Anatomy and Cell Biology: Thesis/Dissertation Process

Guidance
Each entering student is guided in his/her course of study by the Program Director with the assistance of the Graduate Advisory Committee until such time as the student determines a course of dissertation/thesis scholarship and selects a Research Advisor. The Research Advisor must hold an appointment in the Division of Anatomy and Cell Biology. The Research Advisor assists the student in development of a dissertation/thesis proposal, selection of a dissertation/thesis committee, and in oversight of the dissertation research and writing. The student, in consultation with the Research Advisor and Graduate Program Director, is responsible for assuring that his/her graduate coursework satisfies requirements of both the Division and The Graduate College for completion of the degree.

Thesis Requirements for Master's Students
After completion of their core course requirements and initiation of their research, students identify a master's thesis committee (three members) and present their thesis proposal for review. This proposal is ordinarily scheduled toward the end of summer after their first year. Completion of the study, the thesis, and its presentation and defense are to be completed by May in order to qualify for a June graduation.

Candidacy Requirements for Doctoral Students

Preliminary Examination
After completing the course requirements, the student must take the preliminary examination in order to qualify for degree candidacy. This examination emphasizes the student's ability to synthesize material, to solve problems and to communicate verbally and in writing. The first part of this examination consists of a written, comprehensive examination on course material. The second part, an oral examination, is based on the student's dissertation proposal.

Dissertation
Upon completion of both parts of the preliminary examination, the degree candidate devotes his/her time mainly to dissertation research and writing. The dissertation must be an original experimental or applied study; its format and review must comply with requirements of The Graduate College. The candidate must present the work in a University-wide forum and defend the completed dissertation before his/her research committee. This dissertation committee should be comprised of five members with at least one member from outside the division. An extramural committee member is recommended.