Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences

College of Pharmacy
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FAQ for Current BPS Students

The following information is for students currently enrolled in the Biopharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program. The information is not formally presented as issues are presented in the Handbook; therefore, this information should be look upon as supplementary information to that in the Handbook.

Any suggestions for general procedures should be forwarded to the DGS.

Questions
    Registration
  1. How many credit hours should I register for each semester?
  2. When should I register for next semester?
  3. I'm having trouble registering for a specific course outside BPS, who should I contact?
  4. Do I need to register each semester?
    Progress toward Graduation
  1. What are the general requirements of the department?
  2. When should I do my Mid-Career Seminar?
  3. When should I do my Proposal Exam?
  4. Do I need to have a meeting between the Proposal Exam and the Dissertation Defense?
    Classes
  1. What are the required courses?
  2. How many didactic courses do I need to graduate?
  3. What are some good elective courses that I could take?
  4. Should I take a course my research advisor asks me to take that would be beyond the minimum requirements of the program?
  5. Do I need to register for BPS 595 (Seminar) every semester?
Answers
    Registration
  1. How many credit hours should I register for each semester?
    The answer has several parts:
    1. The semester will typically determine the number of credit hours for which you should register.
      1. Spring (January-April) of Fall (August-December) Semester: Students should typically register for 12 hours unless otherwise instructed by OIS, a fellowship, or the DGS.
      2. Summer (May-July) Semester: Students should not register unless they will take an exam (Preliminary or Thesis Defense) or are instructed to do so by their advisor, a fellowship, or the DGS. If a student is to take an exam, please consult the Graduate College website for further information.
    2. Your status as a student will then determine the courses that should be taken.
      1. Students doing Rotations:
        • BPS 595 (Seminar), 1 cr. hr.
        • BPS 539 (under the rotation advisor), 3 cr. hr.; and
        • Didactic courses as needed up to the number necessary for that semester, consult your academic advisor (the DGS) for specific classes;
      2. Students in a laboratory, but pre-Preliminary Exam:
        • Didactic courses as needed, consult your research advisor;
        • BPS 595 (Seminar), 1 cr. hr.; and
        • BPS 593 (under the research advisor), up to the number of credit hours for that semester (Fall/Spring/Summer).
      3. Students post-Preliminary Exam, but pre-Defense:
        • Didactic courses if any, consult your research advisor;
        • BPS 595 (Seminar), 1 cr. hr.; and
        • BPS 599 (under the research advisor), up to the number of credit hours for that semester (Fall/Spring/Summer).
      4. Students post-Defense, but still completing requirements such as editing:
        • Either the same as option "c" above, or 0 cr. hr. Please consult the Graduate College website for specific instructions on 0 cr. hr. requirements. Beyond those instructions, it is now the policy of the program to only allow 0 cr. hr. for students that will submit their thesis in a given semester.
  2. When should I register for next semester?
    Registration begins during April for Summer and Fall registration and November for Spring registration. Students can register from the beginning of the registration period through the 10th day of classes for Fall and Spring semsters and the 5th day of class for Summer. Students are encouraged to register as soon as possible, but definitely at least a week before the semester begins. The graduate college maintains a Registration Site.
  3. I'm having trouble registering for a specific course outside BPS, who should I contact?
    Consult with the department offering the course and request an override. Once the override has been added you still have to register for the course in Student Self-Service. If you receive an error message that you do not understand, consult the Registration Help Line at +1(312)996-8600.
  4. Do I need to register each semester?

    There are at least three situations where a student must enroll in summer:

    (1) If he/she is on a Fellowship, he/she may be mandated to enroll for summer session.

    (2) If he/she is taking an official exam (Prelim or Defense) from the 5th day of 8-week summer session through the last day of the 8-week summer session, he/she will need to enroll for summer session. Or,

    (3) if he/she will participate in an internship, he/she must enroll in the appropriate class (506 Industrial Experience).

    If a student does not fall into these categories, it is the general recommendation of the program not to enroll in summer. However, it is strongly encouraged to either enroll into continuation of Campus Care or obtain external health insurance for the summer semester.

    Progress toward Graduation
  1. What are the general requirements of the department?
    There are many "requirements" as laid out in the Handbook. As a general guide, a checklist has been created and put online for graduation.
  2. When should I present my mid-career Seminar?
    The mid-career seminar is to take place as soon as possible during your time in BPS, but once you have a "story" to tell. This may vary from student to student, but the general rule of thumb should be in the 3rd year as part of the Ph.D. program. Any student who has not presented a seminar before the beginning of the 4th year will be reminded by the DGS to complete this task. It is important that the seminar not be just a "practice" for the dissertation defense, so please make sure that it is presented at least 2 semesters before you graduate if at all possible. During the semester in which you present your seminar, register for 2 credit hours not the typical 1 credit hour. You will not need to prepare a seminar description for that semester, but you will still need to participate in Journal Club.
  3. When should I do my Proposal Exam?
    As soon as possible after the Preliminary Exam has been completed. To complete the proposal, some preliminary data is necessary. However, the work need not all be completed and in fact should not be completed because the Proposal Committee is fomed to help guide what research should be done. The sooner a Proposal Exam Committee is formed, the sooner the student can get input from the group that will be the future Dissertation Defense Committee; the committee may change, but the idea is to form the committee as early as possible in the research process. Although one BPS Interim Meeting is mandated with at least 3 of the 5 (minimum), more frequent meetings are recommended to guide the student and promote a collaborative environment.
  4. Do I need to have a meeting between the Proposal Exam and the Dissertation Defense?
    At least one BPS Interim Meeting is mandated with at least 3 of the 5 (minimum), more frequent meetings are recommended to guide the student and promote a collaborative environment.
    Classes
  1. What are the required courses?
    Please consult the currnet information online: StudentInformation.php.
  2. How many didactic courses do I need to graduate?
    At least 20 hours must be in 500-level didactic courses. A minimum of 14 credit hours of 400-500 level elective courses.
  3. What are some good elective courses that I could take?
    The GCLS courses are highly encouraged, in particular the GCLS 504/505 reserach methods course modules. In addition, a list of suggested electives is online; however, please consult senior graduate students and your research and/or academic advisor as they may have courses that they beleive are most appropriate for you. Many research advisors will mandate specific courses particularly the ones that they teach.
  4. Should I take a course my research advisor asks me to take that would be beyond the minimum requirements of the program?
    Absolutely! The program requirements are minimums and students shoudl look forward to opportunities to grow as scientists. If an advisor sees a weakness in your background or an opportunity for you to improve your knowledge in an area that would benefit your research, you should certainly follow thier suggestion.
  5. Do I need to register for BPS 595 (Seminar) every semester?
    YES! That is, unless you have a conflict or will not be on campus. Please contact the DGS in such cases and have the fact that you must opt out of BPS 595 documented.