III. Standards for Retention

A. Grade Point Averagestudent doing research in covid study

All students must meet the Graduate School grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 upon graduation. Master’s students complete a Master's Degree Eligibility Form and list the courses that will be counted towards the 30 credits averaging a GPA of 3.0 or above. A graduate student who, in any two semesters, consecutive or otherwise, has semester averages of below 2.8 will be subject to academic dismissal. Other reasons for academic dismissal include but are not limited to unsatisfactory progress in research or insufficient presence in the laboratory, and can be raised by the Thesis or Dissertation committee. The Graduate Program Director will then analyze the reasons and decide on actions.

B. Research

Research is required of all advanced degree candidates. Sufficient progress must be demonstrated for each semester during which a student registers for thesis or dissertation research or is on continuous enrollment and paid program fee unless the student has an official leave of absence. Progress will be determined by the Advisory Committee and Graduate Advisor at annual meetings.

C. Residency Requirements

All PhD Students are required to fulfill two semesters in residence (9 credits for 2 semesters consecutively- Fall/Spring or Spring/Fall), but generally it takes 4.5-6.5 years to complete a PhD in biological sciences fields. There is no specific residency requirement for Master's students but generally it takes 2 to 3 years to complete. Fifth Year Master’s students who transfer in 6 graduate credits and have prior research experience can complete requirements in 15 months.

   D. Statute of Limitations

To increase the efficiency of graduate training there is a limit on the time that a student can take to complete degree requirements. This insures that a student and the student's Graduate Advisor conceive and conduct research projects that can be completed in a realistic time frame. Time limits have been established by the graduate school. The Graduate Program Director may request extension of such limits from the Graduate School, with a justified request from the student and faculty advisor.

E. Teaching Experience

Teaching experience is an integral part of a program of study for PhD students. It is especially useful for those who go on to seek faculty positions. Therefore, the completion of an appropriate teaching assignment is highly recommended of all PhD Candidates. Teaching assignments are made by the Department Head and/or Graduate Program Director dependent upon the need for TA’s in specific courses and the experience of the student. International Students whose native language is not English and/or their degree was not in English are required to undergo testing for English competency.