Guidelines for Graduate
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
(Effective September 2007)
- Source and Duration of Funding
- The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry guarantees
academic year (10 month) support for full-time Ph.D. students
who make adequate progress toward their degree
and are in good academic standing. The Department does not guarantee
support for masters students.
Note: Continuing students (second year and beyond) who
are not supported by a research assistantship or fellowship
will be supported by a teaching assistantship if their
choice of research advisor has been approved by the department
chair and if their prior performance as a teaching assistant
has been adequate.
- All first year students will receive summer stipend support
either via faculty grants, training grants or department
sources. The latter funding source is available only to
first year students working for assistant professors. Continuing
students (second year and beyond) who do not receive a summer
research stipend from their faculty advisor will be eligible
for teaching positions during the summer and winter sessions.
Since summer and winter teaching positions are limited,
the department cannot assure that all students requesting
a teaching position will receive one.
- Continuing students having an Assistant Professor as their
thesis advisor will receive top priority for summer/winter
session teaching positions. In addition, the department
will provide a research supplement for these students so
that the total compensation is equivalent to the normal
summer research stipend.
- Graduate students wishing to be considered for a teaching
position in the summer or winter session must have the approval
of their faculty advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Placement of graduate students in research groups should
reflect the goal that each student spends no more than four
semesters as a teaching assistant during his/her graduate
career. Therefore, faculty accepting new graduate students
into her/his research group should have a credible plan
to support these students by a research assistantship beyond
the four-semester period.
- Eligibility for Funding:
Making Adequate Progress
In order to be eligible for financial support, a graduate
student must make adequate progress toward his/her degree.
The Graduate Curriculum Committee in consultation with the
thesis advisor will determine prior to the start of each semester
whether or not a student is making adequate progress. This
evaluation is based upon the following criteria.
- A minimum of fifteen credit hours toward the departmental
course requirement should be completed by the end of the
second semester of study. The departmental course requirement
should be fulfilled by the end of the fourth semester of
study. The student must maintain a grade point average of
3.00 in courses taken to fulfill the departmental course
- Students should join a research group or training grant
program by the end of the first semester of study. Students
who subsequently leave a research group or training grant
program should join a new group/program within two months
of leaving the previous group/program. If a student is unable
to join a research group or training grant program within
the specified time, then he/she must switch to the M.A.
- The cumulative examination requirement should be completed
by the end of the fourth semester of study.
- The student should meet with his/her Ph.D. Advisory Committee
and secure approval of his/her research program prior to
the end of the first semester after the cumulative examination
requirement is completed. The student should also meet with
his/her Ph.D. Advisory Committee for the second time at
least six months before the final Dissertation Defense.
- The language examination requirement (if any) should be
completed by the end of the fourth semester of study.
- The “Recommendation for Candidacy for the Ph.D.
Degree” form should be submitted to the department
and Office of Graduate Studies by the end of the fifth semester
- The student’s progress in thesis research should
be such that submission of a dissertation by the end of
five years (Ph.D.) or three years (M.S.) of study is feasible.
Evaluation of the student’s research progress is made
by the thesis advisor in consultation with the Ph.D. Advisory
- Eligibility for Funding: Academic
In order to be eligible for financial support, a graduate
student must be in good academic standing. This is a university
requirement. In order to remain in good academic standing,
a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point
average of 3.00 or greater in all coursework including research
Students who fail to maintain a 3.00 grade point average
will be issued an Academic Warning or will be placed on Academic
Probation depending upon the severity of the problem. First
year students issued an Academic Warning may request continued
support for one semester. This request will be evaluated by
the department which must endorse the request if it is to
be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies. Requests endorsed
by the department will be evaluated by the Office of Graduate
Studies for possible approval. Students placed on Academic
Probation are generally ineligible for financial support.
Academic standing and other university requirements are discussed
in the “Academic and Registration Regulations”
section of the Graduate Catalog. Graduate students should
become familiar with all university policies that influence
their appointments as research or teaching assistants, such
as academic honesty, registration requirements, and attendance
- Eligibility for Instructional Funding:
All teaching assistants in the department are evaluated at
the end of each semester by the course instructor and, if
appropriate, by the Manager of Laboratory Services. The performance
of each teaching assistant is rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (5
= highest). If a teaching assistant receives a rating of “1”
from either of the evaluators, he/she becomes ineligible for
future instructional funding. In exceptional cases, eligibility
may be reviewed by a committee consisting of the Chair, Associate
Chair, course instructor and, if appropriate, the Manager
of Laboratory Services. Student evaluations will also be considered