Appendix E: PhD Summary Document

PhD sequence: Stay on target to meet your BME degree requirements

Revised 2003; 2008; 2012; 2015; 2017; 2018; 2019; 2020
BME Handbook A.3

1st Term Here

Learn Important Dates, Deadlines & Credit Minima:

  • AVOID late fees by knowing how many credits to add and when
  • Deadlines for graduation, oral exam, and dissertation on Graduate School site:
  • Student Accountability: All students are responsible for learning policies/deadlines per BME and Graduate Student Handbooks (BMEH & GSH)
  • Students must consult once per semester with BME Core Faculty Contact: a great resource for advice on arrangement & sequencing of courses, committee formation, oral exam tips, career exploration, department culture/protocols, & more.
  • Watch for and read BME graduate student listserve emails from Senitko.1. Contact ETS if you are not receiving emails.

2nd Term Here

Start drafting Program of Study using TEMPLATE on the BME website

Get your Program of Study (PoS) approved by the BME Graduate Studies Committee

  • PoS should be submitted with cover letter to BME Grad Studies Coordinator as early as possible to allow for revisions.
  • Must be BMEGSC-approved prior to end of your 2nd Autumn to avoid graduation delays.
  • PoS must be signed by advisor & all members of PhD (AKA candidacy) committee before BMEGSC-review.
  • BMEGSC meets roughly once per month. Students are responsible for making requests for the agenda EARLY.
  • Candidacy Committees are approved with program, consisting of Advisor (Level P in BME) and at least 3 other graduate faculty members (1 P in BME; 2 M or P in Grad School). These are the 4 faculty who evaluate and approve the Candidacy Exam Report Form via At least one member must be a BME department faculty member.
  • After PoS approval, transfer 30 bulk-credits for prior MS degrees via Transfer of Graduate Credit Form: BE SURE to get pre- approval from Grad Studies Coordinator before completing any online forms on

& Beyond

Candidacy Exam – in a nutshell

  • As per BME Handbook regulations, your research advisor coordinates with candidacy committee members the sequence, timing, and content of written and oral candidacy exams, including the pre-required dissertation proposal, only after all approved coursework is completed.
  • In consultation with advisor, the oral portion of the exam must be scheduled by student with permission of committee.
  • Once date/time is determined, students must submit Application for Candidacy Examination via, with all required signatures, typically initiated when beginning the written portion of the exam. The written exam should take no less than one week. Leave at least one week for rest between the last written exam and the oral exam.
  • The application must be started via early enough to get advisor and GSC Chair approval before the Grad School hard deadline of at least TWO FULL WEEKS PRIOR to the oral exam.

Get a Dissertation Committee Approved by the BMEGSC

  • Consists of 3 members (Advisor at Level P in BME and 2 others at Level M or P in the Graduate School as deemed appropriate to your research area by your advisor.) Must be approved by the BMEGSC. May be different from Candidacy Committee. Chaired by advisor or by co-advisors.
  • Advises on dissertation progress; conducts Final Oral Exam (i.e., dissertation defense).
  • Must be BMEGSC-approved no later than one term after the student passes Candidacy Exam. Be sure to send an advisor- approved email request to the BME Grad Coordinator for inclusion on the next available BMEGSC meeting agenda. (Last minute requests may not be reviewed in time. Agenda items sometimes get bumped.)

BME Seminar Presentation & Publication Submissions

  • Students must schedule BME Seminar Presentation with seminar faculty at least one term in advance of intended presentation in order to secure spot on the schedule. Avoid delays in graduation by doing this early. Students also may hold and advertise open dissertation defenses if seminar presentation is impossible.
  • Submission of 2 manuscripts for publication in recognized scientific journals. Student should be first author on at least one of these manuscripts
Have you met these requirements and sent them to Mel?
  • Presentation of at least 1 oral or poster presentation at a regional, national, or international meeting

Application to Graduate

Graduate School DEADLINES:

  • Submit Application via before the 1st day of the term in which you plan to graduate.
  • Be sure your advisor approves it online. We must do a degree audit and get the signature of the BMEGSC Chair before the Graduate School can accept it. Applications may NOT be signed if Programs of Study are submitted past deadline.

The application for Final Oral Exam must be started early enough to get advisor and GSC Chair approval before submitting to the Grad School by their deadline of at least TWO FULL WEEKS PRIOR to the oral exam

Final Oral Examination

STUDENTS must coordinate with committee members to build in time to meet Graduate School deadlines for exams, documents, and final projects.

  • To be scheduled by student with permission of Advisor and dissertation committee. Contact BME Grad Studies Coordinator to reserve BME Conference Room once a date/time is confirmed.
  • Once a date is determined, student must submit Application for Final Oral Examination via to the Graduate School. They must receive it at least two full weeks before the defense is held, so you might wish to initiate this a bit earlier.
  • Be prepared to have dissertation draft reviewed by Grad School for formatting; call Grad School for details at 2-6031. Dissertation guidelines are published by the Graduate School.
  • Final Oral Examination Report and Final Dissertation Approval forms will be generated via for your advisors and must be approved and submitted by Grad School graduation deadlines.:
  • For policies and checklists on exams, dissertation formatting, electronic submission, please review GSH:
  • Details on commencement will be sent by the Graduate School.
BME Handbook A.4

Random Reminders:

  • The BMEGSC meets roughly once per month. Students are responsible for getting on the agenda early in case of postponement.
  • Always use your email address for all academic and university business.
  • If BME and GS Handbooks do not address your questions, please consult your Core Faculty Advisor, Graduate Studies Coordinator at, or the Graduate Studies Chair.
  • The BMEGSC is happy to help make decisions and recommendations for students with special requests or questions. Tips for submitting BMEGSC requests can be found in the in BME Handbook.