Ph.D. Non-Academic Requirements


Every graduate student is required to complete a minimum of one full-time, semester-long Teaching Assistantship (TA) at some time during their graduate training. A student with previous teaching experience or with an external award that precludes teaching at anytime during their graduate education may petition the Graduate Committee for exemption from whole or part of this requirement. Prior to each term, the Director of Graduate Studies makes the teaching assignments.

Teaching Assistantship Requirements and Evaluation

Before or at the beginning of their first teaching assignment, every student who accepts a teaching assistantship must attend and complete the required teaching workshops sponsored by the Teaching Resource Center.

Students who use English as a second language must satisfactorily complete the University's English language testing/training program to be eligible for a teaching assignment. All students must perform satisfactorily in their teaching assignment, as judged from course evaluations or reports from supervisory faculty, to maintain their Teaching Assistantship and to be eligible for future Teaching Assistantships.


All requirements for the Ph.D. are encouraged to be completed within five years of the date of admittance into the Ph.D. program. Seven years is the maximum length for Ph.D. enrollment. To request an extension in time to complete the Ph.D. degree, the student must submit a “Request for Extension of Time to Complete Degree Form” to the Director of Graduate Studies for his/her signature before it can be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for final approval.

Student Participation in Departmental Activities

All graduate students are expected to attend departmental seminars and student and faculty research talks and social activities. Graduate student participation in the meetings of the Graduate Student and Postdoc Association (GSPA), the annual prospective graduate student visit weekend (late February), and in the weekly lunches with visiting seminar speakers is strongly encouraged.

At the discretion of the Chairperson of the Biology Department, graduate students may be invited to serve as members of departmental committees that broadly impact research and/or teaching throughout the department.