1. Credit hours:
    • A total of 36 course credit hours are required by the Biology Department, including the two semester departmental core courses for graduate students and at least one graduate course in statistics. Students are encouraged to take courses from more than one conceptual area, listed under the Ph.D. requirements. No more than 9 credit hours from the independent study series may be used to fulfill the 36 course credit hours.:
      BIL 675Advanced Study in Plant or Animal Sciences1-6
      BIL 678Current Topics in Biological Research1
      At times these course numbers are used by professors to teach a new course or a special topics course, in which case the corresponding credit hours can be counted as a non-independent study credit hour. Course selection requires committee approval.
    • The minimum acceptable grade average in all coursework towards the degree is a "B (3.0)" and no grade may be below a "C."
  2. Passing a written comprehensive exam given by the committee.
  3. About the committee:
    • A single committee will combine the responsibilities of the initial supervisory and the comprehensive examination committees. The committee will be determined by the student in consultation with her/his advisor. The committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty, one of whom must be from outside the department, and one of whom must be a member of the graduate faculty. There is no sub-disciplinary representation requirement.
    • The examination committee is formed officially when the student is admitted to candidacy. It may comprise the same individuals as the supervisory committee, or it may be formed anew. The student in consultation with the advisor suggests the membership of the committee to the graduate school. The committee will consist of a minimum of three faculty including the student’s advisor, one of whom must be from outside the department, and one of whom must be a member of the graduate faculty. There is no sub-disciplinary representation requirement.
    • The examination committee is nominated by the department, but it must be approved and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. There is a special form that must be filed with the graduate school.
    • Committee meetings are required at least once a year (recommended at least once a semester); the student is responsible for arranging meetings; the student should keep the committee advised of major changes in the graduate program plan; memos summarizing each meeting should be in the student’s file.
  4. Other requirements described under "The Master’s Degree."
    • Note that although the Graduate School requires only 30 credit hours for an M.S. degree, the Department requires 36 course credit hours for a non-thesis M.S.
  5. About the time table:
    • The comprehensive exam must be passed by the end of the fourth semester.
    • No student may receive the degree in the same semester in which she/he is admitted to candidacy.
    • The indicated dates form firm deadlines. A student's committee, however, may submit a written petition to GAAC for an extension of time detailing reasons for the request. An extension will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances and will be effective upon written approval by GAAC.
    • Proposals to change the schedule for any reason should be preceded by a study of the graduate bulletin sections on leaves of absence, full time student status and recency of credit hour and explicitly address how the proposed change of schedule relates to these matters. The memo requesting the change also should address the proposed financial support.
  6. Completed SACS evaluation forms are required following the comprehensive exam.  The student is responsible for providing blank forms to the committee .  The graduate advisor is responsible for forwarding completed forms to the Graduate Director.  The student is responsible for ensuring the Graduate Director receives these forms.