Faculty Committees

An Admissions Committee, consisting of 5 members of the Program Faculty representing diverse areas of research interest will be constituted and charged with reviewing all applications for admission to the Program. The criteria for admission will be chosen to select students who are likely to be successful in the Program, and will include:

  1. A minimum undergraduate GPA higher than 3.0, or the demonstration of success in graduate work, in fields of study within the scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, biology, physics, engineering and the health-related disciplines;
  2. A minimum GRE score of 300 (sum of the parts) or 1100 ( older GRE test);
  3. For international applicants, a minimum TOEFL of 600 (paper),or 100 (internet based). As an alternative to taking the TOEFL, the IELTS may be taken. The IELTS total score must be 7.0 with no subscore less than 6.0;
  4. At least three letters of reference that reflect positively on the potential of the candidate for success in graduate studies.

Generally successful applicants will have attained a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the sciences or engineering, and are well prepared to successfully negotiate the Program curriculum.

Administration of the Program: The faculty of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology will be the governing body of the Program, will approve membership of interested faculty from across campus and will decide all issues of Program policy and Program governance. The Program will be led by a Director. The first Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Human Toxicology is Dr. Larry Robertson. He is assisted by an Associate Director, Dr. Peter Thorne.

Student Committees

Graduate students, primarily doctoral students, are recruited nationally and internationally. Each incoming student is offered financial support for the first academic year, during which time s/he will rotate through the laboratories of participating faculty, with the purpose of identifying a mentor. Three, 2 month rotations are required, and by the end of the first year, each student will be required to have identified a mentor. The mentor will then assume financial responsibility for the student. Within the first semester of identifying a mentor, and joining the mentor’s laboratory, each student will be required to choose an Advisory Committee, in consultation with his/her mentor who will chair the Committee. The student’s Advisory Committee will consist of 5 members (doctoral committees) or 3 members (Master’s committees), one of whom will be from outside the Program. The Committee will meet at least twice per year and will provide advice and consultation on all aspects of the student’s coursework and research planning and execution. The Advisory Committee will also serve as the student’s Examination Committee for the Comprehensive Examination and for the Final Examination (Defense of Thesis). It will be the responsibility of each student to call regular meetings of his/her Advisory Committee.

The doctoral Comprehensive Examination will consist of 1) a written NIH-style research proposal on the topic of the student’s proposed thesis research (distributed to the Committee at least two weeks before the scheduled examination), and 2) the oral defense of this proposal before the student’s Advisory (Examination) Committee. The student may be questioned on all aspects of the proposal, as well as the underlying principles, hypotheses and methods. At the conclusion of the examination, each committee member may vote: 1) satisfactory, 2) reservations, or 3) unsatisfactory. The student may elect to re-take the examination, but only after at least 4 months have elapsed. The examination may be repeated only once. Additional information on the form and timetable for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination may be found here.

The doctoral Final Examination (Defense of Thesis) will consist of two parts: 1) an oral presentation of the research results, and 2) questioning by interested persons and by the Committee. At the conclusion of the Final Examination, the Committee may recommend 1) a “Satisfactory” completion of the examination, or 2) that the student’s performance was “unsatisfactory”. At the option of the Program, a reexamination may take place, but not until the next semester. The examination may be repeated only once.

Requirements for the Master’s degree include a Final Examination (Defense of Thesis) that will be evaluated by the examining committee (student’s advisory committee) as satisfactory or unsatisfactory, with two unsatisfactory votes making the committee report unsatisfactory. A candidate who fails the examination may present himself or herself for reexamination, but not sooner than the next regularly scheduled examination period in the following semester. The examination may be repeated only once.