The program of graduate study leading to the Master's Degree is quite flexible. Students may select to pursue the M.S. through either the Anatomical Sciences or Biotechnology tract. In addition, an Orthodontics tract is available to residents in that fellowship program. Specific coursework will depend on the student, the area of specialization, and the professional career for which the student is preparing. A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate credit is required for the Master's degree; at least 12 of these hours must be completed in didactic courses.
Laboratory rotations are recommended, but not required. Once an advisor is selected and sufficient preliminary data have been generated, the Thesis Committee is formulated; it consists of the Supervising Professor (research advisor), at least two members of the Graduate Faculty in Cellular and Structural Biology, and one individual who is a member of another graduate program from within the Health Science Center. The Thesis Committee shall then guide the student in selection of any additional courses and in his/her research activities. In addition, the Thesis Committee will meet regularly with the student to ensure continued satisfactory progress towards the degree.
Thesis proposal and admission to candidacy:
The student should prepare a Thesis proposal early in the second year. After the supervising professor and members of the Supervising Committee have approved, the student will present the proposal to the COGS. Following approval of the proposal and Thesis Committee, COGS recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School that the student be admitted to candidacy.
Master's degree candidates in the Anatomical Sciences track are required to spend one semester teaching in a medical, dental or allied health anatomy course. There is no teaching requirement for other M.S. students, although they may choose to assist in one of the departmental courses. Students considering a career in academia may find it helpful to have this valuable teaching experience.
The Final Oral Examination:
When the Thesis Committee is satisfied that the research is near completion, it shall permit the writing of the thesis. It will then be defended in a seminar-type presentation followed by an oral examination. The Thesis Committee will ensure that all degree requirements have been met and then recommend to COGS awarding of the M.S. by the Dean of the Graduate School.