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Graduate Advisor

The graduate advisor is the official representative of the graduate dean in matters affecting graduate students in the advisor's discipline. There should be a close working relationship between the advisor and the staff of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The graduate advisor is the liaison between the graduate dean and the discipline. The graduate advisor should keep the discipline chair and faculty informed on matters pertaining to graduate education. The dean is dependent upon the experience and judgment of graduate advisors and upon their recommendations in matters requiring the dean's action. The dean's staff provides information to the advisors on a continuing basis and respond to requests for special assistance.

The graduate advisor is responsible for supervising graduate study in the discipline, ensuring that each graduate student is assigned an individual faculty advisor within the discipline, and representing the faculty of the discipline as a member of the Graduate Council.


It is the responsibility of the student to stay abreast of progress toward the degree and to file the appropriate degree application in the GSBS Office of Admissions and Services. Consult the Academic Calendar for the deadlines. The student's final cumulative grade point average must be at least a 3.0 to qualify for graduation.

Information concerning graduation fees is contained in the Tuition and Fee Register. Students anticipating graduation should consult the Academic Calendar for final dates for payment of fees and meeting other graduation requirements. All fines, fees, etc. must be cleared before the diploma will be issued. All necessary forms and instructions are available on the GSBS Graduation website.

Because of the time required to receive transcripts, students otherwise eligible for graduation who complete their last course or courses elsewhere will not graduate at the end of the semester in which the work is completed, but will receive their degrees at the close of the subsequent semester.

Commencement exercises are held each year in May; however, degrees are conferred at the end of each semester. All information related to commencement exercises is available from the Office of the Registrar. Diplomas may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar after verification is received from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences that all requirements for the degree have been satisfied.

Leave of Absence

If a situation arises where a student must set aside his/her graduate studies for a period of time, a leave of absence (LOA) may be requested. LOA may be requested for up to three semesters. If additional leave is needed, a new form must be submitted. The maximum amount of LOA is six semesters (two academic years). A student on LOA cannot receive funding as a graduate student. LOA status may affect student loans. Graduate advisors will be notified of any change to the LOA.

The student initiates the request by obtaining the LOA form from the Office of the Registrar and returning the completed form to the Office of the Registrar.

Toward the end of a period of approved LOA, the student must take steps to resume studies at the beginning of the next semester, extend the LOA, or withdraw from the GSBS. To resume studies, the student obtains approval from the major professor and graduate advisor and registers for classes. To extend the LOA, the student completes and submits a new LOA Request. To withdraw from school, the student follows the normal procedures for withdrawal, including completion of the clearance process.

Make-Up Examinations

A make-up examination is defined as an examination administered to a student in lieu of a regular course examination when the student has (1) arranged in advance to take an examination early or late or (2) missed taking a regularly scheduled examination. Make-up examinations are given only in the case of an approved absence or a documented medical excuse.

Approval is required from the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director to authorize a make-up examination. If a make-up examination is not authorized by the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director, the student may appeal to the Dean. After consulting with the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director, the Dean will make the final decision on the appeal. A student who misses a scheduled examination without receiving approval by the Course Director, Core Curriculum Director or Dean to either take an early or late examination or to make up a missed examination, will receive a grade of zero for that examination.

A student who misses an examination is not permitted to participate in any post-exam review of that examination if he/she has not completed the make-up examination by the time the post-exam review takes place.

To request an early or late make-up examination, a student must complete an excused absence form requesting a make-up examination from the Course Director or Core Curriculum Director.  In the case of an early examination, the completed form must be submitted at least five days before the date of the exam. If the student misses an exam because of a medical reason, a health care provider’s (DO, MD, PA or NP) excuse must be attached to the excused absence form. This form documents the reason for the absence and the date the student requested the make-up examination.

If the absence is approved, a make-up examination will be administered within the appropriate time-frame determined by the course director or core curriculum director.

This page last modified March 1, 2011

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