UCLA_MCDB_Grad_handbook - UCLA Department of Molecular Cell...

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UCLA Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Ph.D. Student Handbook Academic Requirements and Guidelines 2010-2011
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Updated 8/12/10 1 PART I. WHAT WE EXPECT OF YOU A. NORMAL PROGRESS TOWARD THE PH.D. Throughout your career as a Ph.D. student in MCDB, you will be expected to maintain what is known as "normal time to degree." For a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology, from graduate admission to conferral of the degree, normal time-to-degree is five to six academic years (15-18 quarters). “Normal time to degree” means that you are moving through the series of steps necessary to obtain a Ph.D. degree at a reasonable pace, and at the level of performance we require of all our doctoral students. These steps are outlined below, and described in detail in the following sections. A. Maintenance of a minimum 3.0 grade point average in all formal coursework (100- and 200- level courses); reasonable progress in completing required coursework. B. Selection of a thesis advisor and initiation of Ph.D. thesis work by the beginning of the second year in residence*. C. Completion of the Departmental Written Qualifying Examination (DWQE) by the end of the second year of graduate study. The DWQE requirement is satisfied through formal constitution of the Doctoral Committee, to be followed by submission and subsequent presentation of a written proposal for the student's dissertation research at the first Doctoral Committee meeting. (See Section F: “Departmental Written Qualifying Exam” below for more information) . D. Presentation of an independent research proposal at the University Oral Qualifying Exam by January of the third year in residence (or by the end of Spring quarter if completing a TAship during Fall quarter of the third year). Upon passing this exam, the student will be advanced to doctoral candidacy (ATC) (see Section G: “The University Oral Qualifying Exam” for more information). E. Annual meetings with Doctoral committee. F. A midstream seminar between passing the University Oral Qualifying Examination and defending the thesis, but in no case later than the start of the fifth year of doctoral study. Failure to maintain these standards, as determined by the Graduate Advisor, will automatically render you ineligible for MCDB financial support, and may lead to dismissal from the program. *Throughout this handbook, your second year “in residence” refers to your second year in graduate school (including your first year in Access, if applicable), as differentiated from your second year in the MCDB doctoral program.
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Updated 8/12/10 2 B. COURSE WORK Effective Fall 2010, whether admitted to our doctoral program through ACCESS, MSTP, or STAR, in the first year of study for the Ph.D., students complete the following curriculum: In the Fall and Winter quarters students take four consecutive five-week courses in molecular and cell biology. These courses involve active student participation in small group, discussion- based courses focused on primary research articles. They stress problem-oriented learning of
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