Specific policies and procedures pertaining to faculty and students located away from the College Station campus or associated with collaborative degree programs are provided in separate sections at the end of this document.
It is the student’s responsibility to make sure all deadlines are met and the necessary paperwork submitted by deadlines. Deadlines are listed by semester on the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies (OGAPS) semester calendars. It is recommended students are familiar with the dates and deadlines and required steps and documents for graduation at least a year before the anticipated semester of graduation to ensure all requirements are met. For paper forms, students must gather all signatures from committee members and submit forms to one of the academic advisors for the department head signature, records and routing to OGAPS.
To be accepted into the Ecology and Conservation Biology graduate program all students must identify an ECCB faculty member who is willing to serve as the advisor/graduate committee chair. A faculty member must agree to be a student’s faculty advisor before the student is admitted into the graduate program. Student performance issues (e.g., failure to adhere to graduate program policies and advising, unsatisfactory academic progress to degree completion, poor communication, excessive class/lab absences without university excused documentation, student rule 7) can and will result in the student’s dismissal from the faculty advisor’s lab and termination of the faculty advisor from the student’s graduate committee. The student must meet with the ECCB graduate advisor immediately following the dismissal, where a deadline will be set for the student to secure a new ECCB faculty advisor. Should the student not secure a new faculty advisor by the given deadline, the student will be dismissed from the ECCB graduate program.
The student’s advisory committee must be selected beginning of the second regular semester for Master’s students and beginning of the fourth regular semester for Ph.D. students. Students not meeting this deadline will have a hold placed on their account by the OGAPS, and that hold can only be removed by submitting a degree plan and having it approved by their advisory committee, the department, and OGAPS. he committee must be selected from members of the TAMU Graduate Faculty.
The student, in consultation with the student’s advisory committee, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan and list of committee members must be submitted to OGAPS through the Document Processing Submission System (DPSS) and approved by the student’s advisory committee, department, and OGAPS. The advisor and/or committee may require additional coursework over the minimum requirements described below based on the student’s previous experience, intended areas of study or other factors.
Students pursuing M.S. (thesis) and Ph.D. degrees must develop a detailed research proposal. This research proposal, consisting of a maximum of ten pages of narrative, should review pertinent literature and summarize methods to be used in the proposed research.
A formal Preliminary Examination (prelim) for Ph.D. students may be given by the student’s advisory committee if the student is within six hours of completing formal degree plan coursework (except 681, 684, and 691) but must be given before the end of the semester following completion of regular coursework on the degree plan.
Thesis or Dissertation
All M.S. or Ph.D students must complete a thesis or dissertation. In addition to meeting OGAPS requirements, students must provide a copy of their thesis/dissertation to the department and to each member of their committee. The thesis/dissertation should be in a proper format for publication and “tightened” to readiness for submittal by use of appendixes for non-essential information.
Final Exam or Defense
Although the final oral exam tends to focus on the thesis/dissertation/professional paper, additional issues may be addressed on the basis of the prelims, or as an outgrowth of the normal discussion of the student’s research or professional activities. Requests to schedule final oral exams/defenses must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the scheduled date requested, and only after approval to schedule has been received from all advisory committee members.
All students completing non-thesis degrees must complete a professional paper. Students may receive up to six hours of 685 credits for the professional paper.
Laboratory Trainings and Procedures
Students conducting research must complete trainings and follow university guidelines and safety procedures.