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:
Evolution
Evolutionary Genetics Genomics
Behavioral Genetics
Animal Behavior
Conservation Biology
Herpetology
Biostatistics
Plant Community Ecology
Biology of Plants
Comparative Biomechanics
Epigenetics
Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience
Stem Cell Biology
Genomics
Tropical Marine Biology: Belize
Virology
Developmental Genetics
Freshwater Ecology
Systems Neuroscience
Neurological Basis of Animal Behavior
Organization and Development of the Nervous System
Biochemistry of Embryogenesis
Mammalian Development
Contemporary Biology
Molecular Biology
Cell Proliferation
Physical Biochemistry
General Biochemistry I
General Biochemistry II
Biotechnology
Analytical Biotechnology
Microbial Biotechnology
Total Credit Hours21

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.