Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Thesis and Final Examination

General Information

The preparation and defense of the Ph.D. thesis in Physiology & Biophysics is a culmination of a student's independent laboratory research. During the course of thesis research, the Student Advisory Committee will assist the student and the thesis advisor in defining the nature and scope of the research project that will form the basis of the doctoral dissertation.

Students are required to remain in residence until the thesis research has been completed to the satisfaction of the Thesis Examination Committee. For a waiver of this requirement, the student must first submit a request in writing to the Student Advisory Committee. This request is then reviewed by the Departmental Graduate Student Committee which makes a recommendation to the Chairman of the Department for a final decision.

 
 

Notification of Intent to Graduate

During the first week of the semester in which graduation is planned, the Ph.D. candidate must submit a Thesis Defense Committee Form and a 1 page abstract of the thesis research and a list of publications to the Departmental Graduate Student Committee. The Notification lists members of the Thesis Examining Committee and proposed thesis title and date of the Thesis Examination (thesis defense). After approval by the Departmental Graduate Student Committee, this form will be signed by the chairman of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics. The completed form and the 1 page abstract of the thesis research will then be submitted to the office of the Sue Golding Graduate Division for approval of the membership of the Thesis Examining committee by the Sue Golding Graduate Committee.

At this same time, the Ph.D. thesis advisor must notify in writing the Chairman of the Departmental Graduate Student Committee that the Advisory Committee has reviewed the student's research progress and recommends that preparation and defense of the thesis begin. The Departmental Graduate Student Committee will determine that all requirements for the Ph.D. degree are met prior to the Thesis Examination.

 
 

Preparation and Defense of the Thesis for the Ph.D

It is the responsibility of the Ph.D. candidate to (1) obtain a copy of Manual on Dissertations from the Graduate School office; (2) consult the Graduate School for the deadline for submission of the doctoral dissertation; (3) consult the SGGD Academic Policies and (4) make provisions for the typing, duplication, binding and distribution of the thesis. Regulations on the format of theses, described in the Manual, must be adhered to for a thesis to be acceptable. In addition, it is the responsibility of the student to schedule the date and the location of the Ph.D. thesis defense at a time that is convenient to all members of the Examining Committee.

 
 

Submission of Doctoral Dissertation for the Thesis Examination

Candidates will submit the dissertation in a complete form to members of the Examining Committee in compliance with the Manual on Dissertations of the Graduate School, not less than three weeks prior to the date of the Thesis Examination. The dissertation must have been read and approved in writing by the thesis advisor prior to distribution to the Thesis Examining Committee. 

One copy of the thesis and abstract (the latter not to exceed 600 words) is given to each member of the Thesis Examining Committee, to the Chairman of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics, and to the Departmental Graduate Student Committee.

 
 

Public presentation of Doctoral Studies

The doctoral studies must be publicly presented in one of two ways:

Departmental Seminar. Notice of this seminar must be submitted to all members of the Thesis Examining Committee at least one week before the seminar. The public notice must be posted at least one week before the seminar and must clearly state that the seminar represents work performed in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree.

Annual StudentSymposium. If a student's abstract is selected by the Graduate Student Symposium Steering committee for presentation, students must inform the members of the Examining Committee in writing of the date of the scheduled presentation.

 
 

Procedures Following the Thesis Examination

(a). Decision of the Examining Committee
The Chairman of the Thesis Examining Committee is responsible for filing a Final Examination form with the Sue Golding Graduate Office. A copy of this form is included in the Appendix of these guidelines. In addition, the Chairman of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the Departmental Graduate Student Committee must be informed in writing of the decision of the examining Committee. The Possible decisions are: honors, pass with minor revision, pass conditional on substantial revision, and fail. The student should be informed in writing of the Examining Committee's criticisms if substantial revisions are requested or if the thesis is unacceptable.

(b). Alterations in the Thesis
Alterations in the thesis required by the Thesis Examination Committee must be made within a time period designated by the Thesis Examining Committee. All copies of the thesis will be recalled for correction if necessary. The Ph.D. Final Examination Form will be held by the Chairman of the Thesis Examining Committee or designate, until all required alterations have been made. If substantial revisions were requested, then the members of the Thesis Examining Committee or their designate must sign the final Examination form, indicating that all required changes have been made and that the thesis meets with their approval.

(c). Submission of the Thesis to the Graduate School
It is the responsibility of the candidate to submit the required number of copies of the final, approved thesis to the Graduate School (to be deposited in the library of the Medical School in black spring-back binders prior to the Graduate School deadline). One copy must be deposited in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics office.

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