The Program Director with input from the Academic Committee will advise students concerning course work during the first year. If a student is admitted as a GRA with direct support from a faculty member, the faculty member will serve as the advisor and co – advise on course selection. After registering, a graduate student must obtain approval from the Academic Committee or his / her advisor before adding or dropping a course. Students receiving support from the CMB Program or from fellowships generally rotate through three laboratories of their choice during their first two semesters in residence. This experience will allow them to become familiar with potential thesis projects and with several faculty members in their area of interest.
Final selection of an advisor should be made by the end of the second semester following enrollment, but must be made by the end of the first calendar year. The Advisor, their Department Head, the student and the CMB Program Director will sign a letter describing the commitment that the Department and Advisor are making to the student prior to the student joining a lab.
The advisor and student shall select a Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) that has expertise relevant to the major areas of the student’s graduate study. A minimum of three members is required for MS degree candidates and four committee members for PhD degree candidates, at least two (MS) and three (PhD) of the committee members must be members of the CMB faculty. In addition, the Graduate School requires the appointment of an outside member. This member must be a faculty member whose primary appointment is outside the home department of the student’s advisor. Faculty from outside of the University may also be appointed to committees (see the CMB Program Code for details). The CMB Program Director and / or Academic Committee may require changes to the committee structure or request justification prior to approving the GS6. This may be necessary to address, for example, conflicts of interest (e.g. committee members have a marital or mentor / mentee relationship) or perceived lack of relevant scientific expertise. The development of a formal plan of course work and research activities is the responsibility of the GAC.
The GAC should be selected and meet within three months of selecting an advisor to prepare the formal plan of study (Form GS 6 – Program of Study). Subsequently, this committee should meet annually, or more frequently if necessary, to advise a student and to submit an evaluation of the student’s progress in completing his / her academic requirements and thesis research.