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Advising for Ph.D. Students

New Students 

All new students should attend the departmental group advising before the start of Fall semester. A three member temporary advising committee can be set up if needed. This committee will serve for additional advisory needs until such time as a major professor has been selected and agreed to serve. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange the meeting of this committee. 

After a major professor has accepted a student, it is their joint responsibility to notify the Graduate Coordinator and to select an Advisory Committee. 

Ph.D. student committees

The major professor serves as chairman of the five-member Advisory Committee. Normally, three of the five must be Plant Biology faculty, one must be from another department, and three must be members of the graduate faculty and no more than one non-UGA committee member may be appointed as a voting member. If you wish to nominate a non-UGA committee member, your major professor must write a letter explaining why their services are requested (nominee must have distinguished credentials in the field of study). The letter along with a copy of the nominee’s CV should be given to the Graduate Coordinator. Every effort should be made to insure that committee members represent as much breadth of biological knowledge as is compatible with the student’s program of study. The committee must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator and the Dean of the Graduate School who will notify the parties involved of the appointments. The Advisory Committee, in consultation with the student, is charged with planning the student’s program of study, administering the comprehensive written and oral examinations, and approving a subject for the dissertation. 

Advising Requirements

Each student is required to meet with his/her Advisory Committee at least once each academic year to discuss progress toward the degree objective (please notify Graduate Coordinator Assistant of meeting date). These meetings are important! From the student’s point of view, the meeting provides an opportunity for additional insights and advice on the research project. From the committee’s point of view, the meeting allows them to have input at the early stages of the research project, rather than being faced with problems in the completed project. To meet these objectives, the student is required to present a summary of research accomplished and have appropriate data on hand for examination by committee members. It is departmental policy that assistantship support will be withheld from graduate students who fail to meet with their Advisory Committees at least once during each academic year. It is important that the meeting occur during the academic year because most faculty are on 9 month appointments and may not be available during the summer. 

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