Master’s Degree Checklist for MA in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics


Due date – for each Academic Year, please confer with the Academic Calendar

1. Establish your Master’s Degree Examination Committee, composed of your Faculty Research Advisor and at least 2 additional faculty members (maximum of 5), usually from the Fisk Department of Life and Physical Sciences and/or appropriate Vanderbilt faculty. The Committee members must be selected in consultation with your Faculty Advisor. Individuals from other universities, national labs or industry may also serve on the committee with the approval of the research advisor and department chair.

Due Date

Should be done by the end of the first semester, but in any event no later than early in the second semester ( end of February) 

2. Use Forms for tracking students’ progress in their MA program as provided in Appendix B of the Graduate Student Manual, and attached to this Degree Checklist below:

1)     Request to Appoint Thesis Committee
2)     Request to Change Thesis Committee ( if necessary)
3)     Summary of Thesis committee meeting ( this 2page summary is required following EACH  meeting of the thesis committee)
4)     Application for Candidacy- note deadline for each graduation timeline
5)     Application for Degree

Submit to Graduate Studies Program Office (Room 306 DuBois Hall ) the following forms (note that there are three separate forms):

1. Application for Candidacy. (TYPED) Form available from Graduate Studies Office (or use page 2 of this doc).

2. Application for degree.

3. Certification for DegreeThese forms are attached below , and also  available from Graduate Studies Program Office, Ms Marian Burns ( ) or Paula Hemphill, MS ( ).  Application for Candidacy, for Degree and for Certification of Degree all  should have the CORRECT and FINAL thesis title TYPED in the appropriate fields.

Due Date

Application for degree due early December for May, August, or December graduation; We advise you to apply at least a week before deadline to expedite the process

3. Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 to avoid being placed on academic probation.

Due Date

A graduate student on probation must raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 within one semester

4. Register for Research hours.

Due Date

Before graduation you must registered for at least 3 and at most 9 credit hours of  Thesis Research (depending on program

5. Register for Thesis Preparation hours.

Due Date

In any semester in which you will reach 30 credit hours you should register for Thesis Preparation to allow you to maintain full-time status.

6. Thesis Defense. It is your responsibility, in consultation with your research advisor, to schedule the thesis defense. The Office of the Graduate School ( Ms Marian Burns: ) or the Fisk Bridge Program Coordinator ( )  is available to assist with scheduling.

Due Date

The final draft of the thesis must be distributed to the committee members at least two weeks before the defense. Also notify the Fisk Bridge Program Coordinator so that the defense may be properly advertised.