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Department of Biology

Requirements for Thesis and the Thesis Defense

  1. Graduate students may write a thesis to complete their degree.
  2. The thesis must show originality, appropriate organization, clarity of purpose, critical analysis, and accuracy and completeness of documentation where needed. Critical and independent thinking is required. It must meet standards for publication in the scholarly journals of that discipline. Students must enroll in four units of thesis (299). The thesis should be written in discussion with the student's thesis committee, particularly the thesis committee chair.
  3. If students are completing their thesis with an outside agency or industry, students must adhere to all confidentiality agreements in place when writing their project report.
  4. If thesis work is not completed the semester for which the student has enrolled in 299, a grade of RP is entered. If the grade is not replaced within two years, the department may require the student to re-enroll in 299.
  5. Students must maintain continual enrollment at the University while: 1) completing a grade of RP in thesis (299), or a grade of I in any other course, OR 2) during the semester in which an application for the degree is to be granted. Students may apply for an official leave of absence with the Graduate Division to be exempted from this rule.
  6. Due dates for the thesis are determined by the Graduate Division and are listed in the University Calendar. The date is early in the semester. It is possible to make a few changes in the thesis after submission to the Graduate Division. No changes may be made after the last day of instruction for that semester or after the date assigned by the Graduate Division thesis consultant. The thesis committee, before submission to the graduate program, must approve the thesis.
  7. Students must submit their thesis at least two weeks before the university due date to their thesis committee members. Some committee members may require more than two weeks to read the thesis and if they request more time the student must distribute the thesis to that committee member earlier. Students should expect substantial rewriting of their thesis in response to committee member comments and suggestions. Students expecting to graduate in the summer semester should check with their committee about their schedule.
  8. The thesis must conform to the Graduate Division criteria on matters of format, documentation, and quality of writing. This information must be obtained from the Graduate Division.
  9. Final publication of the thesis requires the student turn in one original and two photocopies signed by the thesis committee, ready for binding and microfilming, to the Graduate Division. A receipt for binding and a microfilming fee should accompany the thesis copies. This must be completed by the last day assigned by the thesis consultant.
  10. Students must also defend their research in an oral presentation. This is a formal presentation of research results. This must be completed seven days prior to the last day of instruction for the semester the student wishes to graduate.
  11. The date, time and place of the defense must be arranged in consultation with the thesis committee members and in coordination with the Biology Department staff. Only certain days and times may be available. Students must also arrange for the appropriate equipment for their presentation (projector, overhead...)
  12. Students must produce and post notices for the thesis defense. Colloquium notices must be posted at least seven days before the colloquium around the Science building and other appropriate sites.