FORMING A THESIS COMMITTEE - By early Fall Quarter, in consultation with their advisor, CMB students assemble a thesis committee that is composed of their advisor and at least three other faculty members. The proposed committee must then be approved by the CMB Curriculum Committee.
QUALIFYING EXAM – CMB students prepare a written proposal for their dissertation research, and defend their proposal orally before the thesis committee by the end of fall quarter. Completing the required coursework and passing the Qualifying Exam permits students to formally enter into candidacy for the Ph.D.
THESIS RESEARCH – After passing the Qualifying Exam, CMB students devote the majority of their time to research. Students must have their first meeting with their thesis committee by the end of Spring Quarter of their second year (~6 months after the Qualifying Exam), and thereafter should meet at least annually with their thesis committee to discuss the progress of their research project. Students are expected to make an original contribution to the scholarship of their chosen field by publishing at least one first author, peer-reviewed paper. Students complete the requirements for the Ph.D. by writing a dissertation describing their research, presenting the work in a public seminar, and defending it in front of a faculty examination committee.
TEACHING ASSISTANTSHIPS (3RD YEAR AND BEYOND) – CMB students are required to serve as teaching assistants (TAs) for two quarters. Students are expected to perform one TA in the third year and one in the fourth year. With the permission of their advisor, students can TA additional classes for extra income.