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Advancement to Candidacy

Preliminary examinations, or such other substantial tests as the graduate programs may elect, are prerequisites for advancement to candidacy. A student must be admitted to candidacy for the doctorate within five years after admission to the doctoral program and at least six months before the date on which the degree will be conferred. It is the responsibility of the student to submit an application for admission to candidacy when all the requirements for candidacy have been fulfilled. Applications for admission to candidacy are made in duplicate by the student and submitted to the graduate program for further action and transmission to the Graduate School.

Doctoral candidates are automatically registered for six (6) credits of Doctoral Dissertation Research (899), for which they pay the flat candidacy tuition.

Prerequisites for Advancement to Candidacy

BIPH699 Research in Biophysics (3 Rotations) (2 credits) (1st year -- Fall & Spring)

BIPH 698L Biophysics Seminar (1 credit) (1st year -- Fall & Spring)

BIPH704 Cell Biology (3 credits) (1st year -- 1st semester) or equivalent BIOL course

CHEM684 Chemical Thermodynamics (3 credits) (1st year -- 1st semester) or equivalent PHYS course

CHEM687 Statistical Mechanics I (1st year -- 2nd semester) or equivalent PHYS course

Minimum B average in all courses

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Qualifying Examination

BIPH898 Pre-Candidacy Research (1-8 credit) (2nd year)

Collection of preliminary data and preparation of a Proposal or a Scholarly Paper

Oral Presentation and Admission to Candidacy

Research Proposal

The student completes the preliminary stage of his/her research and by the end of the fifth semester he/she must present a research proposal. The research proposal is a document that demonstrates the ability of the candidate to analyze the topic/subject of his/her research, present preliminary data, and propose a realistic plan for the project. We do not stipulate the length or specific format, but the written proposal must have elements of a typical grant application: background and significance, problem statement, aims, preliminary data, and a research plan. A scholarly paper (for theoreticians) can present an in-depth analysis of a problem that may or may not be directly related to the primary topic of student research. The written proposal/paper is sent to a committee of 3-4 faculty a week before presentation. The written document and formal oral presentation of the research proposal are judged and discussed by the committee, which then provides recommendations for the thesis completion.

Advancement to candidacy should be scheduled during the fifth or sixth semester and cannot be less than six months prior to the students Ph.D. defense.

Application forms may be obtained at the Graduate School, Room 2123, Lee Building, or on the Biophysics Program website. Paperwork must be received by the Graduate School prior to the 25th of the month in order for the advancement to become effective the first day of the following month.