Dec 01, 2020  
2020-2021 Bulletin 
    
2020-2021 Bulletin

Integrative Biosciences, Ph.D.


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integrative Biosciences (IBS) Ph.D. program addresses advances in the life sciences that address local and global challenges require new approaches to graduate education and research. The Tuskegee program is designed to develop professionals who have not only technical proficiency but who also possess the flexibility and adaptability to address the complexities of current challenges. The program effectively catalyzes and facilitates collaboration, discovery, creativity, transfer of technology and learning in the biosciences. The IBS PhD, program selectively leverages the combined strengths of the cooperating colleges. The integrative Biosciences (IBS) Ph.D. program is jointly offered by the colleges of Agriculture Environment and Nutrition Sciences (CAENS), Arts and Sciences (CAS)and Veterinary medicine (CVM).

Admission
Admission to the IBS Ph.D. Program is determined by six IBS Faculty members on the Student Selection Committee and by the IDS Deans Council. Admission is then communicated. to the candidates by the IBS Program Office and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Candidates must have completed the B.S./B.A. and/or Master’s degree in areas related to Integrative Biosciences, e.g., the Biological, Chemical, Physical, Health, Food, Nutritional, Agricultural, Environmental, or Natural Resource Sciences. If deemed necessary, the student may be required to take additional prerequisite courses.

Competitive candidates for admission should have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 or higher in all previous studies, a GPA of 3.4 in upper division courses and completed the GRE general and subject tests. International students who are granted admission to the IBS Ph.D. Program must consult with the Office of International Programs, Tuskegee University, concerning legal documents to enter or stay in the United States for the duration of the program._ Grades received from international programs of study must be translated Into the U.S. scale by World Education Services, Inc. [www.wes.org (212)-966-6311]. International students must also submit proof of financial support and TOEFL scores.

Three excellent letters of recommendation from faculty or others who have known the student in an academic or research capacity, official transcripts from each institution attended, GRE scores, a resume or curriculum vitae documenting previous research or teaching experience, and a statement of interest, which details the applicant’s goals and potential research focus areas are required as part of the application. Applications to the IBS Ph.D. Program are received by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research (https://www.tuskegee.edu/graduate studies and research/download application ns.aspx) which ensures that the applications are complete and forwards copies to the IBS Ph.D. Program Office. The IBS Program Office convenes a Student Selection Committee which will review the applications according to merit, then make recommendations for acceptance to the IBS Dean’s Council. The IBS Dean’s Council makes the final decisions regarding selections. Annual reviews of the IBS Ph.D. Program are provided by an Internal Advisory Committee and an External Advisory Committee.

IBS PhD Program Structure

Fellows admitted to IBS receive research support for up to five years, with support being commiserate with reasonable progress and the availability of funds, which are determined by the conduct of annual reviews of IBS fellows. Entering students take a core curriculum which provides foundational understanding of molecular biology, biochemistry, research ethics, scientific communications, advanced concepts in integrative biosciences and bioinformatics.

Additionally, first-year students participate in 2-3 research rotations and attend a journal club series, a professional development series and a special seminar series designed to introduce the students to available areas of research at TU. Conceptually, the students enter IBS as free agents, able to choose any combination of research disciplines that exist at TU to tackle a research question from at least two perspectives.

During the second year, IBS fellows formally choose two research mentors to help them complete their dissertation research, take additional courses related to their fields of interest and complete their written and oral qualifying exams. The written exam consists of a comprehensive examination of their composite core understanding. This is followed by the presentation of their dissertation proposal to the IBS Deans Council, the submission of an NIH-style grant proposal based on their proposed dissertation research and an oral examination of this proposal by their 4-6 member dissertation committee.

During their third year, IBS fellows intensify their dissertation research, complete any remaining courses, participate in mandatory supervised teaching and complete the requirements for admission to candidacy.

During their fourth and fifth years, IBS fellows complete their dissertation work and prepare to defend their research. They also present their work at national meetings, publish in peerreviewed journals, pursue post-doctoral opportunities and graduate from the program. During any year, IBS fellows may complete the required one-semester internship, designed to provide them with a broader view of research opportunities, alternative research paradigms and career opportunities. IBS PhD students are also expected to maintain professional courtesy and the highest academic standards at all times.

IBS Program Administration

IBS Program leadership is provided by the IBS Deans Council, and the IBS Office. The IBS Deans Council, which consists of the Dean of the CAS, the Dean of the CAENS and the Dean of the CVM, provides oversight for the program and is the final authority on matters regarding student matriculation, student continuation and student termination. The IBS Deans Council codifies IBS policies and procedures, secures stable funding for the IBS program, recruits faculty for the program and handles all student appeals. The IBS program is administered by the IBS Project Director and, when funding is available, by a Associate Director.

The IBS Program Director is responsible for overall project management and funding. Additionally, the Director is responsible for the day -to-day issues affecting the program including the course offerings, course registration, stipend and tuition allowances, student adherence to IBS policies, IBS student recruitment, submission of grant proposals, grant administration, quality control of courses, student exams, mentoring, and performance. Moreover, the IBS Director interacts with students and faculty, secures collaborative agreements with various labs, research programs and institutional partners, and performs other duties.

The IBS Office employs support staff who are responsible for coordinating the selection and admission process, arranging meetings with students, committees and faculty, preparing and submitting check requests, tuition payments, coordinating travel arrangements and a host of other important activities.

Other IBS PhD Program requirements include the following:

  • Teaching requirement: All IBS Fellows must teach one course that is approved by their comentors
  • Internship requirement: All IBS Fellows must complete one semester-long (at least 8 weeks) internship requirement as approved by their co-mentors.
  • All IBS fellows must complete qualifying exams. The first qualifying exam is a comprehensive written exam that is given in December of the student’s third year to all members of a student’s entering class that have been enrolled full-time in the IBS program and that includes topics covered in the IBS Core Curriculum. The exam is graded pass/fail by the IBS core instructors. A student has 2 chances to pass qualifiers. If the student does not pass qualifiers after the 2nd try the student must be terminated form the IBS Program. The second Qualifying exam is given by the student’s dissertation committee during the spring of the students’ 3rd year. This exam is also graded pass/fail and each fellow has up to 2 chances to pass. Failure to pass on the second try will result in termination from the program.
  • Submission of their dissertation proposal to the IBS Deans Council by the end of the summer of their 3rd year.
  • Application to candidacy by the end of the summer of their 3rd year.
  • Professional courtesy, excellent academic progress (“B” or better in all courses), and availability of funding are also requisite for successful progression through the IBS PhD Program.
  • Approval of the completion of their dissertation research and dissertation document by the IBS Deans’ Council.
  • Successful defense of the dissertation research. The IBS PhD Program requires all fellows to have at least 2 co-mentors to guide them through the completion of their dissertation research and all program components must be ultimately approved by the IBS Deans Council.

Other IBS MS Program requirements include the following:

  • All IBS MS fellows must complete qualifying exams. The qualifying exam is a comprehensive written exam that is given in December of the student’s third year to all members of a student’s entering class that have been enrolled full-time in the IBS program and that includes topics covered in the IBS Core Curriculum. The exam is graded pass/fail by the IBS core instructors. A student has 2 chances to pass qualifiers. If the student does not pass qualifiers after the 2nd try the student must be terminated form the IBS Program.
  • Submission of their thesis proposal to the IBS Deans Council.
  • Application to candidacy.
  • Professional courtesy, excellent academic progress (“B” or better in all courses), and availability of funding are also requisite for successful progression through the IBS PhD Program.
  • Approval of the completion of their thesis research and thesis document by the IBS Deans’ Council.
  • Successful defense of the thesis research.

The IBS MS Program requires all fellows to have at least 2 co-mentors to guide them through the completion of their thesis research and all program components must be ultimately approved by the IBS Deans Council.

(60 hours)

First Year


Note:


* Denotes a core class. All core classes are mandatory.

** Optional Suggested Courses

*** IBSC 800 Research and Dissertation can be taken for 8-12 credit hours towards to the IBS PhD degree. Other 500-level research credits can also substitute.

***** Additional courses that are 500-level and above can be taken towards the 60 credit hour requirement for the IBS PhD degree. These courses should be discussed with the students IBS comentors prior to registration to ensure no course credits deficits. Up to 30 of these credits can be transferred from previous graduate courses taken at TU or another accredited college or university.

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