Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 10

Required Courses:

BIOL 8003Introduction to Graduate Research3
BIOL 8220Seminar (1 s.h. in the Fall and 2 s.h. in the Spring)3
Five 3-s.h. Graduate Seminars 115
Select other coursework from the following:
BIOL 5101
Evolution
BIOL 5225
Evolutionary Genetics Genomics
BIOL 5232
Behavioral Genetics
BIOL 5254
Animal Behavior
BIOL 5307
Conservation Biology
BIOL 5311
Herpetology
BIOL 5312
Biostatistics
BIOL 5321
Plant Community Ecology
BIOL 5322
Plant Genetics
BIOL 5337
Comparative Biomechanics
BIOL 5338
Epigenetics
BIOL 5358
Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience
BIOL 5366
Stem Cell Biology
BIOL 5403
Genomics
BIOL 5416
Tropical Marine Biology: Belize
BIOL 5428
Virology
BIOL 5429
Developmental Genetics
BIOL 5436
Freshwater Ecology
BIOL 5452
Systems Neuroscience
BIOL 5454
Neurological Basis of Animal Behavior
BIOL 5456
Organization and Development of the Nervous System
BIOL 5464
Biochemistry of Embryogenesis
BIOL 5465
Mammalian Development
BIOL 5466
Contemporary Biology
BIOL 5469
Molecular Biology
BIOL 5471
Cell Proliferation
BIOL 5474
Physical Biochemistry
BIOL 5475
General Biochemistry I
BIOL 5476
General Biochemistry II
BIOL 5479
Biotechnology
BIOL 5501
Analytical Biotechnology
BIOL 5502
Microbial Biotechnology
Total Credit Hours21
1

One 3-credit seminar may be replaced with three 1-credit seminars. 

Additional Requirements:
All graduate-level courses must be passed with a "B-" or better.

All Ph.D. 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.

Culminating Events:
Preliminary Examination:
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. It 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 Graduate Secretary and held within two weeks. The oral examination tests the student's understanding of the background and substance of the research proposal and her/his 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.

Dissertation:
The doctoral dissertation is an original empirical study that demonstrates the student's knowledge of research methods and mastery of her/his 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 2 to 3 months after successful completion of the preliminary examination, with the exception of the outside member who may be chosen just prior to the Initial Dissertation Defense. The student may petition the Biology Department Graduate Committee to change an advisor or committee member.

The Initial Dissertation Defense is to be an open defense to which faculty and graduate students are invited. It is conducted significantly in advance of writing the final draft of the dissertation and is administered by the Dissertation Examining Committee, including the outside member. This is to be arranged by the dissertation advisor and the results reported to the Chair of the Graduate Committee and the Department Chair in writing, signed by committee members.

The Final Doctoral Examination is to consist of a formal departmental colloquium open to the public, but conducted by the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The outside examiner need not be present. The student then meets with the Dissertation Examining Committee after the colloquium for the Final Dissertation Defense. 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.

The scheduling of the Final Dissertation Defense is to be arranged by the dissertation advisor. 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.