V. Milestones, Procedures, & Timetable

A. MASTER’S DEGREE with THESIS

1. A Major Professor, also known as Research Supervisor or Thesis Advisor is assigned.

2. The major professor meets with the student to identify areas of deficiency, appropriate coursework and a suitable research project (first semester). Upon entering the program additional advice
may be sought from the department head, Graduate Program Director and especially the student’s advisory committee regarding appropriate coursework.

3. Recommendation of committee members is made by the Major Professor by memo to the Graduate Program Director who communicates it to the Graduate School. The appointment of the committee is officially made by the Dean of the Graduate School.  (FORM M.4)
 
4. A working outline of a general research plan is reviewed by the Master’s Committee at its first meeting during second semester.
 
5. Final thesis outline is approved by the Master’s Committee and submitted (by Graduate Program Director) to the Graduate School. (FPRM M.5)
 
6. Master’s Committee approves copy of thesis and conducts the final “Defense of Thesis” oral examination. The result of the exam should be communicated by memo by the Major Professor to the Graduate Program Director or Department Head who communicates it by memo to the Graduate School.

FAST-TRACK or NON-THESIS MASTER’S DEGREE

This non-thesis Master’s Degree program requires the transfer of 6 graduate credits into the program, (if taken at University of Massachusetts– those credits cannot have been counted towards the requirements of another degree such as a bachelor’s degree). The 6 credits can have been taken as a non-degree graduate student or taken in another Graduate Program. Previous research or other practical experience and 4 semesters of attendance (generally summer after graduation, the following academic year fall and spring semesters and the culminating summer semester) are required. All other requirements and milestones are as per the Master’s degree as outlined in the previous section.

1.  Upon entering the program, students must establish a Sponsoring Faculty member (aka Major Professor) who will agree to guide the student in the 10 credits of independent study portion of the degree;
this can be lab research or other appropriate culminating experience that will produce a tangible outcome such as data suitable for a scientific publication or a handbook or manual for teaching.

2. The remainder of the 14 credits required is coursework.
 
3. Establish an advisory committee consisting of two or more ABBS faculty members

Ph.D. DEGREE

1. Upon entering the program, a major advisor, who is also the research supervisor or thesis advisor.

2. The major advisor meets with the student upon entry to identify areas of deficiency, appropriate coursework and a suitable research project. It is recommended that the student complete one or two course requirements per semester during the first 2 years, in order to have the coursework completed by the time of comprehensive exam.

3. The major professor recommends the committee members by memo to the Graduate Program Director. Based on a memo from the Graduate Program Director, the graduate school appoints the dissertation committee (form D.3)

4. Presentation of background information and preliminary data is reviewed by the dissertation committee at its first meeting as well as course work taken and expected to be completed.
 
5. The Preliminary Comprehensive Examination is scheduled and evaluated by the Dissertation Committee. The result of the exam must be communicated by the Major Advisor to the Graduate Program Director who communicates it to the Graduate School. (FORM D.2)
 
6. A final dissertation outline is approved by the dissertation committee and submitted (to the Graduate Program Director at least 7 months prior to the defense. (FORM D.4).  
 
7. The Dissertation Committee approves the dissertation before the final oral examination is scheduled.
 
8. Scheduling of a dissertation defense and final oral examination must be communicated by memo by the Major Advisor to the Graduate Program Director who communicates it by memo (FORM D.5) to the Graduate School. Scheduling must be at least 30 days prior to the examination date.
 
9. The results of the final oral examination are communicated by the Major Advisor to the Graduate Program Director or Department Head who communicates it by memo (FORM D.6) to the Graduate School.
 

 

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