Sep 27, 2020  
2013-2014 University Catalog 
    
2013-2014 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Graduate Studies


Advanced Programs of Study

One of the main goals of University of the Sciences is to provide high-quality education to graduate students in the sciences and health-related fields. Accordingly, the University currently offers 13 graduate programs through the College of Graduate Studies: 

  • Biochemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Bioinformatics [MS (non-thesis)]
  • Biomedical Writing [MS (non-thesis)]
  • Cancer Biology [PhD – offered in partnership with The Wistar Institute]
  • Cell Biology and Biotechnology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
  • Cell and Molecular Biology [PhD]
  • Chemistry [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Health Policy [MS (non-thesis), PhD]
  • Health Psychology [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis)]
  • Pharmaceutics [MS (non-thesis), MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacognosy [MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacology/Toxicology [MS (thesis), PhD]
  • Pharmacy Administration [MS (non-thesis)]

The philosophy of the College of Graduate Studies is to provide high-quality graduate-level courses in a flexible, convenient manner, characterized by close personal interactions between the students and the faculty. Most of our graduate-level courses are offered in the early evenings for the convenience of nontraditional students who either wish to obtain advanced training and/or certificates of training without formally entering a graduate program and/or wish to earn a graduate degree. These courses are delivered at both traditional on-campus and satellite locations and in a variety of nontraditional ways, such as in online and blended formats. Graduate-level courses are taught by USciences faculty and other highly qualified experts. These courses are constantly monitored and updated to ensure that their content is current and meaningful in the real world.

USciences enjoys an excellent international reputation that allows us to attract graduate students from all over the world as well as from the United States. The interaction of such a diverse body of students and faculty adds strength and depth to our programs. Our graduate students are not only trained in the content of their profession but are also trained to be critical thinkers, to work in group settings, and to be effective communicators.

We train our graduate students to be leaders in academic, industrial, and governmental settings. Our graduates are likely to continue their education, earning PhD, SciD, JD, MBA, MD, DO, and other professional degrees. Our PhD graduates also are likely to enter academic and industrial post-doctoral fellowships for additional training. Our graduate students may end up teaching at the university level; working in industry; working in local, state or federal governmental positions; or working for other agencies.

Admission into Graduate Courses

While many of our graduate students enter our graduate programs after completing their undergraduate degree, we also have many nontraditional students who usually hold one or more college degrees and are currently employed but wish to obtain advanced training to enhance their careers. Many of these students wish to take one or two courses to “test the waters” before matriculating into a graduate program; others are looking to receive training in specific areas without pursuing a degree. USciences offers the option for qualified students to take graduate-level courses without formally entering a graduate program if they have the appropriate prerequisite background; we will even guide and assist them in obtaining any background that they might be missing. Such students should contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 215.596.8556 or through our website at www.usciences.edu/graduate to obtain information about courses and their prerequisites.

In order to register for courses without formally enrolling in a graduate program, the applicant must provide proof via a copy of a transcript that shows that he/she meets all prerequisites for the course. Such students should complete the application for enrollment and provide a copy of the pertinent transcript showing that they meet the prerequisite requirements prior to the start of the course. Approval for enrolling in a course is granted by the graduate program director with the approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Most of the students who initially enroll in courses without formally entering a graduate program eventually do so. Besides allowing up to 12 credits of coursework from prior learning assessment, transfer credit from appropriate courses taken at other accredited institutions, and credit earned by examination, the College of Graduate Studies allows a maximum of 12 additional credits of coursework taken at USciences prior to formal enrollment in a USciences graduate program to count toward the minimum degree requirements of the graduate program.

Admissions

The graduate faculty of the College of Graduate Studies (COGS) at USciences encourages highly qualified individuals to apply to: 1) be a matriculated student leading to a graduate degree [i.e., PhD, MS (thesis), or MS (non-thesis) degree]; 2) take a series of courses leading to a certificate of completion, or 3) take one or more courses as a nonmatriculated student without being in a degree program.

Criteria for Applying to Matriculate into a PhD, MS (thesis), MS (non-thesis), or Certificate Program, or as a Nonmatriculated Student

Unless applying for USciences integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program, an applicant must be a graduate of a reputable college or university with at least the equivalent of an earned bachelor’s degree and meet the eligibility requirements established by both COGS and the specific graduate program to which the individual is applying.

Transcripts: Applicants must submit official copies of the transcripts of all previously earned college-level degrees. Usually, applicants must submit transcripts of degrees that were not earned from a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) (e.g., a non-U.S. institution) by having the transcripts reviewed by World Education Services (WES) on a course-by-course basis. This evaluation by WES is performed at the personal expense of the applicant.

However, an applicant may request an exemption to having transcripts from previously earned, non-U.S.-accredited degrees reviewed by WES if the applicant has previously earned a bachelor’s and/or graduate-level degree, in the same or closely related field of the USciences graduate program to which they are applying, from a U.S.-accredited institution as noted above.

(Note: USciences will consider students who have earned the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in a 3-year program on a case-by-case basis.)

Cumulative Grade Point Average: COGS requires an applicant to submit official transcripts that indicate strong grades, usually by showing a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.70 or greater based on a 4.00 grading system. Other grading systems will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure they meet similar standards.

Standardized Examinations: Some graduate programs may require an applicant to submit scores for a standardized test, such as the GRE or GMAT. In such cases, individuals who are applying for a master’s degree are expected to achieve a minimum overall average of the sub-scores of at least 50th percentile with no individual sub-score lower than 30th percentile on these examinations. Similarly, when applicants for a doctoral degree are required to take such an examination, the applicant must achieve a minimum overall average of the sub-scores of at least 60th percentile with no individual sub-score lower than 40th percentile. However, other application information may allow an applicant to be admitted if the scores on the entrance examinations fall below the range of the standards listed above.

An applicant is exempted from having to take these standardized examinations if any of the following applies. The individual:

  • Is enrolled in a USciences integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program.
  • Has completed a degree program at USciences with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000/4.000.
  • Has taken and earned a grade of at least a “B-” in each of three or more USciences graduate-level courses as a nonmatriculated student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000/4.000 in these courses.
  • Is applying to be a nonmatriculated or certificate program student.
  • Falls within a category delineated within an articulation agreement that precludes the taking of one or more standardized examinations as part of the application process.
  • Has previously earned a bachelor’s and/or graduate-level degree in the same or closely related field of the USciences graduate program to which he/she is applying with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.200/4.000. This degree must have been earned at a college or university accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the USDE.

English Language Competency: Original TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet-Based Test) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores are required if the applicant’s primary language is not English and/or the applicant has not earned a degree from an institution of higher learning in which the primary language of instruction was English. Proof of English as the primary instructional language must be supplied when the applicant is making this claim.

Even when the applicant has earned a college degree from an institution in which the primary language of instruction was English, if the applicant’s native language is not English, it is highly recommended that the applicant take the TOEFL-iBT or IELTS examination. Applicants who take these examinations are more likely to be admitted and are more likely to be successful in our graduate programs.

For those applicants submitting scores from language tests, COGS requires that applicants must have earned a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL iBT examination (IELTS minimum of 6.5) to be considered for admission into a graduate program at USciences.

Additionally, a minimum score of 100 (IELTS minimum of 7.0) must be earned on the test to be considered for financial aid upon first entering a graduate program at USciences. (Note: Applicants who initially do not meet the minimum TOEFL or IELTS scores to be considered for financial aid may request that they be considered for financial aid after they have completed at least two semesters of full-time attendance in a USciences’ graduate program. At that time, they will be evaluated to determine if they have sufficient English language skills to be able to adequately perform the duties required to receive financial aid. It should be noted that, even if deemed to be qualified, there is no guarantee that the applicant will be offered financial aid.)

(Note: In some cases, articulation agreements may require different criteria to demonstrate English proficiency.)

Letters of Recommendation: Individuals who are applying to matriculate into a degree or certificate program are required to provide at least three confidential letters of reference from professional-level individuals (i.e., former professors and/or employers) who know the qualities and capabilities of the applicant well enough to be able to comment on the likelihood of success of the applicant in a graduate program. However, individuals who are applying to be a nonmatriculated student or who have previously earned a degree from USciences are required to provide only one such letter of reference. Any member of an admission committee who has provided an applicant with a letter of reference must be recused from consideration of the individual’s application for admission; such letters of reference cannot be provided by the program director or the dean of COGS.

Written Letter of Intent: All applicants must submit an original essay of no more than 1000 words as to why they wish to enroll as a matriculated graduate student, a certificate student, or a nonmatriculated graduate student at USciences. This statement should explain the specific short- and long-term study and career goals that the program will help address. If the applicant is applying to be a MS (Thesis) or PhD student, the applicant must identify at least two of the program’s faculty whose research interests align most closely with his/her own interests and describe why he/she perceives this to be so. This essay must be written solely by the applicant in his/her own words. Specific graduate programs may require an additional writing sample.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Résumé: Applicants must provide a current, up-to-date CV/résumé, written in English, that summarizes past educational and work experiences, as well as any outcomes (e.g., papers, presentations, or book chapters) of previous research/scholarship endeavors.

Exceptions and Waivers

The policies and practices outlined above are intended to apply to the majority of applications received. However, there might be extenuating circumstances under which an applicant is unable to provide one or more elements of the expected documentation. Such cases will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and a determination of admission may be made based on less documentation than is normally required if the circumstances warrant such consideration. Additionally, strong indicators of success in the available documentation may outweigh the lack of specific documents for that applicant. In such cases, a program director may petition the dean of COGS to waive any of these criteria with appropriate rationale.

Final Acceptance

The graduate program director and the program’s admissions committee, whose members come from the ranks of their program’s graduate faculty, will review applications to their program. This committee will consider all valid information that has been provided about the applicant to arrive at its recommendation of admission. However, as an institution that follows affirmative action/equal opportunity, recommendations may not be made based on the applicant’s age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, creed, national origin, veteran status, or gender identity, or in violation of federal, state, and local laws or executive orders.

Based on the application documentation, the program director may make one of the following recommendations:

  • Accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied.
  • Conditionally accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied, but provide a list of requirements that the applicant must fulfill prior to entering the program (e.g., additional training requirements, such as completing specified English training programs prior to entering a USciences graduate program).
  • Provisionally accept the applicant into the degree track for which the individual applied, but provide a list of conditions needed to correct perceived background deficiencies (e.g., satisfactorily completing specific courses) that the applicant must fulfill once enrolled. Such requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain a degree/certificate.
  • Recommend the applicant consider applying to a different degree track within a program (in this case, either the program director and/or personnel from Admissions will discuss this with the applicant before acting on the application).
  • Reject the application. In this case, it is USciences policy not to inform the applicant of the rationale for the rejection.

The program director will relay the committee’s recommendations to the dean, usually through the Admissions Office. The dean of COGS makes the final determination as to which applicants will be granted offers of acceptance.

It should be recognized that admission into graduate school is usually highly competitive in nature. Many times, there are many more applicants than there are openings in the programs, and even highly qualified applicants may not be accepted into a program.

How and When to Apply

Application forms and related materials are posted on the website under the admission tab at www.gradschool.usciences.edu.

Admissions for Students with an Undergraduate Degree

Applicants who wish to be matriculated students leading to a graduate degree [i.e., Ph.D., M.S.(thesis), or M.S.(non-thesis) degree], take a series of courses leading to a certificate of completion program, or take one or more courses as a nonmatriculated student without being in a degree completion program within the College of Graduate Studies must submit the following:

  • A completed application, available online at www.gradschool.usciences.edu.
  • Pertinent Official transcripts (see Transcripts section of the previous Criteria for Applying section) of all college coursework. A course-by-course evaluation conducted by WES or comparable agency is necessary if transcript is from an international institution.
  • Original TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet Based Test) scores if the applicant’s primary language is not English and the applicant has not previously earned a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States or in a country whose primary language is English or a certificate of completion from ELS (Level 112 required) or equivalent program.
  • Standard Examination Scores (e.g., GRE or GMAT) if required by the graduate program, which the student is applying if not exempted as outlined in the Standardized Examinations section found within the previous Criteria for Applying section.
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation from professional-level individuals (e.g., former professors and/or employers) qualified to judge the applicant’s motivation, academic abilities, and research potential or professional acumen. (Note: Applicants who are applying to be a non-matriculated student or who have previously earned a degree at USciences are required to provide only a single letter of recommendation.)
  • A Written Letter of Intent as outlined in the Written Letter of Intent section found within the previous Criteria for Applying section.
  • Any additional requirements established by the specific graduate program to which application is being made. Such requirements are identified within the program descriptions on the website. Graduate program directors are available to answer any questions concerning their graduate programs.
  • Completed Certification of Finances form for foreign students. This is not required during the application process but is needed to process I-20A forms for accepted students. Submission prior to acceptance will expedite visa processing.

Standards for admission to the PhD degree tracks are somewhat more rigorous than those for the master-level degree tracks. In some cases, an applicant requesting entrance into a PhD degree track may be required to be placed initially in the MS degree track to demonstrate, by the quality of his/her work during the first year or two of graduate study, that he/she has the ability and capacity for independent, original study and research required of doctoral candidates before being allowed to enter the PhD track.

When to Apply

Available start terms vary by program; please consult the website at www.gradschool.usciences.edu/admissions/domestic-student-checklist-and-requirements for details.

For priority review and consideration for University financial support, such as teaching or research assistantships, completed applications must be submitted by March 1 for entry in either the fall or summer semester, and October 1 for entry in the spring semester. Applications received after these dates but not later than April 1 for entry in either the fall or summer semester, and November 1 for the spring semester will be processed, but admission will depend upon availability of openings in the program and the awarding of financial support in terms of teaching assistantships is less likely to occur.

For foreign students, the Certification of Finances form will be sent along with the acceptance letter if it has not already been completed and returned to the university. However, deadlines for submission of the completed Certificate of Finances form are May 1 and October 1 for entry into the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Once the University receives the Certification of Finances form, Graduate Enrollment Reservation Form, and the deposit, the University will send the applicant’s Certificate of Eligibility form I-20A, which is required for a student visa.

Review of Applications

Notification of any University-based financial support in the form of graduate student instructorship usually accompanies the notification of the applicant’s acceptance but may follow at a later date. Every accepted student must return the signed Graduate Enrollment Reservation Form within the time period specified in the letter to ensure a position is held in the entering class. Unless a student has taken a course at USciences within the past year, the Graduate Enrollment Reservation Form must be accompanied by a nonrefundable deposit of $150; this deposit will be credited to the student’s first semester’s tuition.

Immunization Records, Health History Forms and Health Insurance

All foreign and full-time students must have proof of completed immunization records and must have completed the University’s Medical History Questionnaire. This form should be completed by the student’s physician prior to the student’s arrival on campus. Unless exempted, all foreign students must participate in the health insurance program sponsored by the University. Additionally, all students must show proof that they are covered by health insurance. Students may secure accident and sickness insurance covering medical and hospital expenses through a plan offered by the University. Details of this plan are available in the Office of the Dean of Students.

Admission into Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs 

Several of our graduate programs offer integrated BS/first professional degree/MS/MPH or MBA programs, which allow qualified current USciences undergraduate students to simultaneously pursue a graduate degree while completing their undergraduate coursework. Acceptance into an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program:

  • Allows undergraduate students who have the necessary prerequisites to take graduate-level coursework.
  • Allows students to apply graduate coursework toward earning a graduate degree from USciences while concurrently earning an undergraduate/first-professional degree provided the minimum academic standards criteria are maintained.

Students may apply for an integrated undergraduate/graduate program either as entering freshmen, as entering transfer students, or as current USciences undergraduate students (prior to their fourth year if in a BS track, fifth year if in a professional master’s degree track, or sixth year if in the PharmD, DrOT, or DPT degree track). Admission is competitive and based on both the availability of positions and the academic record of the student. Normal standardized examinations, such as the GRE or LSAT and normal programmatic entrance (e.g., proficiency) examinations will not be required of the applicant. Language examinations such as the TOEFL and IELTS may be required at the discretion of the graduate program director and/or dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Admission into these programs is granted only by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the appropriate graduate program director.

To be considered for this program, incoming freshmen must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum high school GPA of 3.40/4.00. 
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550.
  • Three letters of recommendation from high school faculty.
  • Signature of the student’s USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.

To be considered for this program, incoming transfer students and current matriculated USciences students must have met the following criteria:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00.
  • A minimum SAT score of 1200 total with a minimum individual verbal and math score of 550 if not matriculated in an undergraduate or first professional degree program for at least one academic year (at least a fall and spring semester) at USciences; otherwise, there is no SAT requirement.
  • Three letters of recommendation from college faculty members.
  • Signature of the student’s current USciences undergraduate program director signifying that he/she has discussed the implications on how this program might impact the student’s undergraduate studies.

Students in the program will have separate undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Courses used to earn an undergraduate degree cannot also be used to earn a graduate degree. The student should work closely with his/her undergraduate/graduate advisors to ensure the appropriate courses get assigned to the proper transcript during registration.

Student Housing

The University can provide limited living accommodations for graduate students. In addition, information concerning local rental units listed with the University is available through the Student Affairs Office. 

Parking

The University provides a limited amount of off-street reserved parking. Graduate students may apply for a parking permit from the Security Office for an annual fee.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are established by the University in May of each year for the upcoming academic year. For 2013–2014, for most graduate students, the tuition costs are $1,447 a semester credit.

First-semester tuition and fees are payable on or before the day of registration. Upon registration for the next semester, tuition and fee reminders will be distributed and invoiced; these amounts must be paid by the due date indicated on the bill. Failure to pay these amounts by the date indicated will result in a late fee of $100 per month. Additionally, a student with a delinquent account will be placed on financial hold, which will not allow the student to register for or attend classes, obtain transcripts, or participate in USciences functions.

Remittances by mail can be made by check, payable to University of the Sciences. Students may make electronic payments to their tuition accounts at any time on WebAdvisor. These payments may be made by E-check (directly from checking account) or by American Express, Discover, or MasterCard. The Cashier’s Office also accepts in-person payments and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., except in the summer, when it is closed on Fridays. Anyone who makes a credit card payment will be charged a nonrefundable fee equal to 2.5% of the transaction. One hundred percent of this fee will b e retained by the processor and related banks that are providing the credit card service. The fee will apply to any credit card payment made on a student account, whether by mail, phone, Cashier’s Office, or WebAdvisor. E-check payments made on WebAdvisor will not be charged a convenience fee.

Each MS (thesis only) and PhD student is required to pay a thesis/dissertation fee of $150, which is intended to defray, in part, the cost of microfilming, copyright, publication, and reprinting of the thesis or dissertation. This fee must be paid on submission of the thesis or dissertation and is not refundable.

Students who anticipate the completion of all degree requirements must complete a Petition to Graduate form available from the Graduate Office. This form must be completed by deadlines published by the College of Graduate Studies and the Registrar or graduation will be delayed.

Financial Assistance

Besides loan programs available from the state or federal government (see the Financial Aid section in this catalog), there are a number of other programs available to graduate students.

External Funding Sources

Fellowships and traineeships awarded by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education may be available to graduate students. Students interested in such programs should apply to these agencies after consulting with their research advisor, program director, and the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research.

Graduate Student Instructors

The University hires highly qualified, matriculated graduate students to primarily assist in teaching, grading, and proctoring courses. Recommendations to hire graduate student instructors are made to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies by the graduate program directors. Graduate students who are interested in this type of financial aid must apply through their program directors—not to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Graduate student instructors are assigned to various departments across campus by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. These graduate students are required to participate in all teaching assistant training sessions sponsored by the departments, the Department of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the College of Graduate Studies.

In order to be considered to be hired for such positions, accepted applicants/graduate students whose primary language is not English are required to submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language, internet-Based Test (TOEFL-iBT) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In order to be considered for such positions, applicants must have achieved minimum scores of either 100 on the TOEFL-iBT or 7.0 on the IELTS. Students who do not initially meet these minimum scores upon first entering a graduate program at USciences may request to be considered for such a position after at least two semesters of full-time attendance.

Graduate student instructors in the PhD track who are receiving financial aid are required to maintain good academic standing and are awarded a stipend and a tuition scholarship on a semester-to-semester basis with the usual contract ending at the end of the spring semester. Most graduate student instructors initially begin their studies during the fall semester and would usually receive an initial contract for the fall and spring semesters. New contracts are usually awarded during the new fiscal year, which would start with the summer session beginning in May. The amount of the stipend is based on experience and is considered to be taxable as it is a fee for service. The tuition scholarship will cover tuition costs for up to 9 credits per semester and the associated comprehensive fees during the time frame outlined in the contract; the graduate student instructor is responsible for all tuition and associated fees beyond the number stipulated in the contract. This scholarship does not cover audited courses. The tuition scholarship is usually considered not to be taxable. The contract will also specify the number of hours of service per week required of the graduate student instructor. Graduate students may receive this type of financial aid for a maximum period of four years for a student in a PhD track from the date the student formally enrolls in a graduate program.

Graduate Research Associates

Graduate students may obtain extramural support to perform research. Usually, the support is in the form of a research stipend. This stipend is considered to be taxable. Students who receive a research stipend may be eligible to receive a tuition scholarship depending on the size of the stipend received relative to the current amount of a teaching stipend. If a student receives less than one-third of the amount of a normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is not eligible to receive a tuition scholarship. If a student receives at least one-third but less than two-thirds of the amount of the normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible to receive one-half of a tuition scholarship. If a student receives two-thirds or more of the amount of the normal teaching stipend during a semester, then the student is eligible for a full tuition scholarship. The tuition scholarship is usually considered not to be taxable.

Graduate Assistants

In certain cases, graduate students may be hired as graduate assistants to perform specific services for the University for which they may receive tuition waivers. Recommendations for the granting of tuition waivers are made by graduate program directors to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. In such cases, the dean of the College of Graduate Studies may give a tuition waiver at the rate of one semester hour of credit for three hours of service per week per semester. The maximum number of credits that can be waived is one-third the number of credits registered for that semester and up to 3 credits. Graduate students who are interested in this type of financial aid must apply through their program director—not to the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Graduate students may receive this type of financial aid for a maximum of two years and one semester for MS students or five years for PhD students from the date of first enrollment. Tuition waivers are deemed to be taxable.

Other Fellowships/Scholarships

The College of Graduate Studies has the following endowed fellowships/scholarships:

Clayton French Fellowship
This fellowship is provided by Mrs. Mary I. Banks in honor of her father, Clayton French, for a graduate student conducting pharmaceutical research at the University.

William H. Gano Memorial Scholarship
This fellowship is provided by Mrs. William H. Gano (Class of 1884) in memory of her husband for a graduate student engaged in research at the University.

Jacob Gelb Scholarship
This scholarship is established by Jacob Gelb, class of 1931, and his brother Samuel Gelb. It is usually awarded to newly matriculated graduate students. One graduate student from each program can be nominated to receive a one- or two-semester scholarship; the second semester may be awarded if the student maintains good academic standing in the graduate program. These scholarships are awarded by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and may be awarded above and beyond any other financial aid offerings by the College of Graduate Studies.

Abraham Glasser Fellowship
This fellowship provides financial support in the form of a stipend for up to one year to conduct original research on a full-time basis, as a graduate research assistant. This fellowship is provided through the generous gift of Abraham Glasser, Class of 1943, and his wife Gloria. Full-time PhD students enrolled in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics, or pharmacology and toxicology programs who have passed their comprehensive examinations, have been admitted to candidacy, and have demonstrated a reasonable degree of progress in their research are eligible to apply for this fellowship.

F. B. Kilmer Research Fellowship
This fellowship is provided by the late Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer for a graduate student conducting research in pharmacology and natural product/plant chemistry (i.e., pharmacognosy).

August T. Pollard Fellowship
This fellowship is provided by Dr. Augusta T. Pollard for a graduate student who is performing research in areas related to pharmacy.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Overview

The following information provides a brief overview of some of the requirements for obtaining the doctor of philosophy degree. A complete, current description of these requirements is found in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures manual available from the Graduate Office or on the College of Graduate Studies website.

Research Advisor

Each student selects a research advisor from the members of the graduate faculty within the graduate program with the approval of the Committee of Program Directors. The research advisor will guide the student in selecting courses, direct the student’s research, and chair the student’s Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee

Each doctoral student will select an Advisory Committee composed of their research advisor, one other member of the graduate faculty from the student’s graduate program, one member of the graduate faculty who is not from the student’s graduate program, and one other qualified individual from on or off campus; other qualified individuals may also serve on the Advisory Committee. Duties of the Advisory Committee are to:

  • Recommend didactic requirements for the student above and beyond those established by the program.
  • Mentor the student.
  • Establish specific research goals/objectives of the student for the next semester at the end of each semester.
  • Monitor the student’s research progress by evaluating the research accomplishments against the established expectations at the end of each semester.
  • Determine when the quality and quantity of research are sufficient to justify the student to prepare and defend a dissertation.
  • Advise the student in the preparation of both the research prospectus and dissertation.
  • Participate in the final oral examination of the student.

Credit Requirements

To qualify for the doctor of philosophy degree, the College of Graduate Studies requires that each student must earn not less than 20 credit hours of graduate-level didactic work and not less than 20 credit hours of research. While at least 20 credit hours of doctoral research are required to earn the degree, the doctoral student may have to continue to register for research credits beyond this minimum requirement to complete the research to the satisfaction of the Research Advisory Committee. A program of study will be developed for each student in consultation with the student’s Advisory Committee and is subject to approval of the program director. This program must ensure that the student will attain a high degree of competence in a major area of study and provide a sound foundation in the underlying sciences. Graduate students are expected to participate in all departmental and college seminar programs. Graduate students must achieve a minimum grade of “B-” in each course for which graduate credit is granted and must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Each of the graduate programs has its own individual required courses and approved electives. Frequently, these programs may have course requirements that exceed the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies; the student must complete all of the specified programmatic requirements before the student earns the PhD degree in that program of study.

Students may request transfer of credits earned outside of USciences upon matriculating into a graduate program; a maximum of 12 credits may be awarded due to transfer, advanced placement, and/or experience. These credits must not have been used to fulfill the minimum degree requirements for an undergraduate/first professional degree. Transcript of transfer credits should be presented to the program director with a request for evaluation. If the courses are of suitable nature and grades equivalent to “B-” or better have been earned in them, the program director may recommend their acceptance for transfer by the dean.

Time Requirements

Students who are fully prepared for advanced study and who devote full-time to the academic program can usually earn the PhD degree in about four to six years. There is no residency requirement for the doctor of philosophy degree, though doctoral students should participate in all seminars and other programmatic activities whenever possible; this is especially important for the part-time doctoral candidate. Candidates for PhD degree must satisfy all degree requirements within eight years of entering a graduate program.

Proficiency Examinations

During the weeks preceding registration, students commencing graduate studies may be required to take one or more proficiency examinations designed to evaluate their degree of preparation for advanced study. The program director or designee will administer and grade these examinations. The results of these examinations will be used to establish an initial program of study and may allow the program director to award advanced placement credit.

The nature of these proficiency examinations is determined by the departmental graduate faculty. If these examinations are to be required, information will be sent to incoming students by the program director shortly after the receipt of the student’s acceptance of the offer of admission.

Comprehensive Examinations

Graduate coursework is designed to expose the student to the fundamental body of knowledge in a discipline. A doctoral student should also have the ability to analyze this body of knowledge, including the current literature, integrate it, and creatively apply it to problems in the discipline. A series of comprehensive examinations is used to test the student’s abilities in these areas. All doctoral students must successfully complete the comprehensive examination requirement.

The doctoral student will take written and oral examinations in specialty areas within the major field, as established by the department. The mechanism and the selection of authors of these examinations are determined by the graduate faculty in each program. Questions to be found on the written comprehensive examinations are of a nature such that students are expected to demonstrate a familiarity with the current literature in their major field and to answer questions with a breadth and depth of understanding beyond that considered satisfactory in normal course examinations. Information concerning the examinations may be obtained from the program director.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon the recommendation of the Advisory Committee and after the successful completion of all course requirements and comprehensive examinations and the submission of an approved research proposal, the program director will notify the student of his/her admittance to candidacy.

By granting such admission, the Advisory Committee indicates its approval of the candidate’s record to date and its confidence in the student’s ability to pursue to successful completion an appropriate research problem. Not less than two semesters must intervene between admission to the program and the awarding of the degree.

Doctoral Research

A major requirement for the doctoral degree is that the candidate demonstrates creativity and the ability to design and conduct research substantially on an independent basis, to critically analyze the results of his/her research, to translate the data obtained into sound and defensible conclusions, and to clearly articulate these results in the preparation of a research dissertation. The dissertation must represent a definitive contribution to scientific knowledge. A suitable research problem is selected by the candidate in consultation with the Advisory Committee. With the approval of the research advisor, the student may register for doctoral research in the appropriate department. The doctoral student must submit a research prospectus to the Advisory Committee for approval.

At least two weeks prior to the first day of final examinations of each semester that the student is registered for research credits, the student will submit a brief written report to the program director and members of the Advisory Committee that outlines the progress that was made in meeting the specific research goals/objectives established by the Advisory Committee for that semester. The student, in consultation with his/her research advisor, also will suggest specific research goals/objectives for the next semester for consideration by the Research Advisory Committee.

Each student engaged in doctoral research is required to present at least one oral progress report to the Advisory Committee per year. The progress report should indicate how well the objectives of the research prospectus have been met, any modifications that have been made in these objectives, and what studies remain to be performed in order to achieve them.

The doctoral candidate must prepare at least one manuscript based on his/her dissertation research, which, after receiving approval from his/her research advisor, will be submitted to an appropriate scholarly publication recommended by his/her research advisor. It is also required that the doctoral candidate present, on average, at least one paper or poster on the student’s doctoral research at a professional symposium or meeting for every two years that the student is matriculated in the doctoral program. Additionally, the doctoral student is expected to prepare a funding proposal that minimally could provide for her/his research stipend before the end of the third year of matriculation in the doctoral program. This proposal must be submitted to an appropriate funding agency/foundation unless exempted by the research advisor in consultation with the program director. If a submitted grant is unfunded, the student is expected to revise and resubmit the grant either to the same or a different agency/foundation. The research advisor and the Advisory Committee members must receive copies of the review comments from the agency/foundation.

Dissertation and Abstract

Upon completion of the student’s research to the satisfaction of the Advisory Committee, each candidate must prepare a dissertation and an abstract based upon his/her investigations. Detailed instructions for the preparation of dissertation and abstracts have been developed by the graduate faculty and are included in the College of Graduate Studies publication Information for Graduate Students.

Registration

Matriculated graduate students are required to either be registered for courses or in absentia (i.e., AB800) or on an approved leave of absence every semester until completion of their degree. (Note: students who plan to register in absentia should check with the University’s Financial Aid Office to understand how this might affect their enrollment status if they have extramural financial aid.) MS (thesis) and PhD students must be registered for at least one credit during the semester in which they will complete all of their degree requirements.

International students are required by the U.S. government to be registered as full-time students (i.e., at least nine credits) each fall and spring semester unless exempted by the director of international students. With the director of international students’ permission, international students may register for fewer than nine credits but for at least one credit in their terminal semester in which they will complete all of their degree requirements.

Final Examination

Following the review of the dissertation by the members of the Advisory committee and a reviewer selected by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the candidate must pass a final oral examination designed to establish the competency of the student in his/her major and related fields. The final examination of the student will be conducted by the Advisory Committee Reviewers and chaired by the student’s research advisor. At least part of the examination is open to all students, faculty members of USciences, and other individuals who have received permission to attend from the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

Publication and Microfilming

The graduate faculty considers publication of the essential components of the doctoral research, in a suitable scientific journal, to constitute an integral part of the dissertation requirements. In order to realize the full value of scholarly research, it must be made easily available to other scholars. Therefore, each doctoral dissertation is reproduced on microfilm, and a copy is kept on file in the University library and in the Library of Congress. An abstract is reproduced and published in Dissertation Abstracts. 

Master of Science Degree

Overview

The following information provides a brief overview of some of the requirements for obtaining the master of science degree. A complete, current description of these requirements is found in the College of Graduate Studies Policies and Procedures manual available from the Graduate Office or on the College of Graduate Studies website.

Master of Science—Thesis Option

Research Advisor

Each student selects a research advisor from the members of the graduate faculty within the graduate program with the approval of the Committee of Program Directors. The research advisor will guide the student in selecting courses, direct the student’s research, and chair the student’s Advisory Committee.

Advisory Committee

Each MS (thesis) student will select an Advisory Committee composed of their research advisor, at least one other member of the graduate faculty from the student’s program, and at least one other qualified individual who has the credentials and expertise to contribute to the guidance of the student’s research. Duties of the Advisory Committee are to:

  • Recommend didactic requirements for the student above and beyond those established by the program.
  • Mentor the student.
  • Establish specific research goals/objectives of the student for the next semester at the end of each semester.
  • Monitor the student’s research progress by evaluating the research accomplishments against the established expectations at the end of each semester.
  • Determine when the quality and quantity of research are sufficient to justify the student to prepare and defend a thesis.
  • Advise the student in the preparation of both the research prospectus and thesis.
  • Participate in the final oral examination of the student.

Credit Requirements

To qualify for the master of science degree, the College of Graduate Studies requires that each student must earn not less than 20 credit hours of didactic work acceptable to earn the MS (thesis) degree and not less than 10 credit hours of research. While at least 10 credit hours of master’s research are required to get the degree, the MS (thesis) student may have to continue to register for research credits beyond this minimum requirement to complete the research to the satisfaction of the Research Advisory Committee. Graduate students are expected to participate in all departmental and college seminar programs. Graduate students must achieve a minimum grade of “B-” in each course for which graduate credit is granted and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00.

Each of the graduate programs has its own individual required courses and approved electives. Frequently, these programs may have course requirements that exceed the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies; the student must complete all of the specified programmatic requirements before the student earns the MS (thesis) degree in that program of study.

Students may request transfer of credits earned outside of USciences upon matriculating into a graduate program; a maximum of 12 credits may be awarded due to transfer, advanced placement, and/or life experience. These credits must not have been used to fulfill the minimum degree requirements for an undergraduate/first professional degree. Transcript of transfer credits should be presented to the program director with a request for evaluation. If the courses are of suitable nature and grades equivalent to “B-” or better have been earned in them, the program director may recommend their acceptance for transfer to the dean.

Time Requirements

Students who are fully prepared for advanced study and who devote full-time to the academic program can usually earn the MS (thesis) degree in about 1 1/2 to three years. Candidates for the MS (thesis) degree must satisfy all degree requirements within five years of entering a graduate program.

Proficiency Examinations

During the weeks preceding registration, students commencing graduate studies may be required to take one or more proficiency examinations designed to evaluate their degree of preparation for advanced study. The program director or designee will administer and grade these examinations. The results of these examinations will be used to establish an initial program of study and may allow the program director to award advanced placement credit.

The nature of these proficiency examinations is determined by the departmental graduate faculty. If these examinations are to be required, information will be sent to incoming students by the program director shortly after the receipt of the student’s acceptance of the offer of admission.

Research

At least two weeks prior to the first day of final examinations of each semester that the student is registered for research credits, the student will submit a brief written report to the program director and members of the Advisory Committee that outlines the progress that was made in meeting the specific research goals/objectives established by the Advisory Committee for that semester. The student, in consultation with his/her research advisor, also will suggest specific research goals/objectives for the next semester for consideration by the Research Advisory Committee.

The graduate faculty requires the submission of a formal thesis for this degree. An oral examination as a defense of this research is also required.

It is expected that the MS (thesis) student will present his/her research work at a professional meeting outside of USciences prior to completing the degree. If at all possible, the MS (thesis) student and his/her research advisor should publish this work.

Registration

Matriculated graduate students are required to either be registered for courses or in absentia (i.e., AB800) or to be on an approved leave of absence every semester until completion of their degree. (Note: students who plan to register in absentia should check with the University’s Financial Aid Office to understand how this might affect their enrollment status if they have extramural financial aid.) MS (thesis) and PhD students must be registered for at least one credit during the semester in which they will complete all of their degree requirements.

International students are required by the U.S. government to be registered as full-time students (i.e., at least nine credits) each fall and spring semester unless exempted by the director of international students. With the director of international students’ permission, international students may register for less than nine credits but at least for one credit in their terminal semester in which they will complete all of their degree requirements.

Master of ScienceNon-Thesis Option

The MS (non-thesis) degree is an option offered by some programs as a modification of the master of science degree requiring more didactic coursework, less research, and no formal thesis/defense. The degree is intended for students who, because of career or financial needs, choose to pursue graduate education on a part-time basis; who seek an advanced degree primarily to facilitate advancement or promotion; or who wish to attain the degree but are not likely to pursue further graduate education.

While many of the requirements for the MS (non-thesis) degree are the same as those for the MS (thesis) degree, some of the different requirements are listed below.

A minimum of 30 credit hours of didactic work is required by the College of Graduate Studies for the MS (non-thesis) degree; individual programs may require more than this minimum. The program director will assign a member of the graduate faculty to serve as the student’s advisor. The MS (non-thesis) student will not have an Advisory Committee nor be required to write a thesis; however, most programs require a written project as part of a capstone course.