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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2016-2017

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-06-16

Biomedical Sciences PhD



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that are required.

The program requires 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students with an earned master’s degree may request that up to 30 credit hours of previous course work be waived.

New students will take a two-semester introductory course, participate in laboratory rotations to identify a research area of interest, and take a sequence of required seminars.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Graduate Teaching Assistantship students must serve as teaching assistants (GTAs) for a minimum of two semesters during the first two years of the Program and before the candidacy exam. The Graduate committee may exempt a student from a GTA who has done relevant teaching, for at least two semesters, in a graduate program. Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution are required to take the Speak Exam before they are permitted to teach as a GTA.

Laboratory Safety

All Graduate Students are required to complete the following Lab and Safety Training Courses below. If you missed the scheduled training sessions during Orientation week, you must contact the Environmental Health and Training Office to reschedule.www.ehs.ucf.edu/

  • Laboratory Safety
  • Radiation Safety
  • Biosafety / Biomedical Waste
  • Bloodborne Pathogens

First Year

First Year Students will register for the following required courses:

  • Core Course: Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Science I and II (BSC 6432/3) 
  • Seminar Course (IDS 7690 Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences, 2 semesters) 
  • Laboratory Rotations/Selection of an Advisor 
  • Experimental Design & Analysis in Biomedical Sciences (IDS 6694)  
  • Optional: Elective Courses (Maximum = 4 credits per semester)

* Students must serve as teaching assistants (GTA - 2 semesters).

Every student will be evaluated after each semester. Any student who receives a “C” in the core course will be suspended from the program until they have retaken the course that they received the “C” in and achieve a “B” or better before continuing in the program.  If the GPA is below 2.0 the student will be removed from the program.  If the GPA is between 2.0-3.0 a probationary period of one semester (9 credit hours) will be granted to give the student an opportunity to achieve the required minimum GPA of 3.0.

First Year, Mentor and Committee Selection

First year students are required to attend faculty presentations about their research programs. The students are required to have further discussion about research with faculty members. Based on these discussions the student will choose at least two laboratories in which the student will conduct a research rotation for a period of ~3 months each. Specific dates may change each year but generally adhere to the following schedule:

  • 1st Rotation – September 8 through November 26
  • 2nd Rotation – December 1 through February 20
  • 3rd Rotation – February 23 through May 15

All first year students are REQUIRED to do at least two rotations in two different laboratories. Students are encouraged to identify their dissertation mentor as soon as possible after completing a minimum of two rotations, but may opt to do a third rotation if needed. Students are expected to have identified a research mentor and be working in their dissertation laboratory by the start of the summer semester in year 1.

Written rotation evaluations (signed form or official e-mail notification from PI) must be submitted to the program coordinator by the PI for each student. The evaluations will be graded S/U. If the student receives a “U” for a rotation, the PI should briefly indicate the reasons in writing. This information should be made available to the student and also be accessible to any other PhD program faculty with whom that student is considering rotating. Students that receive 2 “U” marks during their rotations will be automatically dismissed from the program.

Exemptions from laboratory rotations may be granted by the Director and Coordinator of the PhD program only if the student had already worked for a minimum of one year in the laboratory of one of the program faculty prior to the start of the graduate study, or in cases where a student is coming to UCF to join a specific research program. In such a case the faculty member will provide financial support for the first year equal to the difference between the teaching assistantship and the program stipend. In rare cases, a student may be granted exemption from continuing rotations if the student commits to a specific mentor and the mentor agrees to serve as the thesis mentor.  Such cases must be approved by the Graduate Committee including the Program Coordinator and Director. If approved, the mentor will immediately assume full financial responsibility for the student. In most cases, students will complete 3 rotations and decide, jointly with the prospective mentor, which laboratory to join for their PhD thesis work.

By June, the student is to select an advisor whose research program will assume the responsibility for the stipend and tuition waiver for the student after the first year until the dissertation is completed, dependent on satisfactory progress and availability of funds.

The students are required to select the dissertation advisory committee by the end of the first year. There will be a minimum of four program faculty members representing at least two different participating units (such as Burnett School of Biomedical Science, Nanoscience Technology Center, Department of Chemistry, etc.). A fifth “external” member can participate in the committee. The chair of the dissertation committee is the student’s primary advisor; if the faculty member has not previously mentored a PhD student to completion, a senior UCF faculty member (Associate or Full Professor) on the committee shall be selected to serve as co-chair. In cases where the primary advisor is a non-UCF Investigator (i.e., Courtesy Faculty Appointments from faculty at institutions other than UCF), then one of the UCF faculty members on the student’s dissertation committee will serve as co-chair of the committee together with the student’s primary advisor. At least two UCF faculty members must serve on the student’s thesis committee, and at least one of these must be at the rank of Associate or Full Professor and have experience mentoring graduate students indicated by the successful graduation of students from their labs. All thesis committee selection must be approved by the degree program coordinator and BSBS director. The program policies will be strictly enforced with consequences for violations.

Students are required to complete a Plan of Study to be approved by the mentor and the dissertation committee. The Plan of Study must be completed, signed and submitted to the PhD Program Office before the start of the second year.

The dissertation advisory committee is required to meet at least once per year on or before November 30th to review each student’s progress. The format will be an oral report.

Second Year and Beyond

The student will convene their first dissertation committee meeting during the fall semester of their second year (deadline = November 30). The purpose of the first committee meeting is for the student to present his/her proposed dissertation research to the dissertation advisory committee, receiving feedback on whether the studies proposed will yield at least two publishable bodies of work.

For the meeting, the student is expected to give an oral presentation of the dissertation research project, including relevant background and preliminary data, although less emphasis will be placed on preliminary data. During the oral presentation, the student will be evaluated by their understanding of the experimental plan. Importance will be placed on the ability of the student to explain the rationale and hypothesis that supports the research proposed.

While a full written proposal is not required at this time, it is recommended that students give their committee members a one-page write-up of the central hypothesis and specific aims that support their dissertation research project at least two weeks prior to the date of the oral presentation.

During the oral presentation, the student can receive suggestions from his/her committee on how to prepare for the written and oral components of the candidacy examination (see below).

Second Year Students will register for the following required courses:

  • Core Course: Practice of Biomedical Sciences (BSC 6431)
  • Seminar Course (IDS 7690 Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences) Students will take 2 semesters of IDS 7690 LEC (Second Year Section - 003)
  • Elective Courses/Dissertation Research
Summary of Specified Deadlines for Second Year PhD Students

Sep. 15: Deadline for selecting dissertation committee

Nov. 30: Deadline for first dissertation committee meeting

Apr 1:  Deadline for submission of the complete written candidacy proposal to the dissertation committee 

May 1: Deadline for students to receive written critiques from dissertation committee members

June 1: Deadline for submission of revised “final” written candidacy exam proposal 

June 30: Deadline for oral defense of candidacy exam proposal

Specified Deadline for Third Year and beyond PhD Students

Nov 30: Deadline for completing annual thesis committee review

Elective Courses

*Students must take a minimum of four elective courses (adding up to not less than 12 credit hours)

  • BSC 5418 Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5436 Biomedical Informatics: Structure Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CAP 5510 Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (2 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535 Forensic Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6536 Forensic Analysis of DNA Data (2 credit hours)
  • GEB 5516 Technology Commercialization (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 5127 Foundations of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5205 Infectious Processes (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5208 Cellular Microbiology: Host-Pathogen Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5209 Microbial Stress Response (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5225 Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5505 Molecular Virology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5654 Applied Microbiology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5722C Methods in Biotechnology (4 credit hours)
  • MCB 5932 Current Topics in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5415 Cellular Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6226 Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6417C Microbial Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5025 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5235 Molecular Immunology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5238 Immunobiology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5265 Stem Cell Biology ( 3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5275 Signal Transduction Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5596 Biomedical Informatics: Sequence Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5665C Human Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 5815 Molecular Aspects of Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5838 Cellular and Molecular Basis of Brain Functions (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6528 Plant Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6585C Advanced Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 6595 Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6677 Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics (3 credit hours)
  • ZOO 5748C Clinical Neuroanatomy (3 credit hours)

Curriculum

The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that are required.

The program requires 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students with an earned master’s degree may request that up to 30 credit hours of previous course work be waived.

New students will take a two-semester introductory course, participate in laboratory rotations to identify a research area of interest, and take a sequence of required seminars.


Programmatic deficiencies expected of applicants from diverse settings will be addressed early in the program by completion of appropriate course work. Students entering with a master’s degree may request that up to 30 semester credit hours of previous course work be waived as degree requirements with approval from the dissertation committee. Students may register for doctoral research until they have been admitted to candidacy, after which they must register for dissertation research.

New students will take a two-semester course that provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary area of biomedical sciences. In addition, a laboratory rotation will allow students to have a brief but intensive experience working with faculty in at least two different research laboratories to find a research area of interest for their dissertation. Finally, a sequence of required seminars will familiarize students with field-related literature and introduce them to the conceptual and technical frameworks in which they will work. All students receiving assistantships must enroll full time.

Required Courses—23 Credit Hours

  • BSC 6432 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Sciences I (5 credit hours)
  • BSC 6433 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Sciences II (5 credit hours)
  • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (1 credit hour)
  • IDS 7690 Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences (four semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
  • BSC 6431 Practice of Biomedical Science (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 6694 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biomedical Sciences (2 credit hours)

Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

At least 12 hours of electives must be taken from the following list. Any electives not on this list must be approved by the Graduate Committee before being counted toward degree credit requirements. Directed research, doctoral research and dissertation research may be used to satisfy requirements beyond the first 12 hours, with approval from the program director.

  • BSC 5418 Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5436 Biomedical Informatics: Structure Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CAP 5510 Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
  • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (2 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535 Forensic Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 6536 Forensic Analysis of DNA Data (2 credit hours)
  • GEB 5516 Technology Commercialization (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 5127 Foundations of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5205 Infectious Processes (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5208 Cellular Microbiology: Host-Pathogen Interactions (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5209 Microbial Stress Response (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5225 Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5505 Molecular Virology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5654 Applied Microbiology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5722C Methods in Biotechnology (4 credit hours)
  • MCB 5932 Current Topics in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5415 Cellular Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6226 Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6417C Microbial Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5025 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5235 Molecular Immunology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5238 Immunobiology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5265 Stem Cell Biology ( 3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5275 Signal Transduction Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5596 Biomedical Informatics: Sequence Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5665C Human Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 5815 Molecular Aspects of Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolism (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5838 Cellular and Molecular Basis of Brain Functions (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6528 Plant Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6585C Advanced Genetics (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 6595 Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 6677 Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics (3 credit hours)
  • ZOO 5748C Clinical Neuroanatomy (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted Electives—22 Credit Hours Minimum

Students should take 22 credit hours of electives, directed research, doctoral research or dissertation research, in consultation with their adviser.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

  • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

Cumulative/Qualifying Examinations

Cumulative examinations taken during the second year will determine if students should continue with their doctoral studies. Exams will be overseen by a cumulative exam committee. Each exam will consist of questions set by different faculty members. Questions will deal with data interpretation from the current literature and the design of experiments to test a hypothesis. A student must satisfactorily answer cumulative examination questions, displaying a knowledge base consistent with continuation in the PhD program.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy will consist of writing and orally defending a proposal outlining a novel research idea to the dissertation committee. The written proposal will be prepared independently, following NIH-style grant format, and must be approved by the dissertation committee (see Biomedical Sciences PhD Program Handbook for full description of Candidacy Exam requirements and procedures). After passing the candidacy examination and meeting other requirements as specified, the student can register for dissertation hours.

Admission to Candidacy

The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
  • Successful completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of all examinations (cumulative/qualifying and candidacy).
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submittal of an approved program of study.

    Dissertation Defense

    The dissertation should be of significant scope and depth such that the work has made significant advances in the area of biomedical science. The PhD dissertation research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support a minimum of two original manuscripts (first-authored by the student) in a mainstream journal in the field. At a minimum, one first-author paper must be published, and a second manuscript should have been submitted and subjected to peer review.

    Upon completion and approval of the doctoral dissertation by all designated faculty and university offices, the student will make a formal presentation of the research findings in seminar format to the dissertation committee and other university faculty and students. The candidate will answer questions and defend conclusions about the subject matter.

    For more information, see the General Guidelines for Alternative Organization in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual of the College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation office.


    Track Curriculum: MD / PhD

    Students must fulfill all requirements for both programs to earn both the MD and PhD degrees. As indicated in the curriculum description, some medical modules can be substituted for certain graduate courses and vice versa to help reduce redundancy and streamline time to completion of this integrated program. Students will be able to complete the MD/PhD program in as few as 6 years, although most students will likely require 7-8 years to fulfill all of the requirements. An MD/PhD program committee consisting of faculty from both the medical and graduate programs will serve as the oversight committee responsible for tracking and evaluating student progress in this program.



    Students in the integrated MD/PhD Track in Biomedical Sciences must be accepted in the College of Medicine MD program and begin working on their PhD research project during the first two years of medical school. Students take medical courses during the first two years and must successfully pass the USMLE Step 1 exam at the end of year 2 prior to beginning full-time graduate studies in the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program. Required and elective graduate courses for the PhD program are completed in years 3-4 while the student is continuing research. Clinical clerkships that are typically completed in years 3-4 of medical school will in most cases be deferred until the student has completed the PhD program requirements, though some minimum level of ongoing clinical training will continue throughout the entire duration of the program. This ensures that the student remains connected with clinical education and training even while primarily focused on the graduate portion of the MD/PhD program.

    The Biomedical Sciences PhD program requires a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, including a minimum total of 27 hours of formal course work exclusive of independent study that are required. The 72 credit hours in the PhD program consists of 23 credit hours of core courses, 12 credit hours of electives, and a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research. The remaining 22 credit hours may consist of additional electives, doctoral research and/or dissertation research. Students entering with a master's degree may request that up to 30 semester credit hours of previous course work be waived as degree requirements with approval from the dissertation committee.

    The MD curriculum can be found here: http://med.ucf.edu/academics/md-program/integrated-curriculum/

    Programmatic deficiencies expected of applicants from diverse settings will be addressed early in the program by completion of appropriate course work. Students may register for doctoral research until they have been admitted to candidacy, after which they must register for dissertation research.

    New students will rotate through at least two different laboratories to identify a faculty mentor/sponsor and research area of interest for their dissertation. Finally, a sequence of required seminars will familiarize students with field-related literature and introduce them to the conceptual and technical frameworks in which they will work. All students receiving assistantships must enroll full time.

    MD/PhD students are required to maintain good academic standing in both the MD and PhD components of the curriculum. Students must first satisfactorily complete the first two years of the medical school curriculum and pass the USMLE Step 1 exam before they can begin full-time PhD enrollment.

    Required Courses—23 Credit Hours

    • BMS 6001 Cellular Function and Medical Genetics (Medical Module replaces BSC 6432) (5 credit hours)
    • BSC 6433 Structure-Function-Relationships of Biomedical Sciences II (5 credit hours)
    • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (3 credit hours)
    • IDS 7692L Experiments in Biomedical Sciences (lab rotation) (1 credit hour)
    • IDS 7690 Frontiers in Biomedical Sciences (four semesters, 1 credit hour each semester)
    • BSC 6431 Practice of Biomedical Science (3 credit hours)
    • IDS 6694 Experimental Design and Analysis in Biomedical Sciences (2 credit hours)

    Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours

    At least 12 hours of electives must be taken from the following list. Any electives not on this list must be approved by the Graduate Committee before being counted toward degree credit requirements. Directed research, doctoral research and dissertation research may be used to satisfy requirements beyond the first 12 hours, with approval from the program director. Students successfully completing the first year of medical school at UCF may substitute the following medical modules to fulfill the elective course requirement:

    • BMS 6006 Health and Disease (Medical Module) (5 credit hours)
    • BMS 6050 Psychosocial Issues in Healthcare (Medical Module) (4 credit hours)
    • BMS 6631 Hematology and Oncology (Medical Module) (3 credit hours)

    Additional electives may be taken as needed from the following list of approved graduate courses:

    • BSC 5418 Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
    • BSC 5436 Biomedical Informatics: Structure Analysis (3 credit hours)
    • BSC 6407C Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
    • CAP 5510 Bioinformatics (3 credit hours)
    • CHM 5305 Applied Biological Chemistry (3 credit hours)
    • CHM 5450 Polymer Chemistry (3 credit hours)
    • CHM 5451C Techniques in Polymer Science (3 credit hours)
    • CHS 6251 Applied Organic Synthesis (2 credit hours)
    • CHS 6535 Forensic Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
    • CHS 6535L Forensic Analysis of Biological Materials (3 credit hours)
    • CHS 6536 Forensic Analysis of DNA Data (2 credit hours)
    • GEB 5516 Technology Commercialization (3 credit hours)
    • IDS 5127 Foundations of Bio-Imaging Science (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5205 Infectious Processes (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5208 Cellular Microbiology: Host-Pathogen Interactions (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5225 Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5505 Molecular Virology (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5654 Applied Microbiology (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5722C Methods in Biotechnology (4 credit hours)
    • MCB 5932 Current Topics in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 5397 ST: Cellular Metabolism (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 6226 Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
    • MCB 6417C Microbial Metabolism (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5025 Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5235 Molecular Immunology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5236 Cancer Biology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5238 Immunobiology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5265 Stem Cell Biology ( 3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5275 Signal Transduction Mechanics (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5527 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5596 Biomedical Informatics: Sequence Analysis (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5665C Human Genetics (4 credit hours)
    • PCB 5815 Molecular Aspects of Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolism (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 5838 Cellular and Molecular Basis of Brain Functions (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 6528 Plant Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 6585C Advanced Genetics (4 credit hours)
    • PCB 6595 Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
    • PCB 6677 Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics (3 credit hours)
    • ZOO 5748C Clinical Neuroanatomy (3 credit hours)

    Unrestricted Electives—22 Credit Hours Minimum

    Students should take 22 credit hours of electives, directed research, doctoral research or dissertation research, in consultation with their adviser.

    Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

    Cumulative/Qualifying Examinations

    Cumulative examinations will determine if students should continue with their doctoral studies. Four exams will be given by program faculty members during the second year. Each exam will consist of four questions set by different faculty members to evaluate the student’s ability to interpret data, formulate a hypothesis based on the data presented, and effectively design a series of experiments using biomedical science approaches to test their hypothesis. Performance will be evaluated by the graduate exam committee. A student must satisfactorily answer 10 cumulative questions out of 16 to be eligible to continue in the PhD program.

    Candidacy Examination

    Candidacy will consist of writing and orally defending a proposal outlining a novel research idea to the dissertation committee. The written proposal will be prepared independently, following NIH-style grant format, and must be approved by the dissertation committee (see Biomedical Sciences PhD Program description for full description of Candidacy Exam requirements and procedures). After passing the candidacy examination and meeting other requirements as specified, the student can register for dissertation hours.

    Admission to Candidacy

    The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:  

    • Successfully complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
    • Successful completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.  
    • Successful completion of all examinations (cumulative/qualifying and candidacy).  
    • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.  
    • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.  
    • Submission of an approved program of study.

    Dissertation Defense

    The PhD dissertation research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support a minimum of two manuscripts (first-authored by the student; already published, accepted or ready for publication) in a mainstream journal in the field. For manuscripts not yet peer-reviewed, the dissertation committee will determine whether the manuscript meets the standards for publication in a mainstream journal.

    Upon completion and approval of the doctoral dissertation by all designated faculty and university offices, the student will make a formal presentation of the research findings in seminar format to the dissertation committee and other university faculty and students. The candidate will answer questions and defend conclusions about the subject matter.

    For more information, see the General Guidelines for Alternative Organization in the Thesis and Dissertation Manual of the College of Graduate Studies.  


    Timeline for Completion

     Year 1 (24 Hours) 

    FallSpringSummer
    • BSC 6432 Biomedical Sciences I (5.0)
    • IDS 7690 Lecture/Seminar (1.0)
    • Elective #1 (or Research) (3.0)

    • BSC 6433 Biomedical Sciences II (5.0)
    • IDS 6694 Experimental Design/Analysis (2.0)
    • IDS 7690 Lecture/Seminar (1.0)
    • IDS 7692L Rotation Research (1.0)
    • IDS 7692L Rotation Research (3.0)
    • IDS 7919 Doctoral Research (3.0)
    • Select a Mentor
    Semester Total: 9 HoursSemester Total: 9 HoursSemester Total: 6 Hours

    Year 2 (24 Hours)

    FallSpringSummer
    • IDS 7690 - 003 Lecture Seminar (1.0)

    • BSC 6431 Practice of Biomedical Sciences (3.0)

    • Elective #2 (3.0)

    • IDS 7919 (2.0)

    • Dissertation Advisory Committee Formed Sep. 15

    • First Dissertation Committee Meeting Deadline Nov. 30

    • Cumulative Qualifying Exams
    • IDS 7690 -    003 Lecture/Seminar (1.0)

    • IDS 7919 Doctoral Research(2.0)

    • Elective #3 (3.0)

    • Elective #4 (3.0)
    • Cumulative Qualifying Exams
    • Written Candidacy proposal  due by June 1
    • Oral candidacy exam must be completed by June 30

    • IDS 7919 Doctoral Research(6.0)

    • Candidacy Exam (See Spring)

    Semester Total: 9 Hours

    Semester Total: 9 Hours

    Semester Total: 6 Hours

    Year 3  

    FallSpringSummer
    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)
    Semester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 Hours

    Year 4 

    FallSpringSummer
    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    Semester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 Hours

    Year 5 

    FallSpringSummer
    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    • IDS 7980 Dissertation Research (3.0)

    Semester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 HoursSemester Total: 3 Hours

    Doctoral Program Courses: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/content/Courses.aspx

    Examination Requirements

    Cumulative Examinations

    Cumulative examinations taken during the second year will determine if students should continue with their doctoral studies. Exams will be overseen by a cumulative exam committee. Each exam will consist of questions set by different faculty members. Questions will deal with data interpretation from the current literature, generation of a testable hypothesis, and design of experiments to test this hypothesis. A student must satisfactorily answer cumulative examination questions, displaying a knowledge base consistent with continuation in the PhD program.  Each question is graded on a pass/fail basis, and students must pass at least 10 out of a total of 16 cumulative exam questions to continue in the program.

    Candidacy Examination

    Candidacy to the degree will consist of writing and orally defending a written proposal on a research idea related to the dissertation work. Students are encouraged to use their own dissertation work for this candidacy exam but must not copy information or ideas from mentors’ writings including manuscripts and grant proposals. The proposal should be written in the approximate style of an NIH R21 or F31 grant application. This includes one page for specific aims and up to six pages for the Research Plan.  There is no page limitation for references. The specific aims page should identify the problem under study, clearly state a central hypothesis, and include two or more specific aims to test your hypothesis. A brief rationale should be provided for each aim. For the research plan, please be sure to address the following: (i) Background, (ii) Significance, (iii) Research Approach (Design and Methods), (iv) Rationale for your experimental approach, (v) Expected results, and (vi) Potential pitfalls and alternative strategies.  The research plan should be feasibly achievable within 2-3 years, and each of the aims should ideally lead to tangible first-author manuscript publications for the student.  Preliminary data are not necessary and should not be included in the candidacy exam. The written format will be single-spaced using 11pt Arial font and 0.5” margins. 

    The Process:

    • Students are encouraged to start working on candidacy exam as soon as they select a mentor. The purpose of dissertation proposal meeting (due November of year 2) is to determine that the dissertation topic chosen can yield multiple manuscripts authored by the student and should be considered a preparation for the candidacy exam as far as formulating hypothesis and specific aims. Feedback from this meeting provided by the PhD advisory committee should be considered to develop the candidacy proposal.
    • A complete written candidacy proposal must be submitted to the thesis committee by April 1st (year 2).  Dissertation committee members (except for thesis mentor) will provide written feedback in the form of an NIH-style critique (i.e., bullet points highlighting perceived “strengths” and “weaknesses” of the proposal along with a brief summary of the overall critiques. The critiques will be submitted to the research mentor and the mentor will provide them to the student no later than May 1 (year 2). The student should use the critiques to revise and improve their candidacy proposal prior to the oral defense. Students are encouraged to meet individually with each of their committee members to review the critiques and seek advice for improvement.
    • A revised written proposal must be submitted to the dissertation committee by June 1 (year 2), and the oral defense should be scheduled at that time to occur no later than June 30 (year 2).
    • While the proposal will be developed and written independently by the student, the mentor and dissertation committee can assist in developing the general content of the proposal as described above. However, the mentor or any faculty members are NOT to be involved in preparing or mentoring the oral presentation component of the candidacy exam. During the oral examination, the student should be able to answer any questions concerning how the proposed experiments will be executed with a full understanding of the background literature that supports the hypothesis and the rationale of the research proposed. The student must be able to clearly explain the experimental procedures to be used and any alternative approaches planned. The student may also be tested on the extent of their knowledge of biomedical sciences, specifically all materials that were covered in core class (BSC6432/6433), seminars, other required courses, and electives that the student has taken. The mentor is NOT permitted to ask or answer questions for the student during the oral presentation of the candidacy topic and examination unless specifically asked to do so by one of the committee members for the purpose of clarification only.
    • The student's mentor will be responsible for checking the proposal for plagiarism using either Turnitin or iThenticate and will provide a report to the dissertation committee at the time of the oral defense of the candidacy proposal. For the oral candidacy exam, the student’s dissertation advisory committee will pick one of its senior members (but not the student’s mentor) to chair the examination meeting.
    • All dissertation committee members must be present for the oral component of candidacy exam. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule a defense date and time, which are amenable to all committee members. The format of the oral candidacy proposal defense will be as follows: The defense will start by the presentation of the proposal by the candidate to the PhD advisory committee. The presentation will start with a 5-8 minute description of the background and significance of the proposed research. This is followed by the hypothesis. The next step is the presentation of the specific aims with clear rationale and connection to the hypothesis. Following this, a description of the experimental design should be presented. The expected results and how conclusions will be drawn from the results should be presented. Possible pitfalls of the experimental approach, potential complications and possible alternate approaches to the hypothesis should be presented. The total presentation is expected to last no more than 40 minutes. The faculty may interrupt the presentation to ask questions. Following the presentation, a question and answer period will follow. During this time, the committee can ask the student questions unrelated to the candidacy topic that test knowledge acquired during the student’s first two years in the program. The total exam time is expected to last 2 hours.

    * At least three out of the four regular dissertation committee members must vote positively for the student to pass. If performance during the oral exam is deemed not satisfactory (i.e. “fail” or “conditional pass”), a second chance will be given to the student at a time considered appropriate by the faculty present at the exam. The process may include a rewritten proposal and another oral defense of the revised proposal, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the first attempt. The student will have a maximum of 30 days from the time of the exam to revise and resubmit the proposal for re-evaluation. This resubmitted proposal must be submitted to all committee members at least two weeks prior to any oral re-examination (if an oral re-examination is stipulated by the committee and coordinator). This will be determined by the committee at the first defense. A student who fails the candidacy exam after the second try will be dismissed from the program.

    Admission to Candidacy

    The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:  

    • Successfully complete a minimum of 48 credit hours.
    • Successful completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.  
    • Successful completion of all examinations (cumulative/qualifying and candidacy).  
    • Successful defense of the written dissertation proposal.  
    • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty    scholars.  
    • Submission of an approved program of study.

    Academic Integrity Training must be completed to advance to Candidacy.   

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  If a PhD student fails to successfully complete the candidacy prior to the completion of the summer semester in their 2nd year, then their stipend will automatically be reduced to $17,000 per year until satisfactory completion of the candidacy exam occurs. 

    Student Evaluations: Laboratory Performance

    PhD students are required to have annual evaluations with the dissertation committee to evaluate progress achieved towards completion of their dissertation research. Each year, the mentor and committee members must complete the Annual Evaluation Form after the student’s presentation of research. Failure to complete annual evaluations will impede the student’s graduation. A meeting with the dissertation committee must also be held the semester prior to graduation.

    November 30: Deadline for completing annual thesis committee review  

    Laboratory Performance

    If laboratory performance is considered to be unsatisfactory by the committee, the coordinator will give a written statement advising the student of a probation period during which specific improvements are expected.

    The time limit for improvement is one semester. If the committee finds lack of satisfactory improvement the student will be expelled from the PhD Program.

    Under extenuating circumstances, the student may file a petition to the graduate committee to stay in the program. If the graduate committee approves the student’s request, the student may seek transfer to another lab.

    All thesis committee members must be present for the thesis proposal defense, candidacy exam, and dissertation defense. A written copy of each must be submitted to the thesis committee at least two weeks prior to the exam date. In addition to the paper copy supplied to the thesis committee, an exact electronic copy (pdf) must be submitted to the program office for distribution to all PhD program faculty at least two weeks prior to the exam date.

    Seminar Presentation

    PhD students will give a program-wide seminar presentation of their own research during their third or fourth year. This will typically be done during the Graduate Research Symposium held in the Spring Semester each year.

    Details
    •  30 minute presentation  
    •  5 minutes for brief introduction 
    •  20 minutes for data presentation 
    •  5 minutes for questions (will include written feedback) 
    •  Critical Feedback (written form): 
    •  Effective presentation skills 
    •  Research Quality 

    Dissertation Requirements

    Program Dissertation Requirements

    • Pre-Defense Committee Meeting is required and must take place no later than the semester prior to the expected graduation date.
    • The dissertation should be of significant scope and depth such that the work has made significant advances in the area of biomedical science. The PhD dissertation research must generate sufficient quantity and quality data to support a minimum of two manuscripts (first authored by the student) in a mainstream journal in the field. At a minimum, one first author paper must be published, and a second manuscript should have been submitted and subjected to peer-review. The committee can consider the comments of the peer review and together decide whether this work is publishable in a mainstream journal, even if not accepted upon first submission. Manuscripts cannot contain any data generated from meeting other degree requirements. No review type articles can be used to fulfill the manuscript requirement.
    • The program prefers the Alternative Organization format described on page 5 of the UCF Thesis and Dissertation Manual
    • The PhD dissertation defense exam will consist of presentation of the results in a seminar format to the biomedical science community of UCF followed by questions from the dissertation committee and Program faculty. Three out of the four regular PhD committee members must vote positively for the student to pass. A majority of the other PhD faculty participating in the exam must also vote positively for a pass. 
    • Students are expected to complete their requirements within approximately five years, but may be allowed an additional year at recommendation of their advisory committee.
    • The dissertation must contain original research performed by the defending student. In cases where shared data are included, contributions from the defending student must be clearly defined.

    Policy Regarding Research Materials and Dissertation Approval

    Materials used to conduct research in the University of Central Florida laboratories and the intellectual property generated from such research belongs to the University of Central Florida. The major advisor is the person responsible for keeping these materials for the University.  Removal of such materials from the university premises is prohibited. The dissertation will be approved as satisfactory for the PhD degree only upon certification by the dissertation advisor that the student has returned to his/her advisor the research notebooks containing proper account of the data and procedures, all research materials (reagents, mutants clones, antibodies, etc.) generated or used during the conduct of research, and primary data such as films, electronic account in the form of discs, etc. The decision on when the dissertation is to be released (immediately, held six or twelve months, etc.) to the public will be made by the major advisor along with the student to prevent any premature disclosure of data or methods that are considered to be protected as intellectual property by the University.

    University Dissertation Requirements

    The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

    All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

    The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

    • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
    • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
    • Defend by the defense deadline
    • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
    • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
    • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

    Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ED. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

    The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

    The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu

    Program Policies

    Policy Statement on enforcement of programmatic requirements 

    Students who fail to complete programmatic requirements (e.g., thesis proposal defense, candidacy exam, annual thesis committee review) by the specified deadlines* may be placed on academic probation. If this occurs, the student will be given specific written notice of the terms of the probation and will have one semester to correct the deficiency. In most cases, the student’s thesis committee will be responsible for evaluating the student’s progress. If a thesis committee has not been formed, then evaluation will be performed by the Program Coordinator in conjunction with the sponsoring PI. The evaluation body will meet with the student and spell out the terms of the probation, and then will meet with that student again within one semester to determine if the terms of the probation have been satisfactorily met.  If the deficiency is corrected, then the probation will be lifted. If the student fails to correct the deficiencies within the specified time period (1 semester), then the student will not be permitted to register for classes or receive financial support from the program. All official communications regarding probation must include the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program Coordinator and Director as well as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. 

    Grievance Procedures 

    If significant issues arise between a student and their mentor that cannot be resolved amicably, the student does have the right to request a dissertation committee meeting to attempt to resolve such issues. This request for a meeting of the full committee cannot be overruled by the Chair (Mentor). If sought by the student this meeting should also include at least one PhD coordinator. The PhD program director and all coordinators should also be informed of the meeting and have the right to attend to help resolve the issue(s). This type of meeting will serve as the primary mechanism to resolve disputes between the student and the mentor. 

    If not resolved by a committee meeting, the student, with or without the mentor, should consult with the PhD program coordinator to help resolve the issue(s). If unsuccessful the issue will be brought forth to the PhD program director. Again if unsuccessful, the student can seek a review of the entire matter with the Graduate Committee, who has oversight of the PhD program.  During these discussions the presence or absence of the mentor, coordinator or director will be based on the issue(s) at hand.  If unresolved, the issue would then be brought to the Graduate School for review.

    Policy Statement on Academic Integrity

    Since integrity is such a critical part of science and scientific training, the PhD program in Biomedical Sciences, as well as all the graduate programs organized in the Burnett School of Biomedical Science, holds students to the highest standards of academic conduct and scientific conduct. There are many forms of misconduct, both in academics and in science. In science these primarily include the falsification or fabrication of data during one’s research project, or the plagiarism of text, figures or data from another’s work (such as a published paper). All are misconduct, and other examples of misconduct will be discussed during the ethics portion of the course required of all students (Practice in Biomedical Science, see syllabus in appendix X). In academics, the unauthorized use of electronic devices during exams, or any other means to gain an advantage during an examination would also be considered an example of academic misconduct. The use of another student’s work who previously took a course would also be considered academic misconduct. Both the student who supplied such material and the student who attempts to use such material are both in violation of the standards. Many other examples exist and common sense should dictate to the student what is and is not permissible. If you question whether an action could be considered misconduct (academic or scientific) – ask the PhD program coordinator or director. Ignorance of what constitutes misconduct is not an excuse.

    Disciplinary Actions

    The PhD program reserves the right to carry out full disciplinary action against student misconduct. Any documented case of scientific or academic misconduct represents immediate grounds for removal from the program. The incident will be reported to the student’s PI, the Graduate Committee, and the UCF Office of Student Misconduct. The Graduate Committee will have the authority to dismiss the student from the Biomedical Sciences PhD Program after reviewing the case.

    ***Important Note: The Biomedical Sciences PhD Program reserves the right to modify the requirements in this Handbook at any time. Any such modifications will be communicated to the students in a clear and timely manner prior to implementation of any rule changes

    Graduate Research

    UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

    Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.

    UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu Policies > General Graduate Policies.

    For an overview of and information regarding research conducted at the School visit the Research Overview webpage on the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences website.

    ***Important Note: The Biomedical Sciences PhD Program reserves the right to modify the requirements in this Handbook at any time.  Any such modifications will be communicated to the students in a clear and timely manner prior to implementation of any rule changes.

    Financial Support

    Students with qualifying assistantships or university-wide fellowships will receive financial packages that include an assistantship or fellowship stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Qualifying fellowships are accompanied by tuition waivers. Qualifying assistantships include single appointments of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) or two appointments of at least .25 FTE (10 hrs/week). Tuition remission is in the form of either tuition waivers or tuition payments that cover in-state (resident) tuition. Non-resident students with financial packages are not charged out-of-state tuition or the non-resident financial aid fee.

    For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit the Graduate Studies Funding website.

    If you are interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website at finaid.ucf.edu and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.

    University Fellowships

    Most university fellowships are reserved for incoming degree-seeking graduate students who plan to enroll full time. For a listing of merit-based fellowships that are offered through the UCF College of Graduate Studies, as well as a listing of various general graduate funding opportunities, see funding.graduate.ucf.edu/fellowships/.

    Graduate Presentation Fellowships

    The College of Graduate Studies provides Presentation Fellowships for students to present their research or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting or conference. To review the award requirements and apply online, see funding.graduate.ucf.edu/presentation/.

    Graduate Assistantships

    Graduate assistantship appointments offer opportunities for students to engage in research, teaching, and other projects during their graduate study. These are paid appointments that promote the missions of the University. For eligibility, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time.

    For more information concerning graduate assistantships, see the Financial Information > Graduate Assistantships section of the current Graduate Catalog at www.graduate.catalog.ucf.edu or talk to the Graduate Program Director to learn about specific eligibility and application guidelines.

    Graduate Teaching

    Graduate students may be appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to carry out responsibilities as classroom teachers (instructors of record), co-teachers or classroom assistants, graders, lab assistants, or other roles directly related to classroom instruction. Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/GTA_Training_Requirements/ for training requirements and registration instructions. 

    Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the GTA Information section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.

    GTA Performance Assessments

    At the completion of each semester in which a student is employed as a GTA, the student’s faculty GTA supervisor will meet with the student and complete the GTA Performance Assessment Form. These assessments are intended to facilitate and document the mentoring of graduate student teachers, promoting a review and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses in the student’s performance in preparation for future employment.

    Vacation and Leave Expectations

    Expectations concerning vacations, days off and leave vary greatly depending upon the assistantship type and the details of the individual circumstances. Please speak to your supervisor at the beginning of your appointment to clarify what these expectations are.

    International Students

    For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Services Center’s website: www.intl.ucf.edu > Students > Employment.

    For information regarding financial support for students enrolled in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences visit the Scholarship Opportunities webpage on the School's website

    Graduate Student Associations

    The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

    Professional Development

    Instructional Strategies and Resources

    The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning provides classes and programs designed to assist graduate students with the educational issues they face in the classroom as teaching assistant or as instructors. These resources include assistance in course design and syllabi development, learning theories, and the use of different technologies in the classroom or on the internet. Further information on these resources is available at www.fctl.ucf.edu

    Pathways to Success Workshops

    Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.

    Graduate Research Forum

    The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.

    The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

    The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact researchweek@ucf.edu.  

    Graduate Excellence Awards

    Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

    Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

    Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

    Award for the Outstanding Dissertation – It recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

    For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards

    Other

    Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Support section at www.graduate.ucf.edu.

    For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org/ > Awards.

    For assistance with professional development visit the Pre-Health Professions Advisement Office wepbage  on the College of Medicine's website.

    Job Search

    UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

    For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.

    For assistance with your job search and career planning, visit the Pre-Health Professions Advisement Office wepbage on the College of Medicine's website.

    Forms

    • Academic Support Services and Advising for Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
      This link includes registration forms for students in the discipline.
    • College of Graduate Studies Forms
      This web link provides a listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
    • Graduate Petition Form
      When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student.Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
    • Traveling Scholar Form
      If a student would like to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections, this form must be completed and approved.

    Useful Links