MASTER'S DEGREE PATHWAY
If you are Conditionally Classified you must complete the conditions specified and then apply to become Classified by filling out a Change of Status form.
Meet with your Principal Investigator and/or Program-specific graduate advisor to discuss your Degree Completion Plan. This plan will include an unofficial Program of Study (POS), which is essentially a list of the specific courses a student will take in order to satisfy the requirements for the degree (as printed in the Graduate Bulletin). It includes both required coursework and electives. Students should consult with their Principal Investigator and/or Program-specific graduate advisor usually during the first semester, but no later than the third semester.
Below is a list of the 30 units of courses that will constitute your academic program; the course units can add up to 31 units if necessary but not more. Your POS must include:
- at least 15 units of 600-700 level courses including 797 and 799A
- no more than 9 units of credit/no credit courses (e.g. 797, 799A, and others)
- no more than 6 units of courses numbered 797 and 798 will be accepted. (For CMB students this is only 3 units because of the requirement to take 3 units of Bio 601 and for Microbiology students only 5 units because of the requirement to take at least 1 unit of Bio 601.)
- in order to take research units (797), special studies (798), or thesis proposal (600 - only CMB and Microbiology students) a completed Research & Special Studies form must be filed in the Biology Office
- no courses below the 500 level
- no course with a grade less than C
- GPA for POS courses must be at least 3.0
- This list of required, recommended, and elective courses for CMB and Microbiology students should be downloaded and consulted by all CMB and Microbiology students
The Degree Evaluation (also called the degree audit report) is a resource for students and advisors to track requirements for graduation. The report includes Program of Study, GPA and advancement to candidacy requirements. The Degree Evaluation is accessed by students via the 'Graduate' tab, where a 'Degree Evaluation' menu item is available. Programs in the table below have access to a Degree Evaluation.
For additional assistance with your degree audit report, please email: email@example.com
This is a requirement for all Masters students and is taken after you have formulated a thesis research project and collected some preliminary data.
- The chair will be your Thesis Adviser, the second member will be a fulltime faculty member from the Biology Department, and the third member must be a fulltime faculty member outside the Biology Department; you may have a fourth member if you wish. If your Thesis Adviser is an Adjunct Faculty member, then you must have a Co-Chair who is a full time faculty member in the Biology Department (in this case your committee would consist of four members). FERP and emeritus faculty can serve on Masters t hesis committees, and FERP faculty can chair thesis committees, but you will have to file the appropriate form with the Graduate Division.
- This will be open to the public and advertised: in the Biology Bulletin, by posting notices, and/or group E-mail. You will be expected to give a brief (20-30 minutes) presentation of your thesis proposal and answer questions from your committee and any others attending. The committee will then meet privately to determine whether to approve your proposal.
- Report the Results to the Department Graduate Advisor. Use the Thesis Proposal Form, which should be signed by your Thesis Adviser and by the Program Area Graduate Coordinator for your program. At this time they may also indicate if they approve of your Advancement to Candidacy; this step can also be approved later. This is a fillable PDF form that can be sent electronically to collect signatures.
One of the requirements of the Cell and Molecular Biology MS program (Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Physiology) is the presentation of a Thesis Proposal to a Thesis Committee. This requirement should be met after a student has joined a lab to perform his/her thesis research. The Thesis Proposal requires that the student be registered in Biol. 600 (3 units) during the semester the proposal is presented. To register for this class the student should obtain a schedule number from the Biology Department. The instructor in charge will be the Thesis Adviser (lab mentor) who will be responsible for assigning a grade after the proposal is completed.
The following are the steps to be taken in order to meet this requirement (the steps below should be in consultation with the student's lab mentor):
- Develop a Thesis Proposal:
1) Identify an original research project that is well focused.
2) Perform initial studies for the collection of preliminary data.
3) Develop a thesis proposal document that should include:
a) Aims of the research where a specific hypothesis and objectives to be accomplished are summarized (about ½ page).
b) Background and significance of the research where a short literature background is presented and the novelty and significance of the proposed research is stated (i.e. how is the proposed research going to benefit existing knowledge in the field) (1-2 pages).
c) Presentation of some preliminary data to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed project (2-3 pages).
d) Description of the experimental strategy (experiments to be performed, methodology, caveats and potential problems, possible interpretations of data etc) (3-4 pages).
e) Timeline for the completion of the project (about ½ page).
f) Reference list.
The exact page number for each section above is not strict, but the whole document should not exceed 10 pages total (excluding the reference list).
- Select your thesis committee: The chair will be your Thesis Adviser, the second member will be a fulltime faculty member from the Biology Department (or the MBI Institute for Molecular Biology Students), and the third member must be a fulltime faculty member outside the Biology Department (and outside the MBI for Molecular Biology students); you may have a fourth member if you wish. If your Thesis Adviser is an Adjunct Faculty member, then you must have a Co-Chair who is a full time faculty member in the Biology Department (in this case your committee would consist of four members). FERP and emeritus faculty can serve on Masters thesis committees, and FERP faculty can chair thesis committees, but you will have to file the appropriate form with the Graduate Division.
- Schedule your Thesis Proposal: In consultation with the Thesis Committee arrange a time and place for the oral presentation of the proposal. Please note that upon approval of the written thesis proposal document by your mentor, you should provide copies to your thesis committee at least two weeks in advance of the oral presentation. The presentation of the proposal This will be expected to give a brief (20-30 minutes) presentation of your thesis proposal and answer questions from your committee and any others attending. The committee will then meet privately to determine whether to approve your proposal. If approved, the Thesis Adviser will be responsible for assigning a letter grade for Biol 600.
- Report the Results to the Department Graduate Advisor: Use the Thesis Proposal Form, which should be signed by your Thesis Adviser and by the Program Area Graduate Coordinator for your program. At this time they may also indicate if they approve of your Advancement to Candidacy; this step can also b e approved later. This is a fillable PDF form that can be sent electronically to collect signatures.
This is done only after successful completion of your thesis proposal and submission of the Thesis Proposal Form. It may be completed during the semester that you plan to graduate, but it is best to do so as soon as possible after successfully proposing your thesis. If advancement to candidacy was not recommended when you successfully completed your thesis proposal; submit a new Thesis Proposal Form signed by your Thesis Adviser and Program Area Graduate Coordinator indicating that you may now be advanced to candidacy.
You can obtain this form from the Graduate Office after you are Advanced to Candidacy. It must be signed by all members of your committee and then by the Department Graduate Advisor (not the Graduate Coordinator of your Program Area) before you submit it to the Graduate Office.
You must be Advanced to Candidacy to enroll in Biology 799A "Thesis" and should do so in the semester in which you expect to graduate. If you do not graduate you will receive a grade of "RP" (in progress) and will need to enroll in Biology 799B "Thesis Extension" (0 units) until you complete your program. You must obtain the schedule number for Biology 799A from the Graduate Office.
Consult the Dissertation and Thesis Review web site. From the Montezuma Publishing Dissertation and Thesis Review web site, you can download an MS Word template for the thesis. Although the manual indicates that you should use a departmental style sheet for your thesis, there is not such a style sheet for Biology. Choose a journal to which you might or will send the results of your thesis. Use their instructions to authors for formatting your thesis, but consult with Montezuma Publishing if there are any conflicting instructions.
Apply for graduation in the semester you expect to graduate and check the Academic Calendar for the Deadline.
This is a public defense before your committee and others and must be advertised: in the Biology Bulletin, by posting notices, and/or group E-mail. This is a formal presentation of the results of your thesis research and will normally be about 45 minutes in length plus time for questions. Afterward your committee will meet privately to decide whether you have passed; committee members may require changes in your written thesis.
Submit your thesis to the Graduate Division after it is approved your committee for final approval of format. Check the Academic Calendar for Deadlines.