Biology Graduate Program Information

About This Page

The material on this page represents the official policies of the Department of Biological
Sciences. Please note that admission and degree requirements in the university catalog
may be incomplete. Applicants and students must follow the guidelines below.

In addition to the formal requirements, this page also includes practical information
originally compiled in the Graduate Student Handbook. We hope that you can find the
information you need on these pages. If not, please don’t hesitate to ask other graduate
students, faculty, or the graduate coordinator ( Dr. Janice Bossart, 151 Biology Building, 504-549-3442, [email protected]). In addition, if you notice important areas that were omitted, please bring them
to Dr. Bossart’s attention.

 

Degree Requirements- Thesis Program

Minimum requirements for the Master of Science Degree (with thesis) in Biology are:

1) Thirty hours of approved courses in Biological Sciences, including six hours of
Thesis (GBIO 770), two hours of Seminar (GBIO 691) with grades of B or better, at
least 12 hours in courses numbered 600 or higher (or 50% of the total course load),
not more than 10 hours of transfer credit, and not more than two hours of Research
Problems (GBIO 660). All credits earned in the graduate degree program must be completed
within six years.

Some of these requirements can be confusing, so here is a little more information.
For thesis hours (GBIO 770), a minimum of six hours must be taken, but additional
hours can be taken if necessary. These hours get a grade of Incomplete until graduation,
when they change to Passing. The other credits (excluding GBIO 770) must include no
more than 50% 500-level credits, regardless of the total number of credits. For example,
a student could not graduate with 12 credits at the 600 level and 13 credits at the
500 level, even though the total is sufficient. It would be necessary to take at least
one more credit at the 600 level. Courses at the 500 level are cross-listed for undergraduates
at the 400-level. Even though these courses meet together, they are not equivalent-
the student must register for the 500-level offering for graduate credit.

2) A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate work pursued and not more
than 6 hours with grades of C in the degree plan (grades below C are not acceptable
for graduate credit).

3) Passing the written entrance exam in the first semester and the oral comprehensive
exam in the second semester.

4) Attendance at departmental seminars (this means those given by visiting speakers,
thesis defenses, and other public seminars, not GBIO 691).

5) An acceptable thesis demonstrating both independent research and competency in
scholarly exposition.

6) Oral defense of the thesis.

7) Recommendation for the degree by the student’s thesis committee, Graduate Coordinator,
Department Head, and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

8) Completion of necessary paperwork including, but not limited to, the Degree Plan,
the Application for Candidacy, and the Application for Graduation.

More details on these requirements are given in Major steps and target dates- Thesis
program. It is up to the student to keep abreast of any changes in these procedures.

Degree Requirements- Non-thesis Program

Minimum requirements for the Master of Science Degree (without thesis) in Biology
are:

1) Thirty-six hours of approved courses in Biological Sciences, including three hours
of Research Problems (GBIO 660), two hours of Seminar (GBIO 691), with grades of B
or better, at least 18 hours in courses numbered 600 or higher (or 50% of the total
course load), and not more than 10 hours of transfer credit. Students make take up
to eight hours of approved courses from other departments at Southeastern. All credits
earned in the graduate degree program must be completed within six years.

Some of these requirements can be confusing, so here is a little more information.
Course credits must include no more than 50% 500-level credits, regardless of the
total number of credits. For example, a student could not graduate with 18 credits
at the 600 level and 19 credits at the 500 level, even though the total is sufficient.
It would be necessary to take at least one more credit at the 600 level. Courses at
the 500 level are cross-listed for undergraduates at the 400-level. Even though these
courses meet together, they are not equivalent- the student must register for the
500-level offering for graduate credit.

2) A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all graduate work pursued and not more
than 6 hours with grades of C in the degree plan (grades below C are not acceptable
for graduate credit).

3) Taking the written entrance exam in the first semester.

4) An oral presentation to the department based on original research (to be done in
conjunction with the Research Problems course).

5) Passing the written comprehensive exam in the last semester (or after 30 hours
of coursework).

6) Recommendation for the degree by the Non-thesis Advisory Committee, Graduate Coordinator,
Department Head, and the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

7) Completion of necessary paperwork including, but not limited to, the Degree Plan,
the Application for Candidacy, and the Application for Graduation.

More details on these requirements are given in Major steps and target dates- Non-thesis
program. It is up to the student to keep abreast of any changes in these procedures.

Grade Requirements, Probation, and Suspension

Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.0 grade point average. A student whose
semester GPA is below 3.0 will be placed on probation. Probation status will be retained
as long as the student’s cumulative grade-point average is below 3.0. A student on
probation may not enroll in graduate courses for Pass/Fail and must achieve a 3.0
semester grade-point average during the next semester of enrollment (including the
summer term) or be suspended from graduate studies.

Application for readmission may be made after one semester of suspension by submitting
the appropriate form (available from the Graduate Coordinator) to the Dean of the
Office of Research and Graduate Studies. After a second suspension, the student must
wait one calendar year before applying for readmission. A third suspension results
in final expulsion from the program without possibility for reapplication.

Graduate Program Personnel

This is the cast of characters relevant to graduate students (see also Graduate Faculty).

 

Graduate Coordinator
The Graduate Coordinator ( Dr. Janice Bossart) is the administrative leader of the graduate program. His responsibilities include
processing application materials within the department, advising new graduate students
regarding course selection during the first semester, advising the student in the
selection of a major professor, administering the oral and written exams, providing
necessary forms, maintaining a file for each graduate student, checking the final
degree plan to verify that all course work is completed, attending the thesis defense,
and approving the final copies of the thesis.

Department Head
The Department Head ( Dr. Justin Anderson) is the administrative leader of the Department of Biological Sciences. With regard
to the graduate program, his responsibilities include attending the thesis defense,
approving the final copies of the thesis, appointing and supervising all teaching
assistants, and approving all budget expenditures.

Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
The Dean must approve and sign all forms pertaining to teaching assistantship appointments,
degree plans, and final copies of the thesis.

Non-thesis advisory committee
The non-thesis advisory committee (Drs.Shaffer, Shockett, and Watson) coordinates
the non-thesis program. Their responsibilities include advising non-thesis students,
approving degree plans, and administering exams. Non-thesis students may work closely
with other Graduate Faculty members, but do not need a Major Professor or Thesis Committee.

Major Professor – for thesis students only
The Major Professor is the individual who will most significantly affect a graduate
student’s career. Therefore, he/she should be chosen very carefully, but as soon as
possible, certainly no later than the end of the first semester of enrollment (in
practice, most major professors are selected before the student begins graduate work).
The Major Professor should be chosen by mutual agreement. The Major Professor should
warrant the professional respect of the student and share common research interests.
Like the Thesis Committee (see below), the Major Professor must be a member of the
Graduate Faculty.

 

Responsibilities of the major professor include:
1) Guide the student during all aspects of his/her master’s degree program.
2) Head the student’s Thesis Committee.
3) Assist the student in the preparation of a proposed degree plan.
4) Assist the student in the preparation of a thesis proposal.
5) Meet with student and thesis committee to approve the degree plan and the thesis
proposal.
6) Advise the student continuously during the course of the thesis research.
7) Critically review and edit the thesis and lead the thesis defense.
8) Advise the student regarding potential job prospects or Ph.D. programs, and submit
letters of recommendation if requested.

It is sometimes necessary to change Major Professors, either by the choice of the
student or of the major professor. For the student to change, he or she must first
find a new Graduate Faculty member willing to serve as Major Professor. As soon as
possible (within two weeks) after identifying the new Major Professor, the Graduate
Coordinator, the student’s Thesis Committee, and the old and new Major Professor meet
to review the status of the student, resolve any problems (e.g., commitments by the
student for work), and, if necessary, form a new Thesis Committee (members of the
original Thesis Committee are not required to stay on a new committee).

 

Thesis Committee- for thesis students only
This Thesis Committee consists of the Major Professor and at least two other members
of the Graduate Faculty. A qualified academic professional from outside the department
or university may be appointed to the committee if the student, Major Professor, and
Graduate Coordinator agree that such a person’s expertise could benefit the student.
The Thesis Committee will provide advice to the student in selection of courses and
thesis research. The committee will be required to give final approval to the degree
plan, thesis proposal, and thesis. They will also conduct the oral examination and
thesis defense (other Graduate Faculty may also participate).

 

Major Steps and Target Dates- Thesis Program
These steps apply to all graduate students intending to complete a degree. Any student
with financial support from the department, regardless of the student’s status, will
follow this timetable. More details about the exams follow the concise timetable.

 

1) Apply for admission: Although the University will accept applications for the Fall
term as late as 15 July, the Department requires that all students seeking admission
into the program apply no later than 15 March. Students applying after this date will
not be considered for financial support. The Department generally does not accept
applications for the Spring term, although exceptions are sometimes made for students
with application materials submitted by 1 November. Click here for more information on how to apply.

2) Take the preliminary written examination – About two weeks into the first semester,
all new graduate students are required to take the preliminary written exam described
below. The date for the exam will be announced by the Graduate Coordinator during
the first week of the semester. All students must take the exam at this time.

3) Name Major Professor – No later than the end of first semester, students must name
their major professor. Students who are undecided should see the Graduate Coordinator
well before the end of the first semester.

4) Name other committee members – The rest of the student’s Thesis Committee should
be named by the end of the first semester of enrollment.

5) Meet with Thesis Committee to:

a) File Proposed Degree Plan – prior to enrollment for the second semester (form available
from the Graduate Coordinator). One original copy of this form will stay with the
Graduate Coordinator, the other will go the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies.

b) Submit Thesis Proposal – no later than the end of second semester (guidelines available
from Graduate Coordinator).

6) Take Oral Examination – No later than the end of the second semester, the student
must take the oral exam (see below for details). If necessary, students not setting
a date by the end of the second semester will have a date set for them by the Graduate
Coordinator. Note that the student is responsible for notifying his/her committee
and the Graduate Coordinator of the proposed date well in advance. The date must be
approved by the committee and the Graduate Coordinator before the exam can be scheduled.

7) Complete all course requirements and correct all deficiencies.

8) Serve as a TA for at least one class for at least one semester – All students,
regardless of their financial support, must spend at least one semester in the classroom
as part of their graduate training. This does not necessarily require a full-time
TA position. It is up to the Thesis Committee to document, in advance, how this requirement
will be met for students not working as TAs for the department.

9) Complete thesis research.

10) Apply for graduation. Forms for this purpose are available from the Office of
Research and Graduate Studies. Deadline dates are early September for winter graduation,
early February for spring graduation. A $10 diploma fee must also be paid. This fee
is non-refundable if the student does not graduate as planned.

11) Submit thesis to committee for review. You must allow ample time for revisions.
In practice, you will find that you will need at least three months to write your
thesis and have it reviewed by your committee. Six months is much more likely.

12) Complete final version of thesis.

13) Schedule Thesis Defense (see below for details).

14) Submit three approved (signed) final copies of the thesis to the Office of Research
and Graduate Studies. At this point you must have paid your binding fee (see 15).
Theses are due no later than the Monday of finals week each semester.

15) Bind thesis according to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies protocol.

In practice, the best way to make sure that all the administrative details are followed
correctly is to talk to students that have recently finished. Stay informed. It is
entirely possible that some detail can thwart graduation for a semester.

 

Written Examination

During the first two weeks of the first semester of enrollment, each graduate student
will be required to take a written examination, equivalent to a final exam in a freshman-level
general biology course. The goals of this exam are to: (1) insure that new students
begin their graduate studies with a review of basic biology; (2) insure that new students
are capable of conducting graduate-level work; and (3) determine if the student is
capable of teaching freshman labs. Students who fail the initial exam (70% is considered
passing) must retake the exam two months after the first attempt. If the student fails
the exam a second time, then he/she will be dismissed from the program. Since 1988,
about 40% of our new graduate students have failed this exam on the first attempt,
although it has rarely been failed on the second attempt. This should be taken into
account when deciding how much effort should go into studying for the exam. Please
see the Graduate Coordinator for more details.

 

Oral Examination

The Oral Exam must be taken no later than the end of the second semester of enrollment.
The goals of this examination are three-fold:

(1) Determine if the student has an understanding of the fundamental areas of biology,
especially those related to the area of specialization.

(2) Determine if the student has a sufficient grasp of his/her area of specialization
to permit thesis research to begin. Some very detailed questions about your area of
specialty can thus be anticipated.

(3) Give the student rigorous practice in a vital professional skill, i.e., oral communication.

The general format of the Oral Exam will be as follows. The faculty in attendance
include the student’s Thesis Committee, the Graduate Coordinator, and an additional
outside faculty member chosen by the Graduate Coordinator. If the Graduate Coordinator
is on the committee, two additional outside faculty members will attend if possible.
The exam will last about two hours, roughly half for questions in general biology
and half in the area of specialization.

After all questioning is completed, the examiners meet to review the student’s performance.
If the faculty feel that the student has not displayed a sufficient grasp of either
general biology or the field of specialization, then the student may be required to
retake the exam, or designated sections of the exam. The committee may also require
additional courses, a written exam on a certain topic, an undergraduate lecture, or
other remedies for weaknesses.

Only in extreme cases will the student be required to take the entire exam again.
In such cases, at least one month must be allowed between exams. An unacceptable performance
on the retest, as determined by the committee, will result in expulsion from the program.

One note on philosophy. Contrary to popular belief, oral exams are not designed to
be torture sessions for students, but are necessary to see if students are ready to
discuss their knowledge in a professional manner, and defend their ideas and opinions
from critique by their peers. We think it is crucial for students to be thoroughly
trained in this aspect of academia, and encourage students to begin preparing for
their orals well in advance by continually holding practice sessions with fellow students
or faculty.

 

Scheduling the Thesis Defense

It is often difficult to schedule defenses. The only way to be sure of defending in
a given semester is to have a very nearly complete thesis by the middle of the semester.
It is up to the student’s Thesis Committee and the Graduate Coordinator to determine
if the thesis can be defended. This policy is described more completely below.

The student will schedule his/her thesis defense only after a draft of the thesis
has been approved by the student’s Major Professor and Thesis Committee. The first
step in this process is to complete a draft thesis that the student’s Major Professor
agrees is adequate to be reviewed by the other committee members. The student then
submits this draft thesis to the Thesis Committee and schedules a committee meeting
within the next 1-2 weeks. At that meeting, the Major Professor and committee members
will determine if the thesis is suitable to be defended. If so, the committee will
authorize the Graduate Coordinator to schedule a convenient time. A defense cannot
be scheduled without the explicit approval of every member of the committee.

The Thesis Defense and Comprehensive Examination may be scheduled at any time provided
the student’s Thesis Committee and the Graduate Coordinator are available. It is the
student’s responsibility, in consultation with the Major Professor, to schedule the
meeting in order to accommodate these individuals. Other graduate faculty are encouraged
to attend at their convenience, so the date and time must be announced and posted
around the department at least one week prior to the defense to properly notify all
faculty. It is also the student’s responsibility to schedule an adequate room in which
to hold the defense.

Students should be aware that scheduling may be difficult between semesters or during
the summer when many faculty are away from the university. The defense (and graduation)
may be delayed several weeks (or months) if the necessary faculty are not available,
so plan ahead!

Finally, a bit of advice. We have found that it usually takes about twice as long
to write and defend a thesis as a student usually believes, so keep this in mind when
making career plans!

 

Thesis Defense

As part of the Thesis Defense, the student will be required to present the thesis
results in the form of a seminar open to all faculty, students, and other interested
individuals, and to respond to questions from the audience. Following the seminar
(usually immediately following but in no case more than five days after) the student
will defend the thesis in a session open only to the Thesis Committee and Graduate
Faculty. The Graduate Coordinator and Thesis Committee are required to attend this
meeting, at which the student will answer questions related to the thesis research.

At the conclusion of the examination, the committee and Graduate Coordinator will
meet in closed conference to determine whether the student has demonstrated a thorough
and successful defense of the thesis and a level of knowledge in biology justifying
the Master of Science degree. Additional modifications of the thesis may be required
at this time.

After final approval, each committee member, the Graduate Coordinator, the Department
Head, and the Dean must sign the title page of the thesis and the examination report
and thesis approval form.

 

Thesis format

All theses must follow departmental format guidelines. See the Graduate Coordinator
for advice on thesis format.

 

Preparing a C.V.

Graduate students are strongly urged to prepare a curriculum vita. A sample C. V.,
which may be used as a model, is available from most faculty members. A current C.V.
is usually required when you are applying for advanced graduate or professional studies.
Your C.V. should be updated at least annually and whenever significant new information
such as publications, papers presented, grants received, etc. becomes available.

Major Steps and Target Dates- Non-Thesis Program

These steps apply to all graduate students intending to complete a degree. Any student
with financial support from the department, regardless of the student’s status, will
follow this timetable. More details about the exams follow the concise timetable.

1) Apply for admission. Degree-seeking students must apply to the Department of Biological
Sciences (see Applying). Acceptance into The Office of Research and Graduate Studies does not automatically
assure acceptance into the graduate program in Biological Sciences. Departmental application
deadlines are 15 November (to begin in the spring) and 15 April (to begin in the summer
or fall). There is no guarantee that applications submitted after these deadlines
will be considered until after the beginning of the following semester. Departmental
assistantships are generally not offered to non-thesis students, but students interested
in applying should submit applications by 1 November or 15 March.

2) Take the preliminary written examination. About two weeks into the first semester,
all new graduate students are required to take the preliminary written exam. The date
for the exam will be announced by the Graduate Coordinator during the first week of
the semester. All students must take the exam at this time. Based on the results of
this exam, the student may be required by the Non-thesis Advisory Committee to take
additional undergraduate courses (which may not apply to the Master’s) or specific
graduate courses.

4) File Proposed Degree Plan. New students should meet with a member of the Non-thesis
Advisory Committee to put together a degree plan. This form must be approved by the
Graduate Coordinator and filed with the Office of Research and Graduate Studies by
the beginning of the second semester of enrollment.

5) Conduct research. By about the end of the first year of classwork, the student
should arrange with a Graduate Faculty member to conduct a research project. The project
will count as three hours of GBIO 660. The project must be approved in advance by
the Non-thesis Advisory Committee, so the student should submit a brief proposal describing
the work to be done.

6) Present a research seminar. After completion of the research, the student will
present a brief (15-30 minute) seminar to the department describing the work. Students
wishing to present seminars must contact the Graduate Coordinator to arrange a time.
The seminar must be conducted in a professional manner, and must be approved by the
Non-thesis Advisory Committee.

7) Pass the comprehensive exam. After 30 hours, or in the last semester of coursework,
students must pass a written exam based on graduate coursework. The exam will include
questions from four or five faculty from whom the student has taken classes, and each
question will be graded as ‘high pass,’ ‘satisfactory,’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ by the
faculty member who submitted it. The student must receive an overall average of ‘satisfactory’
to pass the exam. The format is up to the faculty- it may be open- or closed-book.
Students not passing the exam may take it again the following semester. Students not
passing the exam on the second attempt will be dismissed from the program.

8) Complete all course requirements and correct all deficiencies.

9) Apply for graduation. Forms for this purpose are available from the Office of Research
and Graduate Studies. Deadline dates are about the second week of the semester. A
$10 diploma fee must also be paid. This fee is non-refundable if the student does
not graduate as planned. As part of the exit procedure, students also may also be
required to fill out an exit survey or complete other exit forms.

In practice, the best way to make sure that all the administrative details are followed
correctly is to talk to students who have recently finished. Stay informed. It is
entirely possible that some overlooked detail can thwart graduation for a semester.

 

Tuition and Fees

A complete listing of tuition and fees for Southeastern graduate students is available
from the registrar’s office. In general, students holding Graduate Assistantships(GA) (see Financial support below) have all of their in- and out-of-state tuition
waived, and are responsible only for paying registration fees. Students without GAs
must pay tuition in addition to these fees. Fees tend to change from semester to semester;
see the Graduate Coordinator, a current catalog, or the university home page for additional
details.

 

Financial Support

Qualified graduate students can apply for teaching assistantships (TAs). These provide
a complete tuition waiver (in and out-of-state) plus a stipend for teaching laboratory
sections of undergraduate courses. The minimum stipend for a TA is currently $2200,
but most semesters we are able to offer about $3000. Many TAs also receive some support
during the summer, usually about $1000 plus tuition. TAs are generally required to
devote 20 hours per week to duties assigned by the Department Head and Graduate Coordinator.
TAs must be enrolled full time, for at least 6 credits in the spring and fall and
3 credits in the summer. We know that this support is low; we are actively campaigning
to the administration for higher stipends. Some graduate faculty offer additional
support to their students through research grants. Salary and responsibilities are
determined by the nature of the research project. In other cases, students receive
Research Assistantships (RA’s) instead of teaching.

Teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. The graduate faculty will
rank the candidates according to several criteria including GRE scores, grade point
average, letters of recommendation, and the selected discipline of the student. Usually
the department will be committed to the financial support of selected teaching assistants
for a period of two years, provided adequate funds are available and the student is
making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Financial support will be extended
for a third year if the student is making satisfactory progress towards the degree.
In practice, this support is usually extended, so a Regular status TA making acceptable
progress can count on six semesters of support. Teaching assistants, as well as other
graduate students, are expected to present themselves and act in a manner which is
a credit to the teaching profession. This should include the wearing of appropriate
attire during their periods of classroom instruction and adherence to the University’s
professional code of ethics.

 

Other forms of financial aid may be available to some students in the form of fellowships
or scholarships. For additional information, contact the Graduate Coordinator or the
campus Financial Aid Office.

 

Ethics

Graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences are bound by the ethical
standards given below. Teaching Assistants should also be cognizant of the specific
responsibilities which accompany their position.

1) All students should be committed to upholding general standards of professional
conduct. Fabrication of data, plagiarism, getting outside help with assignments, and
cheating on exams are considered to be extremely serious breaches of conduct that
will result in the immediate dismissal of the student from the program. Students having
specific knowledge that other members of the department have violated this code of
ethics are honor-bound to report such violations to their Major Professor or the Graduate
Coordinator immediately. If you are unable to fulfill this obligation, then you should
not attend this university.

2) Students should deal seriously and conscientiously with teaching assignments, including
careful planning of courses, preparation of lectures, regularity in meeting scheduled
classes, clearly informing students of course requirements and the grading system,
and fair and impartial grading according to standards established by the University.

3) Teaching Assistants must recognize that students deserve respect as individuals
and that they have certain rights that must be protected. This includes courteous
treatment of students in class and during office hours.

4) Students should recognize that the Teaching Assistant serves as a model and exercises
a great influence in shaping the minds of students. The teacher must set a high standard
in academic and professional excellence, personal integrity, and professional ethics.

5) Teaching Assistants should recognize that in his or her influential position in
the classroom he or she is morally and ethically bound not to introduce into the classes
discussions of subject matter outside the scope of the course and not within the field
of his or her professional competence.

Violation of the Code of Ethics may be grounds for termination of the assistantship
or dismissal from the University.

 

Equipment and Supplies

Teaching equipment and supplies

Materials needed for teaching are available for all TAs. Expendable supplies are available
at the departmental office. More specialized supplies are generally available in the
lab where you teach, or can be ordered by Frank Campo, General Biology Lab Coordinator.
Check with him if you lack something you feel is essential. Equipment such as overhead
projectors, video recorders, movie projectors, and slide projectors are available
through the departmental office. You should make your needs known to office personnel
at least an hour prior to class.

 

Research equipment

With few exceptions, the department does not maintain a centralized equipment storage
area; equipment for research is generally made available through specific faculty
members.

 

 

Departmental Services

Mailing

Normally, the department will pay postage for professional mailings such as submission
of manuscripts, requests for information from colleagues, registration for meetings,
etc. All mail must have a Biology Department return address and budget number (1125),
and be placed in the outgoing mailbox in the main office. Mail is normally delivered
to the SLU post office in the mid-afternoon.

All graduate students are provided with a departmental mailbox, located in the biology
department main office. Mail is usually delivered in the late morning. The department
address should not be used for personal mail unrelated to graduate program or department
activities.

 

Telephones

Telephones for local calls are available in the graduate student offices. Graduate
students may also use the phone in the department office for their professional long-distance
calls. With permission, students may also utilize their Major Professor’s phone for
professional calls. Long-distance personal calls are not permitted.

 

Vehicles

The department has two vehicles for research and class field trip use: a pickup truck
and a 15 passenger van. Regulations regarding the use of these vehicles are available
through the departmental office. Students wishing to use these vehicles must have
completed the University Driver’s Education Course, and must reserve the vehicles
ahead of time. The Department Head must approve all requests for using the departmental
vehicles. University vehicles may be requested through the Physical Plant, by completing
a University Reservation Request. Both the department Head and the Physical Plant
must approve this request. Driving the 15-passenger van requires a chauffeur’s license.

 

Xeroxing

Materials for the courses you are teaching may be duplicated without permission, as
may brief professional materials. Students may not copy books, monographs, or other
lengthy materials without the permission of the Major Professor or the Department
Head.

A) Preferred Procedure–Obtain and fill out a “Xerox Request Form” from the office.Take
the form and the originals to “TheDocument Source” in the Student Union.

B) Alternative Procedure–If you have missed the 24 hour deadline, use a xerox card
and copy machine in room 329 Biology Building. This card should also work in the library.

NOTE: It is assumed that students will use this service responsibly. Failure to follow
these procedures will result in permanent loss of xeroxing privileges.

 

Obtaining Keys

Graduate students may acquire keys to the buildings, their offices, general laboratories
in which they teach, and other specialized facilities (e.g. the museum, herbarium)
if their work requires access to them. Request keys using a Service Request form,
available at the Department office. DO THIS IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL ON CAMPUS! KEY
REQUESTS TAKE A MINIMUM OF ONE WEEK TO BE FILLED.

When the keys are ready, you must go to the Physical Plant to pick them up. There
is no charge to get keys, but you must return all of them in order to graduate. If
you have lost any, you will be charged dearly so that the locks and keys for everyone
else can be changed.

 

Department Stationery

Students should understand that use of departmental stationery implies the approval
of the university. Thus, letters expressing the personal viewpoint of the student
(e.g., letters to the editors, etc.) should not be written on letterhead without the
approval of the Department Head. Use of departmental letterhead in an unauthorized
manner may result in severe disciplinary action.

 

Library Facilities

All library materials are centrally located in Sims Memorial Library. The Reference
Department, Interlibrary Loan, Card Catalog, and Circulation Desk are located on the
first floor. The reading room on the second floor contains the current, unbound issues
of all journals. Microfilm and microfilm readers are located in this room. The audio-visual
center and microcomputer lab are also located on the second floor. The third floor
houses bound journals and government documents. Books are located on the library’s
fourth floor.

In addition to housing an good collection of biological journals, the library has
an Interlibrary Loan service for the convenience of faculty and student researchers.
Most articles requested through interlibrary loan are provided without charge, although
a fee is required for certain articles. Students are encouraged to utilize this service,
but are cautioned to anticipate a considerable delay in receiving requested articles.
The interlibrary loan form, as well as all the catalogs and several indices, can be
used via the Southeastern homepage.

More detailed computer searches are available and can be requested at the Reference
Desk. Of all available searches, the most useful for most biology graduate students
is BIOSIS, which searches Biological Abstracts. An added advantage of BIOSIS searches
is that they are conducted without charge to the user! Be sure to tell them that you
are conducting a graduate research project, or you may be charged for the service.

Many faculty and graduate students also take advantage of the convenience of having
the LSU Middleton Library within one hour’s drive of campus.

 

Research with Animals or Wild Plants

All research conducted bySoutheastern faculty and students is subject to the regulations
established by the Committee on the Use of Humans and Animals as Research Subjects
(CUHARS Committee). In addition, the use of animals in teaching laboratories is subject
to CUHARS regulations. All research projects must be approved by CUHARS, including
not only external grant proposals and internal proposals, but also unfunded research
projects, including thesis research and independent research.

CUHARS regulations are based upon rules and regulations set forth in the various U.S.
Animal Welfare Acts, USDA regulations, National Institutes of Health Guidelines (Principles
for Use and Care of Laboratory Animals) and other sources. Maintenance of and research
on live warm-blooded vertebrates in the laboratory is governed by NIH regulations.
These activities must be approved by the Director of the Department of Biological
Sciences Animal Care Facility. Field and laboratory studies on vertebrates must be
conducted in accordance with the following publications: Guidelines for the Use of
Fishes in Field Research, Guidelines for Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Field
Research (American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists), and Acceptable Field
Methods in Mammalogy (Preliminary Guidelines Approved by the American Society of Mammalogists).
Specific guidelines for birds are available in Auk 105 (supplement). Research proposals
on invertebrates and plants are also subject to review. Copies of the above-mentioned
regulations are available from the CUHARS committee and from the Director of the Department’s
Animal Care Facility (Dr. Font). Forms requesting CUHARS approval of research projects
are available from the Research and Grants Office. It is the responsibility of each
graduate student to read and become familiar with all pertinent regulations and to
conduct research on plants and animals in accordance with these guidelines.

In addition to CUHARS requirements, many research projects require state or federal
scientific collecting permits and (or) compliance with regulations governing hunting
and fishing. Violations of local, state, and federal regulations will be dealt with
severely, and may result in the loss of the assistantship or dismissal from the University.

 

 

Biology Graduate Student Organization

Graduate students in Biology are automatic members of this organization, the purpose
of which is to provide graduate students the opportunity for exchanging information,
getting acquainted, and for official representation in departmental and university
business. Recently, the organization has recommended future graduate courses, has
held various socials and field trips, and has received financial support through the
university Student Government Association for members to present papers and attend
scientific meetings. All graduate students are encouraged to participate in this important
professional society.

 

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Dr. Janice Bossart
Graduate Coordinator
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Southeastern Louisiana University
Box 10736
Hammond, LA 70402
985-549-3442
[email protected]