Candidate Information

Congratulations on passing your qualifying exams! I hope you took some time to reflect and recharge. But now, you are well on your way to getting your PhD! Your main focus from now on is research, research, research! And, of course, finishing all your graduation requirements.

  1. Advancement to Candidacy
  2. Graduation Requirements
  3. Dissertation Requirements
  4. Exit Process
  5. Professional Development
  6. Candidate Forms

Advancement to Candidacy

Congratulations on passing your Qualifying Exam! You have overcome one of the biggest hurdles to your PhD. Now, as soon as possible, you will want to advance to candidacy. Once you are a PhD candidate, your non-resident tuition gets waived (international students) and more fellowship and award options are available. To advance to candidacy, you must:

  • Pass your qualifying examination.
  • Maintain the minimum 3.0 grade point average in all upper division and graduate coursework taken in graduate standing with no more than two courses having been graded as incomplete.
  • Form your dissertation committee
  • Fill out the necessary forms
  • Pay the fees associated to advancement (usually covered by your lab)
  • Submit forms to the relevant administrator at your home campus
Forming a Dissertation Committee

The Program requires that the Dissertation Committee consist of three to five faculty members representing both campuses.

  1. Dissertation Chair: Any core member of the Bioengineering Graduate Group faculty who is also a member of the Academic Senate on either campus. (In most cases, the Research Mentor becomes the Dissertation Chair.)
  2. Reader 1: Member of the Academic Senate at UCSF or Berkeley such that both campuses are represented
  3. Reader 2 (Outside Member): Member of the academic senate from the student’s Home Campus who is not a member of the Graduate Group

Exceptions:

  • Faculty members within the Group who are not Academic Senate members (such as Adjunct or Clinical faculty) may not serve as the Chair of the Dissertation Committee or be designated as a reader, but may serve on the Committee as a co-adviser if recommended by the Bioengineering Executive Committee and approved by the Dean of the Graduate Division on their Home Campus.

Remember, the committee should serve the needs of the student. As projects proceed in new directions, perspective changes, or the student feels the committee is not meeting his/her needs, the composition of the committee can be changed by the student in consultation with the graduate advisor and dissertation advisor.

Annual Dissertation Committee Meetings

Students are required to meet annually (at a minimum) with their Dissertation Committees to discuss their research project, review results, and chart directions for completing their dissertation. Meetings may be held when necessary without all committee members present. For each meeting, the student is responsible for preparing a written summary outlining the dissertation project, progress on this project and objectives for completion of the dissertation

Forms
  1. Program Internal: Constitution of Dissertation Committee form to be submitted to your home-campus administrator
  2. UCSF-based: Report on Qualifying Exam for Admission to Candidacy (2018) (filled out by your Committee Chair) and Advancement to candidacy – PhD form can be submitted electronically to UCSF Graduate Division.
  3. Berkeley-based: Go to CalCentral > My Dashboard > Student Resources > Submit a Form > Higher Degree Committees Form > Qualifying Examination form; then hit the Search button thing to find ‘Doctoral’ as your committee type and follow the instructions.

Graduation Requirements

Make sure that you are on track to fulfilling all of your graduation requirements.

  1. Course Requirements and Program of Study
    • Area Requirements (breadth requirements)
    • Major Area (16 Semester or 24 Quarter Units) and Minor Area (8 Semester or 12 Quarter Units)
    • First Year Seminars BioE 200 (UCB) and BioE 280/281 (UCSF)
    • BioE 301 (UCB) Bioengineering Teaching Techniques
    • BioE 201 (UCB) Ethics or equivalent in First and Fourth years
  2. Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirements
    • Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above in academic coursework
  3. First Year Research Rotations and Research Mentor Selection
    • Students must complete three (3) research rotations with Bioengineering Core Faculty during the first year. Following completion of these rotations, students select a rotation mentor as their dissertation research mentor.
  4. Graduate Student Instructor/Teaching Assistantship
    • All students must complete a minimum of one (1) 10-hour Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) assignment at either UCB or UCSF. This does not need to be a BioE course.
  5. Qualifying Examination
    • Students identify qualifying exam committee members during their second year and hold the qualifying exam (written and oral presentation) by the end of the fall of their their year.
  6. Advancement to Candidacy
    • Following successful completion of the qualifying exam, students must submit the proper Graduate Division and Program forms to formally advance to candidacy ASAP.
  7. Research Conference Presentation
    • Students must present a poster or talk at a minimum of one research conference. This can include presenting at the Bioengineering Annual Retreat.
  8. Annual Progress Reports
    • Students are required to meet with their academic advisor and/or dissertation committee and submit progress reports annually.
  9. Dissertation
    • Students must write a dissertation compiling the results of their graduate research. Upon written approval of their dissertation committee, students file their dissertation with the Graduate Division of their home campus.
  10. Exit Seminar
    • Graduating students must hold a concluding research seminar to present their graduate work.

Dissertation Requirements

Filing your dissertation at Graduate Division Office is one of the final step toward the award of Ph.D. Your manuscript is a scholarly presentation of the results of the research you conducted. Your faculty committee supervises the intellectual content of your manuscript and your committee chair will guide you on the arrangement within the text and reference sections of your manuscript. Consult with your committee chair early in the preparation of your manuscript.

When requesting a title page at the respective Graduate Division, it is necessary to identify oneself as being part of the inter-campus group in order to have both campuses listed on the title page and diploma. A copy of the dissertation must be turned into the Group office at the student’s Home Campus upon completion.

 

Exit Process

Exit Seminar

Students will present a formal, minimum 45-minute seminar on the results of their research prior to graduation. This exit seminar will be open to Program faculty members, other students in the University community, family, and friends. The following are guidelines for the exit seminar:

  1. Dissertation complete and submitted, including depositing a copy with the Home Campus Program Administrator.
  2. Reserve a room in Stanley using QB3 webpage or at UCSF through the MyAccess portal.
  3. The student’s Research Mentor will attend the exit seminar and is responsible for any costs associated with the exit seminar including room rental fees and refreshments.
  4. Program faculty members and students will be invited to attend the exit seminar by the student, typically through an email to the Program listserv. The student is also welcomed to invite friends and family.
  5. The student will notify their Home Campus Program administrative office of the date, time, and location of the exit seminar.
Exit Interview

Prior to graduation, students must complete Exit Interviews with:

  1. Graduate Adviser to review academic progress and career plans.
  2. Head Graduate Adviser to discuss career plans.
  3. Program Administrator on the Home Campus to ensure their files contain the final Program of Study, Area Requirements, Transcripts, and Dissertation Title Page. Students are asked at this time to provide future contact information for the alumni database, as well as current career information, such as employer, position title. Students are encouraged to report future career and contact changes to the Program administration.

Professional Development

Graduate Research Fellowships

Here are a couple to get you started. Be sure to check out the Fellowships page. Following advancement to candidacy, there will be more opportunities available to PhD Candidates as well.

Internship Opportunities

Many students choose to pursue an internship opportunity in industry as they approach graduation. To pursue an internship, students are required to:

  1. Review with their Mentor, Home Campus Head Graduate Advisor and BioE Administration the value of the internship for the student, impact on their dissertation research, and other considerations.
  2. Submit a written request, including the internship description, time line, dates, financial arrangements, approvals from their mentor and HGA to the BioE Program Administration on their Home Campus.

Some considerations are:

    1. Internships are always after Quals and Advancement to Candidacy
    2. Approved by the student’s BioE Mentor/PI in writing
    3. Approved by the BioE Head Graduate Advisor from the student’s Home Campus
    4. Notify and keep informed, the BioE Program Administration of the student¹s Home Campus
    5. Internships are more common over the summer
    6. Registration status impact
      • possible Leave of Absence (LOA generally not applicable during the summer)
      • Funding plan
      • Student Health Insurance to ensure no gaps in coverage
      • Impact on time to degree and Non-Resident Tuition for international students
Other Opportunities

Candidate Forms

In your third year and beyond, you still have paperwork to fill out, but it is more or less the same as previous years.

Advancement to Candidacy:

  1. Program Internal: Constitution of Dissertation Committee form to be submitted to your home-campus administrator
  2. UCSF-based: Report on Qualifying Exam for Admission to Candidacy (2018) (filled out by your Committee Chair) and Advancement to candidacy – PhD form can be submitted electronically to UCSF Graduate Division.
  3. Berkeley-based: Go to CalCentral > My Dashboard > Student Resources > Submit a Form > Higher Degree Committees Form > Qualifying Examination form; then hit the Search button thing to find ‘Doctoral’ as your committee type and follow the instructions. For international students, you can waive the out-state tuition after turning in this form.

Candidate Progress Report:
Near the end of each academic year of the BioE program, you are required to fill out a progress report. You will need to meet with your faculty graduate advisor (or one of the head graduate advisors) to go over your progress. This report is comprised of the following forms:

  1. Annual Progress Report: Advanced to Candidacy is the actual progress report form that needs to be filled out. Note that this is different from the 1st and 2nd year report form!
  2. Program of Study: Area requirement form is where you fill out all area requirements you have completed overall (see the Graduate Student Handbook for more information).
  3. Program of Study: Major and Minor form is where you list major/minor courses, your three lab rotations, and, ultimately, your GSI/teaching position.

Dissertation Progress:

  1. Dissertation Committee Update form is the dissertation progress form. You will meet with your dissertation committee to discuss your annual progress, any other requirements needed to be fulfilled, and a timeline for completion.
  2. Request a Dissertation Title page at the their respective Graduate Division of their Home Campus
    • When requesting a title page at the respective Graduate Division, it is necessary to identify oneself as being part of the intercampus group in order to have both campuses listed on the title page and diploma.