METX Ph.D. Program Requirements

Carolina Reyes was awarded her Ph.D. in 2011—and a Fulbright Fellowship for her postdoctoral position in Germany.

The requirements for the METX Ph.D. degree are described below.

Required core courses (2):

  • METX 200, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Toxicology
  • METX 205, Scientific Skills, Ethics, and Writing

Two courses from the following:

  • METX 201, Sources and Fates of Pollutants
  • METX 202, Cell and Molecular Toxicology
  • METX 206A, Advanced Microbiology
  • METX 210, Molecular and Cellular Basis of Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • METX 238, Pathogenesis
  • METX 250, Environmental Microbiology
  • METX 270, Drug Action and Development

At least one additional approved graduate-level METX course or from another department.

Any additional courses as recommended by your first year Advising Committee.

Each quarter, students must enroll in at least the following: Introductory Graduate Seminar (METX 292), Independent Study (METX 297), and a topical seminar (METX 281).

Literature Review

Students write a literature review of the current state of the field of the proposed dissertation research, under direction of the student’s advisor. This written review will be submitted to the student’s advisor no later than the first day of fall quarter of the students second year.

Departmental Seminars

Students present a 20 minute departmental seminar each academic year, except during their third year when they present a 50 minute seminar.

Teaching Requirements

Doctoral students are required to work as teaching assistants for at least one quarter. Priority for TA positions is given to first year doctoral students, then to current doctoral students who have not yet worked as a teaching assistant.

Qualifying Examinations

Ph.D. qualifying examination (QE1). Part I of the qualifying examination consists of two portions: preparation and defense of an independent research proposal prepared by the student, and knowledge of material presented in the microbiology and environmental toxicology core courses taken by the student.  The student must complete QE1 no later than spring quarter of the second year.

Ph.D. qualifying examination (QE2). Present and defend a dissertation research proposal to the student’s Ph.D. qualifying examination (QE) committee. The student must complete QE2 no later than fall quarter of the third year.

Advancement to Candidacy

The student advances to candidacy after completing all coursework, completing the literature review, giving a Third Year Seminar, and passing the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Parts I and II, and forming a Dissertation Reading Committee. If all these milestones have been met, the student will be officially advanced the quarter after the QE II is passed.

Dissertation Committee (Thesis Committee)

After passing the QE II, the student forms a Dissertation Reading Committee in consultation with her/his research advisor. The Dissertation Reading Committee consists of at least three members, including two METX faculty (including the student’s advisor), and at least one member from a different department at UCSC, another UC campus, or another institution. Typically this committee contains the same members as are on the QE II Committee, although only three members are required. The committee is approved by Graduate Division by completion of this form. The student is expected to meet with their Dissertation Reading Committee at least once per year to inform them of his/her progress toward their Ph.D. The Dissertation Reading Committee remains standing until the student has completed all requirements for the doctoral degree.

Dissertation Defense

The student must submit their doctoral dissertation to the Dissertation Reading Committee for tentative approval at least one month before presenting a formal, public doctoral research seminar. All of the Dissertation Reading Committee members should be in attendance at this seminar. After the seminar, the Dissertation Reading Committee, and any other faculty wishing to do so, meet with the student to discuss her/his dissertation. The candidate must defend the work to the satisfaction of the Dissertation Reading Committee at the post-seminar session. Objections raised or deficiencies noted in this session must be met and corrected to the satisfaction of those concerned before the Chair of the Committee signs the cover sheet, signifying acceptance of the dissertation.

Catalog Rights

Students matriculating in a given graduate program, including those in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, will select the UCSC General Catalog they will follow to meet their requirements to be either the one published the year they enter the program, or any subsequent catalog published prior to the year they are awarded the degree sought. Students who seek readmission after a break in attendance of greater than two years (six regular quarters) must adhere to the graduation requirements in effect at the time of readmission or to those subsequently established for all portions of the degree requirements not already fulfilled. The readmitting program will determine which degree requirements remain to be fulfilled, and will communicate this information in the letter offering readmission. This determination constitutes a formal requirement for readmission to the program, and the student’s acceptance of readmission implies acceptance of the program’s written stipulation of remaining degree requirements. Should any student choose to follow catalog requirements for a year in which the catalog is not printed in hard copy, the requirements will include any online catalog update for that year. A student must follow the chosen catalog in its entirety, including both the individual degree program and general university requirements. General university requirements may be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.