The “Green Book”
An authoritative compilation of up-to-date graduate student requirements can be found in the Graduate Student Procedures handbook (commonly known as “The Green Book“). A few common topics are also discussed below.
Cumulative examinations are administered on the first Saturday of every month from September through June (except for January). These examinations consist of graduate-level questions in analytical, organic, materials and physical chemistry. The questions are designed to emphasize the application of fundamental principles and knowledge of the current literature to research problems. Inorganic students satisfy this requirement by a different set of procedures (which are described in the Green Book).
All non-inorganic students must begin taking cumes at the start of their second semester in residence, and continue to take them every month they are offered.
A Ph.D. student who does not succeed in passing 5 cumulative exams may change to the M.S. degree program. M.S. students must pass 2 of 12 exams overall.
In place of monthly cumulative exams, Chemical Biology Program students take a one hour oral exam at the end of their first year in residence.
The Oral Preliminary Examination
Ph.D. students must take an oral examination, administered by the thesis committee, between two and six months after the last cumulative exam is passed (except that no student can take an exam before starting the fourth semester). The examination involves presentation and defense of the student’s research project.
All graduate students are required to take a minimum of five credits outside the major area of interest in two different divisions and a one credit ethics in research course. Students may be exempt from taking one or more of these courses if they have taken and passed with a satisfactory grade (A or B) a similar graduate course or courses at a comparable institution. Individual divisions within the Department also have requirements for their students.