General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36
|BIOL 8003||Introduction to Graduate Research||3|
|BIOL 8220||Seminar 1||3|
|Three 8000-level Biology seminars 2||9|
|Two additional graduate-level courses 3||6|
|Select three from the following:||9|
|Genomics in Medicine|
|Fundamentals of Genomic Evolutionary Medicine|
|Genomics and Infectious Disease Dynamics|
|Genomics and Evolutionary Biology of Parasites and Other Dependent Species|
|Ecology of Invasive Species|
|Plant Community Ecology|
|Biology of Plants|
|Global Change Science: Analytics with R|
|Polar Biology - Life at the Extremes|
|Stem Cell Biology|
|Tropical Marine Biology: Belize|
|Neurological Basis of Animal Behavior|
|Organization and Development of the Nervous System|
|Biochemistry of Embryogenesis|
|General Biochemistry I|
|General Biochemistry II|
|Remote Sensing and GIS|
|Research Courses 4||6|
|Preliminary Examination Preparation|
|Pre-Dissertation Research / Elevation to Candidacy|
|Total Credit Hours||36|
Students take 1 credit of BIOL 8220 in the Fall and 2 credits of BIOL 8220 in the Spring.
One 3-credit seminar may be replaced with three 1-credit seminars.
Additional courses are selected from 8000-level seminars or from 5000-level Biology courses. With approval from the student’s advisor and the Graduate Chair, two non-Biology graduate-level courses that align with the student’s career goals may be taken.
A minimum of 2 credits of BIOL 9999 must be taken.
All graduate-level courses must be passed with a "B-" or better.
All PhD candidates must have experience teaching at Temple University. A minimum teaching requirement of two terms may be satisfied by serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Biology Department.
Attendance at scheduled departmental colloquia is required.
The student independently prepares a written proposal and submits it to the Graduate Committee by April 1 of the student's fourth term. The proposal should follow the general format of a postdoctoral proposal to a federal granting agency (e.g., NIH). It should include background surrounding a particular research problem, including literature related to the problem and a detailed methodological plan for investigating the problem. The sections of the written proposal should include Title; Abstract (not to exceed 300 words); Specific Aims; Background and Significance; Preliminary Data; Experimental Design (including Rationale, Specific Methods, Interpretation of Possible Results, and Pitfalls and Alternative Strategies); and References in PNAS format. The preliminary exam proposal should be 15 to 20 pages in length. The research advisor is not to make direct contributions to the brief.
The Area Committee has two weeks in which to review the written proposal, and the student is allowed only one re-write. If the proposal is not accepted after the first re-write, the student is considered to have failed the exam. If the written proposal is accepted, an oral examination is scheduled through the department and held within two weeks. The oral examination tests the student's understanding of the background and substance of the research proposal and understanding of the area of specialization in which the research is embedded.
The preliminary examination is administered by the Preliminary Examination Committee in the absence of the research advisor. A minimum of three examiners serve on the Preliminary Examination Committee. The full exam, both written and oral, is graded by the Preliminary Examination Committee, and one of the following grades is assigned: Fail, Promising, Pass, High Pass, or Pass with Distinction. The evaluators look for a breadth and depth of understanding of specific research areas; a critical application of that knowledge to specific biological phenomena; and an ability to write a proposal in a manner consistent with scientists in the student's specialization. The student is notified of the grade the day the exam is taken. A passing grade requires a 2/3 majority of the Preliminary Examination Committee. The grade of Promising denotes that an exam must be retaken. Examinations that are to be retaken must be completed before October 1 of the following academic year.
The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical study that demonstrates the student's knowledge of research methods and mastery of their primary area of research.
The Doctoral Advisory Committee includes a minimum of four members: three from the department, including the advisor, and one from outside the department. Departmental members must be Graduate Faculty or equivalent research faculty and are chosen by the student and advisor. The Doctoral Advisory Committee is to be formed within two to three months after successful completion of the preliminary examination, with the exception of the outside member who may be chosen at a later date. The student may petition the Biology Department Graduate Committee to change an advisor or committee member if needed.
The Doctoral Defense is to consist of a formal departmental colloquium open to the public. It is conducted by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, with the outside examiner present. The Graduate School must be notified at least 10 working days in advance. Announcements of the dissertation defense are posted around the Biology Department and sent via e-mail or listserv.
The penultimate version of the dissertation must be approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee at least two weeks before the Graduate School deadline for submission of final copies.