Policies & Forms
Policies for students interested in entering our MS program
- For inquiries directed to the Microbiology and Immunology departmental office in person, via email or telephone, the Departmental office staff will inform these prospective students to look at the department website for a detailed description of our MS program. For additional information, prospective students will be advised to contact the Chair of the Graduate Student Admissions Committee or the Graduate Advisor via email to discuss the MS program and the admission process. Departmental office staff will not discuss the program requirements or admission in any detail with prospective students; they will simply forward the inquiry to the appropriate faculty. Office staff may give or send, via email to interested applicants, a one page summary outlining components of the MS program and which also contains contact information for the Graduate Advisor and the Admissions Committee Chair.
- Interested prospective students should apply online through the IUPUI Graduate Office. Applications will be forwarded to the Chair of the Graduate Student Admissions committee. Application forms and the minimum requirements for this program are listed on the IUPUI Graduate Office website: http://www.iupui.edu/~gradoff/admissions/
- The deadlines for applications will be May 1 for domestic applicants and Feb. 1 for international applicants. Both deadlines will be for matriculation in August of the same year.
- Applications will be given a first review by the Graduate Student Admissions Committee, which will decide whether to reject the applicant (typically for not meeting minimal standards for admission) or to proceed with the application process. The Admissions committee Chair will then inform the student of the preliminary decision; this notification will occur within 6 weeks of receipt of the application.
- Applicants who are approved to proceed will then identify one faculty member within the department who has agreed to take the applicant into their laboratory for a rotation of 4 weeks, with the understanding that, upon successful completion of the rotation, the faculty member will take the student into his/her laboratory and serve as that student’s mentor. The onus for contacting and being interviewed by a faculty mentor is on the student. These faculty members must complete and return to the Chair of the Graduate Student Admission Committee a Mentor Selection Form indicating that they have interviewed the applicant in person, by Skype, or by phone and their willingness to consider the applicant for admission to their laboratory for research training within the MS program. Mentor Selection Forms are available from the Chair of the Graduate Student Admissions Committee. The interview and mentor selection form must be completed and returned to the Admissions Committee Chair within 6 weeks of the applicant being notified to proceed with this step. If the interview and mentor selection forms are not completed and returned to the Admissions committee Chair within 6 weeks of the applicant’s notification to find a mentor, the application may be rejected with no further action taken on it.
- The Admissions Committee chair will then set up additional interviews for the applicant with members of the admissions committee, so that there are a total of 3 interviews for each student. At least one interview will be conducted by a member of the Admissions committee not seeking to mentor that student in their own lab.
- The Admissions committee will then review the application and comments from the three interviewers, and vote on acceptance or rejection. The Admissions committee chair will then bring the results of the committee’s decision to the full faculty for a vote, either in a departmental faculty meeting or by email.
- If the departmental vote is negative with respect to acceptance, the applicant will be notified by the Admissions committee Chair with a formal letter or email.
- If the departmental vote is positive, the application materials will be forwarded to the Graduate Division for the final admissions decision.
- In that letter, it will be stated that MS students are not financially supported by the department, must pay for their own courses and fees and must follow the guidelines for the MS program as outlined on the Department of Microbiology and Immunology website. These guidelines indicate that MS students must complete at least 10 non-thesis credits and 16 thesis credits during the program and a minimum total of 30 credits. Overall, these students must maintain a B average (3.0). Only 3 credits of C (2.0) can be counted towards the required credits of didactic coursework. Information on the comprehensive exam for MS students is listed on the departmental website, along with details regarding the composition of Advisory Committees for MS students.
- Applicants offered admission must have in place one laboratory in which they can do a rotation, and that faculty mentor must initially be willing to take that student on for their MS thesis research. The potential faculty mentor must indicate their willingness to mentor the MS student by signing and submitting the MS Mentor Selection Form .
- If a mentor takes on the student, s/he is responsible for ensuring the student hits all of their marks as required (e.g., passes their courses, establishes a committee and writes their thesis).
- In consultation with the mentor, the student selects an advisory committee consisting of the mentor (serves as Chair) and at least two additional faculty from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
- The student must successfully defend their thesis research to the advisory committee. The thesis defense will be oral.
First Semester MS Graduate Student Research Rotations
- All entering students will undertake one research rotation of approximately 4 weeks duration at the start of the Fall semester.
- The rotation will be assigned according to the interests of each student and the availability of laboratories. In the event that a student may find that he/she has entered an unworkable situation, that student may petition the Graduate Advisor for a restructuring of his/her rotation.
- During the rotation, students will be expected to spend no less than ten hours per week on rotation-related activities.
- It is the responsibility of each faculty member to ensure that student rotations in their laboratories are properly structured for the enrichment of the students, including a defined goal for each student's efforts.
- At the conclusion of the rotation, an evaluation form will be completed by the laboratory head; this evaluation will include a brief assessment of the student's rotation experience, their level of effort and ability, and a grade to be averaged with the other evaluation and the report as a basis for one credit of J810.
- Upon mutual agreement by both the student and mentor, at the conclusion of the rotation, the student may enter the mentor’s laboratory and begin their thesis research.
- If the student does not join the laboratory in which the rotation was performed, the student must rotate in another lab to find a mentor for their thesis research. Up to three 4-week rotations may be performed in the first semester.
- If no mentor is identified by the end of the first semester, the student will be dismissed from the program.
Graduate Student Rotation Evaluation Form is available by clicking here
Graduate Student Evaluation At Committee Meetings
Grades for thesis research (J810) will be assigned by the student’s Advisory Committee. Students will hold at least two committee meetings per year, during which the student’s progress in the program will be assessed. At each meeting, the committee will decide upon a grade that reflects the student’s progress, and each committee member will initial the grade form to indicate their assent to that grade. The committee will also fill out a rubric that details the level of the student’s progress. After the meeting, the Chair will submit a written synopsis of the student’s progress to the Course Director (Graduate Advisor). Failure to hold a meeting for a given semester will result in a grade of Incomplete (I) at the end of that term. If no letter grade is assigned within 1 year, the I is automatically converted to an F.
The grade given to a student at the completion of a committee meeting will be based upon a variety of criteria:
- the student's understanding of the literature and ability to apply that literature to the design of the project;
- the appropriate design of experiments including controls;
- the student's technical ability;
- the student's ability to move the project along logically, responding to problems as they arise;
- satisfactory progress since the previous meeting;
- the ability of the student to effectively communicate the project and its results;
- the student's abillity to think logically in responding to questions/comments; and the student's professionalism, as shown by their participation in required activities beyond didactic coursework and research.
As the student advances through the program, the ability of the student to work independently will also contribute to the formulation of a grade.
The narrative summary, in addition to providing a synopsis of the committee’s discussion of the student’s progress, should outline any concerns or goals laid out for the student and should include any decisions made, such as approval of coursework or permission to write the thesis.
It should be noted that satisfactory performance is denoted by a grade of B. The basis for assigning any grade above or below a B should be reflected in both the narrative summary of the committee meeting and in the rubric completed at the committee meeting.