Requirements & Forms For Current Students

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Matriculation Continued

PhD Requirements

M.S. Requirements

M.S Thesis Guide PhD Dissertation Guide

DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO THESIS DEFENSE

I. The Pre-oral Exam

About 6 months before the expected final defense the student orally presents to the Thesis Committee his or her results, conclusions and an estimation of remaining work. The Committee then decides what the student must accomplish before the final defense. One week in advance of this oral presentation, the student must distribute a one- or two-page abstract to all Committee members and to all Chemistry Department faculty. Input from interested faculty is encouraged.

II. Clearance Check-list

All students are required to complete clearance of a departmental check-list of outstanding keys and library books. The research adviser will also have clearance requirements (lab clean-up, return of items, etc.). The Graduate Program Director will not sign the degree application form until these clearances have been completed and the departmental form presented.

III. The Writing and Defense of the Thesis

1. Prior to the final defense, a preliminary thesis draft is given to the research advisor only.

2. The research advisor ensures that the thesis is correct, complete, and well written in acceptable journal style, including abstract, table of contents, appendices, bibliography, etc.

3. A typed final draft is distributed to each Committee member at least three weeks prior to the anticipated date of the defense.

4. An announcement of the title, the date, and the place of the defense is to be sent to the Graduate Dean three weeks before the defense (and the room must be reserved).

5. During this three-week period the candidate will solicit corrections and suggestions from the Committee members.

6. The final defense is open to the public and must be publicized by posted announcements two weeks prior to the examination date.

7. After the defense, the final typed version of the thesis will be prepared in the form acceptable to the Committee and to the Graduate School, and an "original" plus at least three copies must be submitted.

Before you do anything else obtain the following: (1) The deadline dates for the various fees and documents required; (2) a copy of the latest "Thesis Form Style Guide." You should obtain both of these directly from their source, The Graduate School Office, 401 Hill Hall, so as to establish at least a minimal personal relationship with those who enforce many of the rules and deadlines you must satisfy.

I. Revisions and Corrections. It is the job of the candidate and the thesis supervisor, working together, to put the thesis into polished form, comparable to a submitted manuscript, before the committee gets it. To expect your committee either to ignore or to have to correct poor spelling, grammar, journal style, etc. will generate animosity you can ill afford. Other aspects of revision are discussed in Sect. II below.

II. Deadlines and Timing. Put on your calendar the various deadlines you have ascertained. Your thesis exam should be scheduled for a date at least a week before the Graduate School deadline for thesis submission. It is extraordinary for a thesis to be accepted in exactly the form in which the committee receives it. Some revision is the rule, and extensive revision and correction are commonly required even after the exam is passed. You must anticipate this and allow time. You should give the Committee its copies of the thesis two weeks before the exam date. As you deliver each thesis copy, make an appointment to visit the committee member during the week before the exam to collect corrections and complaints. This will give you an idea of where you stand on revisions and allow you to start correcting before the exam.

III. Format. Read in its entirety the "Thesis Form Style Guide", which outlines the requirements of the Graduate School. Besides this, the Chemistry Program requires that the thesis follow the format of one of the major (normally ACS) journals. Most frequently this is J. Am. Chem. Soc. or J. Org. Chem., but another is acceptable with the approval of your thesis supervisor. Looking at someone else's completed thesis may be generally helpful, but for details you should follow not a thesis, but the style source: the "Notice to Authors" (issue No. 1 each year) and the actual current practice of the specific journal you have chosen. This applies to major divisions (Introduction, Results, Discussion, Experimental, etc.), and to narrative style (avoidance of first person singular, etc.), as well as to the style and format for abbreviations, punctuation, tables, figures, schemes, references, footnotes, the Experimental Section, and every other significant aspect of the written thesis, just as though you were preparing a manuscript for submission to your chosen journal.

IV. Thesis Exam. Prepare to present your thesis work in an oral condensation no longer than about 30 min. Do not assume that you have achieved such condensation without rehearsing and timing yourself. Slides or transparencies are easily made from the illustrations already prepared for your thesis. Since the non-deliberative parts of thesis exams (i.e., presentation & questioning) are open to the "public," you may wish to attend someone else's exam to prepare yourself for the experience.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE Ph.D. DEGREE 
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark 
DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY

I. REQUIRED COURSES

1. For the Ph.D. degree, at least 24 credits of graduate level courses (not counting research credits) must be completed. In the first semester, entering full-time students must register for the seminar course, 26:160:601 or 602.

2. Continuous registration must be maintained (except for summers) until a degree is awarded. If no course or research is taken during a fall or spring semester, the student should register for "Matriculation Continued," a non-credit course for which a reduced fee is charged. Failure to maintain continuous registration requires readmission and payment of a reinstatement fee for each term missed.

II. TOTAL CREDITS FOR THE DEGREE

1. A minimum of 60 credits (including those applied to an M.S.) are required for the Ph.D. degree. A minimum of 24 credits of graduate level coursework with a grade of B or better must be accumulated, and at least 24 credits must be in research.

2. Students are required to maintain a B average. If the average drops below B, the Graduate Dean's office sends a notice of unsatisfactory progress to the student, who must then meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss the problem and outline conditions to be met in order to remain in the Program. If these conditions are not met, the student will be dropped from the Program.

3. Credits for coursework with a grade lower than B cannot be used for the PhD degree.

4. No more than six credits of 400-level undergraduate courses may be used for any degree.

III. TRANSFER OF CREDITS

1. Transfer of course credits from outside Rutgers-Newark is allowed up to a maximum of 30 for the Ph.D. degree. However, in no case may such transferred credits constitute more than half of the course credits used toward any degree.

2. Only chemistry-related graduate courses taken as a graduate student with grades of B or better may be transferred.

3. At the beginning of the first semester, the department administers entrance examinations in the areas of organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry. Credits can only be transferred for courses in these categories if the student has achieved a passing grade in the corresponding entrance examination.

4. Research credits, pass-fail credits and other non-graded credits may not be transferred.

5. Transfer may be made only after a student completes 12 hours of course-work at Rutgers-Newark with grades of B or better. These 12 hours may include chemistry courses taken at Rutgers-Newark on a non-matriculated basis, through the Non-Degree Program. Any such credits should be transferred at this point.

IV. NON-COURSE REQUIREMENTS

1. Cumulative examinations:

a. One Saturday morning of each month, October through May, three or four questions will be presented. Cumulative exams will be categorized into five chemistry disciplines: Organic, Inorganic, Physical, Analytical, and Biochemistry . The exams are currently scheduled for the second Saturday of every month, 9-12 AM, and designed so a student can complete two questions in the allotted 3-hour session. However students may attempt to answer any number of questions, and each will be assigned a grade of 2, 1, or 0. The student will be notified of his or her grade and all grades will be recorded in the student's file. There is no penalty for failing questions, but a student who fails an exam question is encouraged to consult the professor who wrote it.

b. For the Ph.D. degree the student must accumulate ten exam points. A minimum of five points has to be in the discipline related to the student's research. This requirement has to be completed in the student's first five semesters (not counting summer sessions) after matriculation into the Graduate Program.

c. Students not fulfilling the cumulative-exam requirement within the five semesters specified above will be evaluated by the faculty, and a recommendation based on the student's overall performance will be made. If the recommendation is to drop the student from the Program, the student will be notified in writing.

2. Candidacy Exam:

a. Students in the Ph.D. Program must show satisfactory performance on an oral examination conducted before the end of the fifth semester and after completion of the cumulative exam requirement. For part-time Ph.D. students, the oral examination must be scheduled before the end of the fifth semester into their Ph.D. research project.

The student is to pass a research-based candidacy exam that entails:

  1. One week prior to the oral exam, the student must submit a 10 page (max) report that consists of a general introduction to their research project, their progress, and future directions. The report will be submitted to a three-member committee that is comprised of: a faculty member selected by the student (this faculty member must agree to the selection), a faculty member selected by the supervisor, and a faculty member selected by the department chair. Supervisors cannot be members of their student's committee, but are encouraged to attend the examination.
  2. During the oral candidacy exam, the student is required to deliver a ca. 30 min presentation on their research project to the committee. This will be followed by a question period that will examine the students' fundamental understanding of their project and chemistry at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  3. At the conclusion of the exam, the examination committee will issue a grade of "pass," "fail," or "repeat."

b. If the grade is "repeat," a re-examination will be scheduled that has to take place within one month of the original examination. If a student is re-examined after an initial grade of "repeat," the committee must then issue a grade of pass or fail; a grade of "repeat" is not permitted on the second attempt. The examination committee for the repeat examination shall be composed of all members of the initial examining committee.

V. CANDIDACY AND COMPLETION OF THE DEGREE

1. As soon as a student has accumulated at least 24 course-credits and fulfilled the other requirements listed above under I, II and IV, he or she should file for degree candidacy. This is done with a candidacy form obtained from the secretary.

2. Candidates for the Ph.D. must present the results of their research to their dissertation committee in a pre-defense meeting, to be conducted about six months before anticipated completion of the research. The committee then defines what remains to be done to produce an acceptable, completed research project.

3. Ph.D. candidates present their final research results in a departmental seminar, usually as part of the Ph.D. defense.

4. A candidate finally produces a finished written dissertation and defends it before an examining committee of at least three members of the Chemistry Graduate Faculty, plus one person who is not a member of the Chemistry Graduate Faculty.

VI. APPEALS

Appeals may be made in writing and/or in person to the Graduate Program Director who will establish an ad hoc review committee consisting of three professors. The committee will make a determination within one month's time and communicate its decision to the student and to the Director in writing. A student who is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.

I. REQUIRED COURSES

1. Satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of graduate chemistry courses (excluding the seminar course) is required for the M.S. degree. A maximum of 6 credits in research can be used towards the required 30 credits.

2. Continuous registration must be maintained (except for summers) until a degree is awarded. If no course or research is taken during the fall or spring semester, the student should register for Matriculation Continued, a non-credit course for which a reduced fee is charged. Failure to maintain continuous registration requires readmission and payment of a reinstatement fee for each term missed.

II. TOTAL CREDITS FOR THE DEGREE

1. Thirty graduate credits are required for the M.S.:

a. For full-time graduate students stopping at the M.S. degree, six credits must be in thesis research.

b. Part-time students who write and defend a thesis may not take more than six credits of thesis research.

c. Students not fulfilling the cumulative-exam requirement within the five semesters specified above will be evaluated by the faculty, and a recommendation based on the student's overall performance will be made. If the recommendation is to drop the student from the program, the student will be notified in writing.

2. Students are required to maintain a B average. If the average drops below B, the Graduate Dean's office sends a notice of unsatisfactory progress to the student, who must then meet with the Graduate Program Director to discuss the problem and outline conditions to be met in order to remain in the Program. If these conditions are not met, the student will be dropped from the Program.

3. No more than nine credits of course work with a grade lower than B may be used for the M.S. degree. If the student transfers into the Ph.D. program, these credits will not count towards the Ph.D. (see Ph.D. requirements).

III. TRANSFER OF CREDITS

1. Transfer of course credits from outside Rutgers-Newark is allowed up to a maximum of twelve for the M.S. degree.

2. Only graduate courses taken as a graduate student with grades of B or better may be transferred.

3. Research credits, pass-fail credits and other non-graded credits may not be transferred.

4. Transfer may be made only after a student completes 12 hours of course-work at Rutgers-Newark with grades of B or better. These 12 hours may include graduate chemistry courses taken at Rutgers-Newark on a non-matriculated basis, through the Non-Degree Program. Any such credits should be transferred at this point.

IV. NON-COURSE REQUIREMENTS

1. Cumulative examinations:

a. On one Saturday morning each month, October through May, four questions will be presented. The exams are currently scheduled for the second Saturday of every month, 9-12 AM, and designed so a student can complete two questions in the allotted 3-hour session. However students may attempt to answer any number of questions, and each will be assigned a grade of 2, 1, or 0. The student will be notified of his or her grade and all grades will be recorded in the student's file. There is no penalty for failing questions, but a student who fails an exam question is encouraged to see the professor who wrote it.

b. For the M.S. degree the student must accumulate 3 exam points. This requirement should be completed in the student's first five semesters (not counting summer sessions) after matriculation into the graduate program in chemistry.

2. Library research paper:

Part-time candidates for the M.S. degree without thesis, must submit a library research paper on a topic agreed to by a faculty adviser. This is intended to insure that every advanced degree candidate has the experience of researching a topic in depth and organizing the results in written form; candidates offering research credits for the M.S. do this by presenting their research in the form of a written thesis (see below).

V. CANDIDACY AND COMPLETION OF THE DEGREE

1. As soon as the student fulfills all the requirements listed above, he or she should file for candidacy. This is done with a candidacy form obtained from the secretary.

2. Each student offering research credit toward the M.S., including all full-time students, must finally produce a finished written thesis and defend it before an examining committee of at least three members of the Chemistry Graduate Faculty.

VI. APPEALS

Appeals may be made in writing and/or in person to the Graduate Program Director who will establish an ad hoc review committee consisting of three professors. The committee will make a determination within one month's time and communicate its decision to the student and to the Director in writing. A student who is dissatisfied with the decision may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.