Ph.D. Ontogeny

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Note that this information is out-of-date. The Grad Curriculum Committee is working on updates and hopes to have them posted here soon; in the meantime direct questions to Chris Elphick.

This page is for graduate students pursuing a Doctor of Philosphy (Ph.D.) degree in EEB and their advisor(s). This document is provided as a convenience, but please consult the Graduate Catalog for authoritative information, or for clarification and elaboration of information found here. There is a corresponding ontogeny for M.S. students.


Full course load

The 2014/2015 Graduate Catalog says that a full time on-campus student must enroll in 6 or more credits if holding a 50% (or greater) TA/RA or 9 credits if not on a TA/RA. If working on an off-campus project, see the Graduate Catalog for details.

Advisory committee

Each student is required to form an advisory committee that will guide them through their degree. Membership of the committee should be determined in consultation with your major adviser. Committee members must be members of the graduate faculty at UConn. If one of your proposed committee members is not at UConn, they can be added to the Graduate Faculty by submitting a form available on the Graduate School web site. Students should:

Form a provisional committee of at least 3 faculty members, including the major adviser, before the start of the second semester. The role of this committee is solely to guide the student’s initial course selection and to help them begin planning their research. Committee members may be added or removed at any time, and changes are especially encouraged when they accommodate changes in research direction. Provisional committee members do not need to be on the student’s final dissertation committee.

Finalize committee membership and submit a plan of study (see below) to the Graduate School before the end of the third semester. After committee membership has been formalized, subsequent changes in membership remain possible and are encouraged when they will help the student meet their research goals. Similarly, changes to the plan of study are encouraged when they will improve the student’s ability to conduct their planned research. Changes at this stage will require the submission and approval of appropriate paperwork through the Graduate School.

Meet with their committee at least annually. The student should meet with their provisional committee during their first semester to initiate discussions about their research directions and plan of study. Thereafter, they should meet annually to update their committee on their progress and to discuss their future plans.

This section updated 10/28/2014

Plan of Study

Each student is required to submit a plan of study to the Graduate School. The plan of study should identify any courses that the department or the student’s committee requires the student to take in order to complete their degree. The student should consult the Graduate Catalog to ensure that the plan is compliant with Graduate School requirements.

The plan of study should be submitted to the Graduate School before the end of the third semester.

This section updated 10/28/2014

Foreign Language/Related Area requirement

The Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate field of study has no foreign language/related area requirement

General examination

EEB students should take their general exam before the end of the fourth semester. Attended and conducted by the advisory committee, and others (no fewer than five faculty members).

Dissertation proposal submitted

EEB students should defend in a committee meeting, and then submit, a dissertation proposal before the end of the fifth semester.

Candidacy status

Candidacy status is conferred after the dissertation proposal is approved by all reviewers, is signed by the Head, and finally is approved by the Executive Committee of the Graduate Faculty Council.

"Working copy" dissertation filed

Degree must be completed after at least 3 years of study beyond baccalaureate (2 years beyond Master's in related subject) and within 8 years of commencing doctoral study (7 years if entry with a related Master's). The Tentative Approval Page must be filed at least 7 days prior to examination. Please see the Graduate School Dissertation Information web page for details.


Final dissertation approval pages must be received by August 31, December 31 or 13 days prior to commencement. Not fewer than 5 faculty members must participate, including advisory committee. Notice of the examination must be submitted to the UConn Events Calendar at least 2 weeks prior to the event; Lectures, Meetings and Conferences section and at the campus where the defense/presentation is taking place.

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