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The Graduate College > Immunology / Microbiology > Immunology / Microbiology Graduate Programs > General Policies for Immunology / Microbiology Graduate Programs
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Eligibility for stipends

As a part of the program's intention to provide the opportunity to advance academically and develop scholarship in a reasonable period of time, tuition is waived and stipends are awarded to support vigorous and full-time commitment of students in the PhD track. Stipend in the PhD track is currently at $24,000/year, dispensed quarterly. Master's students do not receive stipend support nor tuition waivers.

Stipends for students in the PhD tract may be held or reduced from those students that fail to provide a full commitment to research and scholarly activities postpassing the precandidacy exam. This reduction will be passed on a recommendation by the student advisor to the GAC. The GAC may then inquire into this issue and decide on an outcome. Students in good academic/research standing are assured of their stipend for five years by their sponsoring department or section. Stipend support beyond five years is at the funding capabilities and discretion of the advisor. A sixth year student would not get a stipend from the department, although the advisor may continue to provide one from his or her laboratory funds. Students are accepted into the program with the understanding that they will devote their full time to learning and research. As the stipends are paid at the beginning of every quarter, any student leaving after receiving the stipend but without completing the quarter will be required to repay the balance in a prorated manner to the department. Students in the PhD track receiving stipend support and tuition waiver who for reasons other than departmental and college decisions transfer to the master's track will be required to repay the cost of tuition and stipend support provided to them. Some PhD students may be accepted without stipend support but will receive tuition waiver, these rare cases will be based on a mutual agreement between the student and the program director.


Students are entitled a total of two weeks vacation per year. The advisor must approve the vacation timing.

Parental leave policy

Parental leave will first be negotiated between student and advisor, subject to the provision that students may take up to six weeks (total) off during pregnancy and/or following the birth of the baby, with full stipend. If a student elects to take a longer period before returning to full-time graduate status, this additional time will be automatically considered a leave of absence, with no stipend provided. A student on paternity/maternity leave of absence is guaranteed reinstatement for up to six months after delivery.

Conditions for continuation in the program

If a student leaves residency in the program without completing the requirements of his or her degree, he or she may continue his or her status as a student for an additional two years, provided he or she arranges to meet his or her SDAC every six months. Otherwise, the student will be subject to dismissal at the end of six months after leaving the program.


All students are expected to keep a good and careful record of their research. Any student found falsifying, plagiarizing or misrepresenting data will be dismissed from the program. The original of all records must remain in the laboratory in which the student worked.

Problems between advisor and student

Prior to forming SDAC, if a problem arises between student and advisor, this problem should be discussed with the program director, who will then attempt to mediate and provide a reasonable solution to the problem. If a problem arises between a student and the advisor after the student has formed SDAC, the student and/or the advisor should discuss the problem with the SDAC chairperson. If the problem is not resolved within one month, the student/advisor should discuss it with the program director. It is recommended that difficulties be solved at an early stage. If the informal approaches are unsuccessful, and a student and/or advisor desires to sever their working relationship, those individuals involved shall petition in writing for such change to the program director. From the date of receipt of the written request for a change, two weeks of mutual introspection time is required before any change is considered. The program director will make the decision regarding whether or not to honor the student's request for transfer and will make the necessary arrangements to make the transition smooth. An advisor change is a serious matter and should only be contemplated after all other avenues have failed. Students must also be aware that an advisor change is not automatically approved, and that the availability of an alternate advisor may be very restricted.

For issues not covered on this page

For full information on departmental policies, see the Rush University catalog. In cases where an issue is not addressed on this Web page or in the catalog, policy will be set by the GAC.


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