graduate committee and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The student should consult the Department of Biology for details on preparing the thesis manuscript.

A final oral examination consisting primarily of discussion of the thesis and thesis research is required. The official examiners are the major advisor, the department graduate committee, and a representative from outside the Department of Biology chosen by the Dean of Graduate Studies. Successful completion of the final oral examination includes acceptance of the thesis by the examiners.

Non-Thesis Program (Plan II)

Students pursuing this program are required to pass the Biology Department graduate comprehensive examination in addition to the completion of required course work selected from the three major curricular areas in biology as described in Plan II below. Students must register for BIOL 999 during the quarter they take the comprehensive final examination. The comprehensive final examination may be repeated one time only if justified by serious and compelling reasons and approved by the Biology Graduate Committee. Satisfactory completion of the Plan II must be certified by the Department of Biology Graduate Committee before graduation from the program is possible.

For more information please visit our website. Department of Biology