Expectations for Doctoral Degree
The SEAC has approved the following list of expectations to receive a PhD:
- Students will meet with their dissertation supervisory committee (external member may be absent) semiannually to review and report research progress. A written response to the committee evaluation must be provided to the Program Director in Experimental Pathology and to each member of the dissertation committee within one week following the committee meeting. Failure to have a meeting and/or to file the report of the meeting will result in a grade of “Unsatisfactory” in research or dissertation and immediately place the student on academic probation. Students cannot graduate while on academic probation.
- The student will prepare a one page single-spaced “annual progress report and research plan” that must be presented to the SEAC on September 30th each year. This report must be cosigned by the mentor as being an accurate and satisfactory assessment of the student’s work. Students will be required to list publications, abstracts, awards, grants, and presentations. Based upon the information provided, student progress will be evaluated by the SEAC annually in October.
- During the duration of the dissertation research period, a student must have presented their work (poster or oral) in at least one National Meeting. Mentors are encouraged to support student’s attendance at other meetings as part of their general training. A published abstract of their presentation should be provided to the SEAC.
- At the time of the dissertation defense, the student must be an author (first author or second if the journal states that the first and second authors are considered as equal contributors) on at least one peer-reviewed paper that has been accepted for publication. Most students have several publications by the time that they graduate.
- It is the responsibility of the student and mentor to ensure that the version of the dissertation that is sent by the student to all committee members is complete and in the final and presentable form that is required by the GSBS. The dissertation format is not fixed and can be, for example, a sequential report of the study with introduction, methods, data, discussion and bibliography sections, or as a package of published papers linked with a general introduction and discussion. A defense cannot be scheduled unless a final draft of the dissertation has been submitted to the Program Director and supervisory committee at least one month prior to the scheduled defense. A bound file consisting of published papers alone is not considered to be an adequate dissertation. All dissertations must follow the GSBS guidelines and be approved by the GSBS. All dissertation supervisory committee members are expected to read the dissertation prior to signing the “Request for Oral Defense” to determine if the student has completed all requirements and is prepared to defend the work during a public oral defense.
- Students will publicly defend their dissertation as required by the GSBS. This will be in the form of a one-hour public seminar and open session for questions. A private dissertation committee-only defense will be held immediately following the public defense. Upon successful dissertation defense and having met Program requirements outlined above, the committee members will formally approve the dissertation only by signing and accepting the final version.