For Current Students

In consultation with his/her temporary advisor, new students plan coursework and research activities for their first academic year. Progress and plans for coursework and research for the second year will be reviewed by the faculty at the student’s annual meeting at which time the student should have selected a permanent advisor. More advanced students are expected to meet regularly with their advisor and must meet with their advisory committee annually to evaluate progress toward completion of degree requirements. Students on academic probation must schedule these meetings each semester until they return to good standing.

Master's degree students are expected to have identified a thesis topic and chosen a permanent advisor by the end of their second semester such that substantial research can be accomplished over the summer months. In consultation with the advisor, s/he should also form the Advisory Committee by the end of the second semester. The student’s first annual meeting will constitute a vetting of research plans and protocols in addition to evaluation of progress to date. Master's degree projects should be of a scale to require no more than two field seasons of work. Students are expected to defend the thesis by the end of the fifth semester.

Doctoral students should form the Advisory Committee as soon as their research plans solidify and no later than the end of the second year. The Advisory Committee must include at least three members, two of whom must be core faculty in the CGU Botany Program. Coursework is usually completed or nearly so by the end of the fourth semester and students should plan to advance to candidacy by taking the Qualifying Exam during the fifth semester. Students are expected to complete their degree requirements within five years.

Academic Standards

All graduate students in the CGU Botany Program are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic excellence and personal and professional ethics. Satisfactory progress toward degree requirements will be assessed during annual (or more frequent) meetings with the student’s Advisory Committee. This assessment will not only include objective measures, such as cumulative grade point average and completion of preliminary examinations, but also assessment of a student’s progress in research and potential. Continuation in the program requires satisfactory progress in all of these elements as determined by the CGU Botany Program faculty.

Satisfactory progress toward degree requirements is defined as:

(1) Maintenance of at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in graduate coursework;

(2) Adequate progress toward completion of research toward the degree, as determined by the Advisory Committee;

(3) Participation in all aspects of the Botany Program community, including participation in the seminar series;

(4) For those students with research or teaching assistantships, satisfactory completion of RA or TA requirements within one month of the end of the semester. No student will be eligible to receive continued RA / TA support until previous assistantship commitments are fulfilled.

(5) Maintenance of the highest standards of personal and professional ethics, including, but not limited to, adherence to CGU policies on academic honesty and the standards of personal behavior established by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.

Students who do not meet the standards for satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation for one semester. Students on academic probation are normally not eligible for assistantships or research support. Probationary status will be evaluated at the end of the probationary semester, and removed if the student has met requirements for satisfactory progress. Two continuous semesters on academic probation constitute unsatisfactory progress and will be grounds for dismissal from the program.

Students are advised also to consult the academic regulations and other policies of Claremont Graduate University.