Graduate Student Information and Forms

Getting Started

All Graduate forms can be found on the UConn Graduate School website.

Upon admission, students are assigned a temporary advisor who will help with course selection and provide advice upon entering the program; this is typically the MCB Director of Graduate Studies. The most important task for the first year of graduate school is the identification of a permanent major advisor, someone who will guide both thesis research and development as a scientist, and serve as a life-long mentor. The best way to discover if a prospective advisor is a good match is to undertake a laboratory rotation in that person's lab. Once admitted into the program, the student will undertake a short rotation period across the first semester that provides exposure to several different labs in the department. It is highly recommended that you contact the various faculty you are interested in working with well in advance to begin a dialog about research possibilities. Continued research in any laboratory program is by mutual agreement of the Major Advisor and Candidate. Either can terminate the relationship at any time.

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee consists of the Core Committee (the major advisor and two associate advisors) plus two examiners. The Core Committee members are responsible for regularly monitoring progress towards degree completion in the areas of coursework, professional development, and research. Once a major advisor and general research question/area have been agreed upon, the student and major advisor should select the members of the Advisory Committee. The Core Committee is composed of members of the Graduate Faculty with expertise in the research area of the dissertation. Examiners may also be faculty or appropriate external experts; many students include resident examiners in all aspects of advisory committee work. Three of the five Advisory Committee members must be primary affiliates within the Genetics and Genomics Area of Concentration. The Core Committee should convene for a brief meeting early in the second year to provide guidance on the student’s plan of study (courses to be taken) and for a brief introduction to the research problem. The Advisory Committee must approve a formal plan of study, to be submitted to the Graduate School. The student must meet thereafter, at a minimum, annually, with the Core Committee and present an informal progress report. The Major Advisor, with approval by the other Core Advisory Committee members, may recommend termination from the doctoral program at any time if the student fails to make satisfactory progress in the three areas of student responsibilities: coursework, professional development, and research.

Professional Expectations and Development

Professional development includes the acquisition of the skills of effective scholarly communication and participation in the community of scholars in your department and discipline. In this spirit, you are expected to:

  • Attend and actively participate in Departmental and Program seminars
  • Actively participate in journal clubs and other informal gatherings
  • Present the results of your research at Departmental, regional, national or international meetings at least once each year
  • Join the appropriate scientific societies (students have substantially discounted rates that include subscriptions.)
  • Stay current on the scientific developments within your field using primary research literature and reviews from important scientific journals, general as well as specific
  • Participate in appropriate interactions with invited speakers and faculty candidates by attending seminars, graduate student meetings, and meals with guest faculty