Interdisciplinary PhD in Molecular Biosciences

Graduation Information

Students must meet the expectations of the University in terms of adequate progress toward the degree. Specifically:

  1. Students are expected to maintain a 3.25 or higher grade point average for all graduate coursework.
  2. All courses in which the student enrolls must be completed with a grade of B or better in each.?
  3. Students may not enroll for more than one semester before full admission is granted.
  4. Students must complete and submit a degree plan by the time two semesters are completed.
  5. Students are expected to continuously enroll and complete coursework in their area of study, making continuous progress toward attainment of the degree.
  6. At least two thirds of the student's program of study must be taken at the 7000 level.
  7. Successful defense of the dissertation will require the approval of all committee members.

Additional Graduation Requirements

Because the aim of the Ph.D. in Molecular BioSciences is to produce graduates who are fully prepared to pursue research careers in academia, industry, and at national labs, the MBS Ph.D. program will require a series of benchmarks to be accomplished as the student progresses along the path to graduation. These minimum benchmarks fall into three specific categories. Students must:

  1. Present at least two research presentations at regional, national or international meetings as the lead or co-author.
  2. Be lead author or make significant contribution as co-author of two articles published, in press, or under review in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals.
  3. In collaboration with an MTSU faculty member serving as principal investigator, make a significant contribution to the development of at least one external grant proposal.

Although some of these expectations would be realized naturally in the course of a student's progress towards the Ph.D., the Molecular BioSciences program at MTSU makes them explicit to emphasize to incoming students the expectation that they will become actively engaged in the research process. Publications and presentations are already recognized as standard metrics of research progress. The involvement of Ph.D. students in the proposal writing process is a developing trend designed to train graduates to be more effectively prepared for jobs in the research environment. Experience in proposal writing is both a necessary skill and an important insight into the manner in which science and engineering are funded.

A student's progress on the benchmarks will be reviewed annually with his or her advisor or dissertation committee.