University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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Current Graduate Students

Timeline and Forms

U of MN - Academic Calendar


1st Year

Important dates for first year graduate students:

  • Orientation dates for students: August 24 - September 3, 2015
  • CSE TALK dates for foreign national students: August 10-21, 2015
  • First day of Fall Semester- Tuesday, September 8, 2015
  • First day of Spring Semester Tuesday, January 19, 2016
  • Spring Break: March 14-18, 2016

 

Course Registration:

  • Fall semester registration: First year grads register during August orientation following Three Member Committee meetings.
  • Spring semester registration takes place during the month of November.
  • All graduate students must take Chem 8066 (Professional Conduct of Chemical Research), usually during Spring term of the first year.
  • First year students must register for Seminar (Chem 8601) both semesters (provided you do not go over the 14 credit limit -- see Nancy Thao in 115 Smith Hall if you have questions.)

Selection of Research Advisor:

New graduate students may choose a research advisor any time during the first semester in residence and must choose their advisor no later than November 15 of the first year in residence. Each student will be required to speak individually with faculty members and collect 4 signatures on the graduate Research Advisor Selection Form before they can join a research group.

Review of the student’s progress:

Each semester the Graduate Committee reviews the progress of first-year graduate students. At the end of the first year students must meet all of the following requirements to remain in good standing in the Ph.D. program:

  1. a GPA of 3.0 or better
  2. completion of at least 18 credits of coursework with a grade of B- or better
  3. passing grades on all four proficiency exams

Other than in exceptional circumstances, a decision to reassign a student from the Ph.D. to M.S. degree program is not made until the end of the first year. Following the first year, academic review is done annually at the end of Spring semester.

2nd Year

Register for Fall Semester in May!

Check with your advisor regarding your appointment as a TA or RA.

Written Preliminary Examination: The first step in the Written Preliminary Exam process is submitting an abstract and potential written committee member names in mid-August, prior to the start of the second year in residence. The three members of the written preliminary exam committee are selected in late August by the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the specialty area coordinators. Please see the full Written Preliminary Exam policy on page 17 in the Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate Degree Plan Form:

Students must submit two important forms in September of the second year in residence.

  1. Graduate Degree Plan Form
    Students will fill out a separate Gradaute Degree Plan Forms for both the Ph.D. and the M.S.–Plan B degrees, which will be attempted concurrently with the Ph.D. preliminary exams. This form lists all of the coursework that will apply toward the Ph.D. and M.S.-Plan B degrees.
  2. Preliminary Oral Examination and M.S.-Plan B Defense Committee Form
    Students must submit this form along with the Gradaute Degree Plan Form. The Oral Preliminary Exam committee members are the same as the three members of the Written Preliminary Exam committee, plus an additional committee member from outside the Chemistry department. Students should select the non-departmental committee member in consultation with their advisers.

    Oral preliminary examination: Typically, the preliminary oral exam is completed within the Spring semester of the second year. Each Ph.D. candidate must pass the oral preliminary examination. Possible outcomes of the first examination are i) pass, ii) fail with option to retake the examination (one time only), or iii) fail. Students who have not taken their oral preliminary examination by the beginning of summer term of their second year will no longer be in good standing in the Ph.D. Program. They will be reclassified into the M.S. program and will be reconsidered for the Ph.D. program only under extraordinary circumstances. It should be noted that there is a Graduate School requirement that ten calendar weeks must pass before a retake of the preliminary oral examination may be scheduled.

3rd Year

Register for Fall Semester in May!

  • Typically, in the third years, Ph.D. candidates register for thesis credits in both the Fall and Spring semesters. You must take 24 credits of CHEM 8888 - Thesis Credits over the course of two terms.
  • Check with your advisor regarding your appointment as a TA or RA.

4th Year

Register for Fall Semester in May!

  • Typically, Ph.D. candidates who have completed their thesis credits take Chem 8444. This is a one credit class that fulfills the graduate schools requirement for full time status. It is often referred to as "one credit FTE" registration.
  • Check with your advisor regarding your appointment as a TA or RA.

5th Year:

Register for Fall Semester in May!

  • Typically, Ph.D. candidates take Chem 8444. This is a one credit class that fulfills the graduate schools requirement for full time status. It is often referred to as "one credit FTE" registration.
  • Check with your advisor regarding your appointment as a TA or RA.
  • Ph.D. Final Examination: During your fifth year you should begin preparation for your thesis and final defense. This involves consulting with your advisor on who should serve on your final defense committee. Submit your Final Oral Examination Committee for approval.

Graduation Procedures

As students get closer to graduation, consult the Graduate School site with degree completion information.

And finally, students preparing to graduate should go to the departments Graduation and Beyond page and submit alumni contact information.