m.s. in biology graduate student handbook

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  • School of Biological Sciences

    Master of Science in Biology

    Graduate Student Handbook

    School of Biological Sciences 215 Carson-Taylor Hall

    P.O. Box 3179 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana 71272

    318 257-4573 telephone 318 257-4574 fax

    June 2011

  • Notes

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    School of Biological Sciences William J. Campbell, Ph.D. Interim Director campbell@latech.edu

    215 Carson-Taylor Hall Telephone: (318) 257-4573 P.O. Box 3179 Fax: (318) 257-4574 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, Louisiana 71272 Web Page: http://ans.latech.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=109&Itemid=135

    College of Applied and Natural Sciences James D. Liberatos, Ph.D. Dean William J. Campbell, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

    913 Prescott Library Telephone: (318) 257-4287 P.O. Box 10197 Fax: (318) 257-5060 Louisiana Tech University Web Page Ruston, Louisiana 71272 http://www.ans.latech.edu

    Louisiana Tech University Graduate School Terry M. McConathy, Ph.D. Executive Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School

    Wyly Tower, Room 1642 Telephone: (318) 257-2924 P.O. Box 7923 Fax: (318) 257-4487 Louisiana Tech University Web Page Ruston, Louisiana 71272 http://www.latech.edu/graduate_school

    Note: The Graduate School website is a source of information regarding policies, deadlines, preparation of the thesis, and downloadable Graduate School forms.

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    Some Important Points to Know and Remember

    Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Biology program should read and become familiar with the information in this Handbook.

    During the first quarter enrolled in Graduate School students should: (a) assemble your Graduate Advisory Committee, and designate a Chair of the committee to be your Advisor {GS Form 5}

    (b) complete and submit your Plan of Study {GS Form 6 form must be typed and be on a single page, front and back}

    Students receiving a graduate assistantship (teaching or research) must be registered for a minimum of 6 hours of graduate credit per quarter. In certain situations students receiving an assistantship may be able to register for 3 hours of graduate credit during summer quarter if specified criteria are met; check with your advisor or the Graduate School if you have questions about summer registration requirements.

    Students pursuing thesis research must be registered for a minimum of 3 hours of graduate credit per quarter.

    Students pursuing the Thesis Plan should submit their thesis research proposal (and GS Form 10) prior to actually beginning their thesis research.

    Non-thesis students should register for BISC 585 (Comprehensive Examination in Biological Sciences) and schedule their written comprehensive examinations the quarter preceding their anticipated date of graduation. Non-thesis students must be enrolled in BISC 585 to be eligible to take their written comprehensive examinations. {BISC 585 is a 0 credit hour course, and there is no tuition cost to register for this course.}

    If a student changes from the Thesis Plan to Non-Thesis Plan, or vice versa, the students advisor must notify, in writing, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research.

    As a graduate student, you are responsible for being aware of all University, College, and School of Biological Sciences guidelines and deadlines.

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    Table of Contents Page General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Admission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 General Regulations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Program Of Study: Thesis Plan . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Summary Time Table For Thesis Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Program Of Study: Non-Thesis Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Summary Time Table For Non-Thesis Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Appendices Begin on Page 18 Appendix A: Graduate Faculty: School of Biological Sciences Appendix B: Graduate Faculty: Department of Agricultural Sciences School of Forestry Appendix C: Graduate School Forms GS 5 form Appointment of Advisory Committee GS 6 form Plan of Study - Thesis Plan GS 6 form Plan of Study - Non-Thesis Plan GS 10 form Proposal for Thesis GS 11 form Examination Report

  • 5

    GENERAL INFORMATION The School of Biological Sciences offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in Biology. A student may pursue either the thesis plan (30 semester hours) or the non-thesis plan (36 semester hours). Details of these plans are described below. The School of Biological Sciences participates in the interdisciplinary degree program for the Master of Science in Molecular Sciences and Nanotechnology (MSNT), and the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Computational Analysis and Modeling (CAM). The information in this handbook is provided primarily for students enrolled in the M.S. in Biology degree program. Applicants interested in pursuing the thesis plan are encouraged to discuss their research interests with members of the Biological Sciences Graduate Faculty (see list in Appendix) in whose research area they are interested. The thesis plan is strongly recommended for students considering a Ph.D. program after completing the Master of Science program, and for students planning for a career in research. The non-thesis plan is sometimes preferred by students interested in gaining admission to professional schools, or those wishing to enhance their background and experience in biology. Graduate students with Unconditional Admission status (see below) may apply for financial support in the form of Graduate Assistantships. Assistantship application forms are available from the School of Biological Sciences, the College of Applied and Natural Sciences, or the Graduate School. Assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis; not all students applying for an assistantship will receive financial support. Preference is given to students in the thesis plan. Completed assistantship application forms should be submitted to the Director of the School of Biological Sciences (215 Carson-Taylor Hall). Questions regarding the awarding of assistantships should be directed to the School of Biological Sciences. In addition to this Graduate Student Handbook for students in the School of Biological Sciences, graduate students should familiarize themselves with the pertinent guidelines of the College of Applied and Natural Sciences and Louisiana Tech University, as stated in the current edition of the Louisiana Tech University Catalog. Information regarding the Graduate School is available online at www.latech.edu/graduate_school . Students pursuing the M.S. thesis plan must also obtain a copy of the Guidelines For The Preparation And Submission Of Your Thesis Or Dissertation, available from the Graduate School, or by downloading from the Graduate School website.

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    ADMISSION Applicants seeking admission to the Biology Graduate Program in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences must meet the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School, as published in the current Catalog of Louisiana Tech University, as well as meet the admission requirements of the School of Biological Sciences. Each graduate student must assume personal responsibility for knowing the Graduate School regulations and requirements described in the current Catalog. Admission decisions regarding the Master of Science in Biology program are based on an applicants GPA and on the applicants scores on the general test of the GRE (Graduate Record Exam). Students applying to the program should submit an official copy of their GRE scores at the time they submit their Graduate School application. GPA and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) To be considered for admission to the graduate program in Biology, an applicant must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale), overall or on the final 60 semester hours. In addition, applicants must submit official scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Based on an applicants GPA and GRE scores, admission to the graduate program in Biology may be either Unconditional or Conditional. Unconditional Admission* For Unconditional Admission into the graduate program in Biology an applicant must possess a minimum undergraduate GPA (overall, or on the final 60 semester hours) of 3.00. In addition, a score of at least 1400 is required as calculated using the following equation: (GPA X 200) + (verbal GRE + quantitative GRE) = 1400 Conditional Admission* For Conditional Admission into the graduate program in Biology an applicant must possess a minimum undergraduate GPA (overall, or on the final 60 semester hours) of 2.50, and a score of at least 1200 as calculated using the following equation: (GPA X 200) + (verbal GRE + quantitative GRE) = 1200 * The equations above for Unconditional and Conditional admission will be utilized for applications submitted with scores on GRE tests completed prior to August 1, 2011. Effective August 1, 2011, a revised GRE test will be scored on a new point scale (130-170) for both the quantitative and verbal sections of the general test. New equations for Unconditional

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