Plant Sciences


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PhD Timeline

13 JuneberriesSummary of Timeline for Ph.D. Candidates

First Semester

  • Initial registration

Second Semester

  • Plan of Study, with selected advisory committee, approved and filed by
    end of second semester.
  • Research Proposal approved and filed by end of second semester.

Middle Semesters

  • Continue to complete course work on Plan of Study and experiments on Research Proposal.
  • Additional requirement for BS to PhD track: Candidate must submit a manuscript to a refereed scientific journal no later than the end of the fifth semester of the graduate program.
  • Schedule the written preliminary exam by working with the Graduate Student Council and the PLSC Graduate Program Administrator well in advance of the preferred date when offered (April or October), no later than the semester following completion of 2/3 of the Ph.D. didactic credits.
  • After successful completion of written preliminary exam, request oral preliminary examination by consulting with major advisor/supervisory committee members and filing request at Graduate School at least two weeks before intended examination date.
  • Consult the “Guidelines for Preparation of Disquisitions” found online at, and begin to develop portions of your thesis with the assistance of your major advisor.

Final Semester

  • All course work on plan of study completed and incomplete grades cleared.
  • Complete draft of dissertation with approval of major advisor.
  • Visit all committee members to select appropriate time for final examination.
  • Request final examination by having major advisor file request at Graduate School at least two weeks before intended examination date and by student meeting with graduate office to verify that all requirements have been met.
  • Provide draft of dissertation to each committee member at least seven days prior to examination. Following successful examination, correct dissertation with suggestions of committee, have all committee members sign thesis approval form, submit draft of thesis to Graduate School, and schedule final seminar.
  • Follow Graduate School guidelines after receiving final approval of thesis from Dean of Graduate Studies. Consult the Checklist for Thesis found at
  • Attend commencement (Optional).
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