Acceptance for MS or PhD Degree

The emphasis of the program is the PhD degree. Most applicants with a professional medical degree or an MS degree are accepted directly into the PhD program. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree may be accepted for either the MS or PhD degree, depending on their previous academic performance. Students in the MS program may change the degree objective to PhD if they have made outstanding progress and have the endorsement of the major professor.

All graduate advisers of the group are appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies to serve as deputies in matters affecting individual graduate students and their academic programs. This adviser provides assistance in planning the overall program of study to ensure that all requirements are met. The master adviser maintains records of each student's performance. Forms and petitions used by graduate students must be signed by an adviser.

The major professor is the faculty member who provides detailed supervision of a student's program and whose laboratory is usually the setting for most of the student's research activities. The major professor advises on details of course work and other aspects of the academic program that are tailored to suit the individual student's programmatic needs and career goals. The major professor is the chair of the dissertation committee for a PhD or MS Plan I degree.

Degree Requirements

The minimum number of units of course work depends upon the degree (see Degree Objective). The list of courses selected will vary to some extent with the background and interests of the applicant. Often students take more than the minimum number of units required. Course work is divided into core requirements that must be taken by all students and electives that accommodate special interests within the broad field of comparative pathology. It is the intent of the graduate group that the course work be selected to provide each student with an area of specialization in a field of principal interest and some competence in one or more related topics. Examples of fields of specialization are virology and infectious disease, immunology, pulmonary biology, environmental disease, neurobiology, cancer biology, toxicology, cell biology, and molecular pathobiology.

At the beginning of the program, each student should meet with his/her major professor and gradute adviser to develop a plan of course work to achieve the student's objectives and satisfy the degree requirements. The plan of study will be reviewed and approved by the master adviser. Any subsequent changes must be discussed with and approved by the master adviser.