First Year Students

Advisory  Committee
Form your Advisory Committee under the guidance of your faculty mentor. The committee should be made up of your faculty mentor plus two other faculty, at least one from the IB department. The deadline for you to form and meet with your committee is the end of the first week of classes in your entering fall semester. 

Additional Background Courses
Take courses that will round out any obvious gaps in your academic background (your advisory committee will help you choose appropriate classes).

Advanced Evolution Course
Take an advanced course in evolution if you have not fulfilled this requirement. IB 160, a course in general evolution with discussions of micro- and macroevolution, will satisfy this requirement. This course must be taken for a letter grade. This course must be taken for a letter grade. The Head Graduate Advisor may approve another course.

Apply for National Science Foundation and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowships and other such support as appropriate.

Teaching Colloquium
Enroll in IB 375, the Teaching Colloquium. All graduate students must participate in this course either prior to or concurrent with teaching their first semester. Two semesters of teaching experience are a Ph.D. requirement and fulfills the Graduate Student Instructor training requirement mandated by the Dean of the Graduate Division.

California Residency
Begin gathering materials and filing for California residency. Filing for residency allows US Citizens and Permanent residents to save over $15,000/yr.

Second Year Students

Qualifying Examination Preparation
All students should meet with their Advisory Committee early in the fall semester to get advice for the year and prepare for the qualifying examination (including help in choosing a Qualifying Exam Committee). Each student should present a 2-page outline of developing thesis plan including likely questions, hypotheses, and goals a week in advance of the meeting. The deadline to hold the meeting is October 1st.

Qualifying Examination Committee
During the third semester, you should form your Qualifying Examination Committee. (Sometimes, international students choose to do this in their first year to avoid the NRST fees in their second year). This committee may include members of your Advisory Committee with the exception of your faculty mentor. You MUST submit your QE committee list via CalCentral by October 15th. Do this by signing into CalCentral and under "Student Resources" there's a "Submit a Form" section. Within that section, select the "High Degree Committees Form" option and it'll take you to the form interface (see example here). From there, it should be pretty straightforward, but if you are having trouble submitting your QE committee members, contact Monica (the IB Gradaute Student Services Advisor) for help. You should meet with your QE committee several times during the academic year, to prepare in the are of study represented by that committee member. 

Qualifying Examination
Students normally take the QE in the spring semester of their second year and QE must be completed by the end of the spring semester.  

Dissertation Committee
Soon after passing your Qualifying Exam, form your Dissertation Committee and petition for Advancement to Candidacy.

See IB QE Guidelines for more information.

Third Year Students

Definitive Research Proposal
Students must meet with their Dissertation Committee to discuss and approve a formal dissertation plan. The deadline to hold this meeting is November 1st. The plan should be approximately 8 pages and contain goals, hypothesis, and planned methods of data gathering/analysis for each chapter of the dissertation. The committee has the right to reject the plan if insufficient and require modification before acceptance. 

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants
During this year, you should apply for doctoral dissertation improvement grants and other kinds of support for your research.

Fourth and Fifth Year Students

Teaching Experience
If you haven't already gained teaching experience by working as a Graduate Student Instructor for two semesters, you should do so now.

Committee Meetings
Meet each year with your Dissertation Committee to discuss your progress and make sure you are on track.​ Meetings should be completed by December 1.

File your dissertation.

What is good standing?

IB students are in "good standing" if they are - 

  • Within normative time (5 years) of beginning the program
  • GPA 3.0 or greater
  • Current on Annual Review (submitted to GSAO by relevant cohort deadline each academic year)
  • Making satisfactory progress toward dissertation (this is determined by a student's mentor and committee)