You are here: Home / Programs / Graduate Program / Policies


Plan of Study
Student Appraisal
Annual Graduate Student Progress Report
Responsible Conduct of Research Training
Graduate Student Support and Tuition Waivers
Petitioning to Have Requirements Waived
Graduate Student Travel
Code of Conduct For Graduate Students
Leaving the Program
Home Mailing Address
Receipt of Paychecks
Thesis/Dissertation Expenses
Mail Boxes

Advisement. (top) During the first semester of graduate work until a permanent advisor is selected, the Department Head or the Graduate Student Coordinator will serve as temporary advisor. In the first semester of graduate work, the student should choose a research advisor in consultation with the Department Head and with consent of the Graduate Student Coordinator. By the end of the second semester in residence, students and their advisors will request the assignment of an advisory committee by the Graduate Dean.  For non-Thesis M.S. students, the committee normally consists of a fixed committee of three faculty in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, assigned by the Department Head.  For thesis M.S. students the committee will consist of a minimum of three members of the Graduate Faculty, of which three must also be faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  For Ph.D. students the committee will consist of a minimum of four members of the Graduate Faculty with at least three members from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and at least one member from an appropriate outside department.  The student will consult with his/her research advisor and the Department Head concerning the membership of this committee.


Plan of Study. (top) All graduate students are expected to develop a Plan of Study immediately after forming a Graduate Committee. The Graduate College requires a plan of study before completing the 17th hour for M.S. students and the 28th hour for Ph.D. students. The Plan of Study must be approved by their Graduate Committee, the Department Head, and the Dean of the Graduate College. POS Forms

Student Appraisal. (top) Students receiving a C in any course in their first year will be evaluated by the Graduate Program Coordinator before the fall semester of the next year. The committee will consider academic performance, preliminary examination record and the evaluation of the student’s research performance by the research advisor. After due consideration of these factors, the committee will recommend to the entire faculty whether each student is qualified to continue working toward a degree. The standards for this recommendation will be set by the committee. The research advisor may submit a separate recommendation to the faculty if she/he disagrees with the recommendation of the committee. The faculty will then decide whether to accept or reject each recommendation. Those judged unqualified will be asked to complete requirements for a M.S. Degree or leave the program.

Annual Graduate Student Progress Report. (top) All graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology are required to complete the Annual Graduate Student Progress Report and submit the report to the Departmental office by June 1 of each year. The report will indicate if satisfactory progress is being made toward your degree. Satisfactory progress includes having an annual committee meeting at least one time a year regular attendance at the Departmental seminars and other Departmental events. Students who are making unsatisfactory progress toward their degree will initially meet with the Department Head to develop a plan to obtain satisfactory progress. Students with continued unsatisfactory progress will be referred to the Graduate Program Committee for a student appraisal that may result in removal from the graduate program.

Responsible Conduct of Research Training. (top) All graduate students are required to complete "Responsible Conduct of Research Training" in compliance with the university policy.  For more details, please go to:

Graduate Student Support and Tuition Waivers. (topM.S. degree applicants normally are not eligible for stipend support from the Department, although a tuition waiver may be possible for some U.S. Residents and assistance may be possible by affiliation with research programs. Stipend and tuition support for Ph.D. candidates are awarded from Department resources on a competitive basis at the time of admission to the program. Normally, initial support from general Departmental funds will be for one semester with responsibility for support passing to the research program in which the student does doctoral research.  Stipend support will normally be continued for a total of four years with the possibility for renewal for one additional year in exceptional cases. Under all circumstances, continued graduate student support will be contingent on satisfactory academic and research performance, normal progression through the curriculum, and timely completion of the Written and Oral Qualifying Exams. Students switching from the Ph.D. Program to the M.S. Program will not continue to receive Departmental support. To be eligible for tuition waivers and stipend support, students are required to complete financial aid forms in the Graduate School yearly and to periodically update their visa status. It is the student’s responsibility to follow through with these requirements.  Failure to do so may result in partial or total loss of financial assistance. One or more students will be asked by the Department head each Fall and Spring semester to serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) to assist in the laboratory teaching program. They will receive a GTA stipend.

Petitioning to Have Requirements Waived. (top) The academic degree requirements are designed to provide a well-rounded background for all students in areas important to the pursuit of a career in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. While the described guidelines are to be fulfilled by all graduate students, the Department recognizes that specific cases may arise in which (1) equivalent requirements (especially course requirements) have been fulfilled recently at a comparable university or, (2) a student's program would benefit if specific aspects of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requirements were modified. If a student feels this to be the case, a formal written petition may be made to the Research  Advisory Committee to request waiving or alteration of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requirements. Students may petition only once for each issue and, in all cases, sufficient documentation must accompany the request. Petitions should be made in a timely fashion prior to graduation (generally within the first year for M.S. students and the first two years for Ph.D. students).

An amply documented petition to waive Departmental course requirements would include, but would not be limited to: grade received, institution and date the course was taken, a letter from the course instructor if possible, a copy of the course syllabus, a description of general areas covered, a listing of textbooks used in the course, and a letter of support from the student's Research Advisor. Other areas open to petitioning include substitutions in general course area requirements. In all cases, the student should clearly describe why the current requirement would not best fulfill their needs and what would be gained as a result of any changes.

Graduate Student Travel. (top) The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program encourages student attendance at scientific meetings/workshops. Generally, a student's Research Advisor is expected to provide support for students who are presenting papers/posters at a meeting. Alternatively, students should seek travel grants from an appropriate professional organization, or graduate college.

Code of Conduct for Graduate Students. (top) Graduate students must abide by all relevant standards and rules of the University.  The Code of Conduct and related processes serve to educate students about their civic and social responsibilities as members of the University community.  Therefore, the primary focus of the disciplinary process is on educational and corrective outcomes; however, sanctions such as suspension or expulsion from the University may be necessary to reinforce community standards and to protect the campus community.  The most current version of the Code of Conduct is available electronically at  You should recognize that all research carried out under a sponsoring faculty member legally belongs to the University. Failure to abide by University or Departmental guidelines can result in dismissal from the program. If you are concerned about an ethical situation, you should consult your Research Advisor, the Graduate Student Coordinator, or the Department Head.

Leaving the Program. (top) A student may request a temporary leave of absence from the Graduate Program by petitioning the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department Head. This should be done in writing and should contain appropriate explanations.  To re-enter the program, the student must petition the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department. Acceptance will depend upon issues such as past performance, funding availability and whether there is an advisor willing to accept the student in his/her laboratory. Students should recognize that without formally requesting and receiving such a Leave of Absence, they are officially terminated by the University any time they do not register for one semester, after which they must officially apply for re-admittance to the University. To prevent the need to reapply for admittance, students should apply for at least one class.

Students may resign from the Graduate Program at any time. To do so, they should write a letter to the Graduate Coordinator stating their intent.  It is advised that students contemplating such a move should first consult with their Research Advisor, the Graduate Student Coordinator and the Department Head, before beginning such a process.

Students can be dismissed from a faculty member's research program at any time if the Research Advisor (in consultation with the student's Advisory Committee) determines that the student is not making acceptable progress. Such a dismissal in itself will not constitute dismissal from the Department, but it is the obligation of the student to find an acceptable replacement Research Advisor in the Department within one semester. Students will not be allowed to continue their education with the Department without a Research Advisor. If you find yourself in this situation, you should schedule a session with the Graduate Coordinator to determine the best course of action.

Students can be terminated from the Graduate Program by their Advisory Committee for the following reasons:
1)       Failure to meet minimum academic standards
2)       Failure to make acceptable progress in their degree work
3)       Failure to meet generally acceptable ethical standards of the University
4)       Failure on the preliminary or candidacy exams
5)       Failure during the thesis/dissertation defense

It is the obligation of the student to ensure that they are complying with University and Departmental guidelines with respect to these aspects of their education. If students are unsure or concerned about their status within the Department, they should consult with their Research Advisor, the Graduate Coordinator, or the Department Head.

Home Mailing Address. (top) It is extremely important that we keep up with your current home mailing address at all times.  If your address has changed since last semester or if you are a new student, please be sure we have your current address.  If your address changes during the semester, you are required to notify the office staff; then you need to notify the Graduate School, Human Resource Services (HRS) and the Registrar's Office.  For International students, according to INS policy, a “change of address” form must be filled out each time there is a change of residence. Forms are available in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology office. This is YOUR responsibility. It is also helpful if a current telephone number is provided to the BMB office.

Keys. (top) Keys are obtained from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology office, 246 B NRC.  Students checking out keys will pay a $2.00 refundable deposit for each key.  Upon graduation, or departure, your keys must be turned in to the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department office. NOTE: Students are responsible for making sure office/lab doors are locked and lights are turned off.

Receipt of Paychecks. (top) Graduate Research Assistants, Fellows, and Teaching Assistants get paid monthly on the 1st day of the month.  Paychecks are distributed by direct deposit to your bank account through the University. You may fill out a direct deposit form at the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department office.  To view your pay stub, visit the OSU Web Site and login with your O-Key credentials. Click on Self Service in the middle of the page. Click on the Employee tab towards the top of the page and then go to Pay Information. There you will find the Pay Stub link where you can choose the year and date of the check you’d like to view.

Photocopying. (top) The copy machine is available on the 2nd floor 246 NRC.  Photocopying is subject to copyright laws; it is your responsibility to be aware of them. You can access the copier with a code provided by your PI.  The photocopy machine use should be limited to activities approved by your PI.

Thesis/Dissertation Expenses. (top) Students are responsible for all costs pertaining to the preparation and finalization of their thesis/dissertations (copies/transparencies made, binding, special paper, etc.).

Purchasing. (top) There are three methods of purchasing materials/services for Oklahoma State University.

1.  Small Order:  The “Small Order Purchase” system provides departmental authority for qualified purchases of $500 or less when the purchase card (credit card) is not accepted.

2.  Purchase card (credit card):  The “p/card” system provides departmental authority for purchases of $5,000 or less.  For in depth details of purchase card policy and procedure see: and you’ll find the instructions as a word download under the link Pcard Guidelines.

3.  Requisition/Purchase Orders:  Purchases of $2,500 or greater must be processed on a requisition through the Purchasing Department.
$2,500 to $5,000:  Quotations are usually required.
$5,000 to $35,000:  Board policy requires the Board’s Purchasing Office to obtain quotations.
Over $35,000:  Board policy requires formal sealed competitive bids.

Travel. (top) Provide the appropriate support person in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology office with all of your travel information.  This is initially done by filling out a travel request form (blue slip) at least 14 days prior to beginning date of travel.  When you’ve returned from a trip, you must complete a travel voucher (pink slip), available from the Department.  There will not be any out of pocket expense reimbursement until pink slip is completed and returned to the appropriate support person with all of your original receipts.

Mail Boxes. (top) Mail is delivered to a single location in room 246-G NRC at approximately 9:00am Monday through Friday.  Check these boxes regularly.  Packages are delivered throughout the day.  When sending packages via UPS, FedEx or DHL, you must fill out a shipping form from mail services; either have mail services pick up the package or take it to mail services yourself.  Permission from a faculty member is required before sending any packages.