Section II: Graduate Studies Committee

Basic Graduate School policies are stated in the Graduate School Handbook.

This document conforms to: "Standardized principles and guidelines for membership and participation in the Life Sciences Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (IGPs)," finalized April 9, 2012. 

The Graduate Studies Committee

The MCDB Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) consists of at least five members of the MCDB faculty and a student representative (usually the President of the Graduate Student Organization), with the Program Director (or one of the Co-Directors) serving as chairperson. 

Graduate Studies Committee members:  Nominations are generated by the Program Director or Co-Directors in consultation with the Executive Director of the Life Sciences Network (LSN) and the MCDB Mentoring and Participating Faculty.  Any current member of the MCDB faculty in either category of membership may be nominated to be a member of the GSC.  The term of service is 3 years and is renewable.

The GSC oversees and administers the program and acts as liaison between the Graduate School and the faculty.  The Committee's actions are subject to approval, modification, or reversal by the program faculty.  The GSC is responsible for formulating program rules concerning faculty membership, student admission, transfer, registration and degree requirements, and for overseeing the appointment and supervision of the Program's Graduate Associates.  Standing tasks include:

  • Faculty Membership Review:  The GSC reviews new faculty applications for membership and coordinates with the LSN in the membership review process.
  • Admissions:  The GSC reviews new student and transfer applications and manages the acceptance process.
  • Recruitment:  The GSC organizes and assists in the recruitment process.
  • Curriculum/Courses:  The GSC makes recommendations on new course proposals, and reviews areas of specialization and their alignment with Training Grant requirements.
  • Fellowships/Awards:  The GSC makes recommendations on fellowship and award nominations and drafts letters to support nominations.
  • Program Assessment and Development:  The GSC coordinates assessment activities and makes recommendations on alignments with Training Grant and Program Project Grant applications.

The Program Co-Directors

In consultation with the GSC, the Director is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School.  The Program may have a Co-Director who shares leadership responsibilities with the Director.  The Co-Director is appointed by the same process as the Director.  Terms are 3 years in duration, renewable, and may be overlapping.

Student Petitions

Students may petition the GSC to waive or alter any rule or requirement of the program.  The petition should be presented to the Committee Chair(s) in writing, preferably accompanied by a statement from the student's advisor.  The GSC will consider the request and convey its decision to the student in writing.


Rev:  June 2016