Students pursuing a master’s degree with thesis should have a thesis committee approved by the end of their first long term of enrollment in the graduate program. The thesis committee comprises three or more individuals and is chaired by the thesis advisor. Committee members should be selected by the student in consultation with the thesis advisor and should be chosen on the basis of what they can contribute to the student’s research and/or graduate studies. Committee members expect to be consulted about the research project and should contribute guidance and expertise to the project. A “Master’s Thesis Committee form” can be downloaded from the The Graduate College website and must be approved by the chair of the department’s graduate committee and the department chair prior to the submission of a thesis proposal.
Students working on a thesis are expected to enroll in a thesis course (BIO 5399A or BIO 5399B) each term that they are actively involved in research. Students should enroll in BIO 5399A for their first term of thesis research and in BIO 5399B for all subsequent terms. While enrolled in BIO 5399A the student should prepare a detailed thesis proposal that introduces the project to be investigated, summarizes the relevant background literature, and explains the methodology to be used in carrying out the research. A “Master’s Thesis Proposal form" can be downloaded from The Graduate College website. Submission of an approved thesis proposal to The Graduate College must be completed before the end of the student’s second term of enrollment in BIO 5399B. Students pursuing a thesis-based degree must be enrolled in at least one hour of thesis credit during the term in which they graduate.
All students completing a thesis are required to present the results of their research in an open seminar attended by the thesis committee members and other interested individuals. Following the public presentation of the thesis, the student must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the thesis committee.