header shadow

Grad Manual

The Departmental Officer for Graduate Education (DOGE) is responsible for the overall administration of the graduate programs. For Interdepartmental Majors, each student within the major has a Chair and Supervisory Committee to assist in the administration of graduate students and in the coordination of the graduate faculty within that major. The graduate faculty within each major make programmatic decisions pertaining to their graduate program. A pdf version of the handbook can be down loaded here.

Admission Requirements (add link back to How to apply)


 

Graduate Credits Required 

Masters of Science with Thesis

 At least 30 credits of acceptable graduate work must be completed, not less than 22 of which must be earned from ISU. Any transfer of credits from another institution must be recommended in the Program of Study by the POS Committee. Graduate credit is approved for transfer only if a grade of "B" or better has been earned.
 

Masters of Science without Thesis

 

A Masters without Thesis is offered by Veterinary Microbiology. This requires satisfactory completion of 35 credit hours of acceptable work (not including research) including a creative component of 5 credits. At least 30 credits must consist of didactic courses.

 

Doctor of Philosophy

A minimum of 72 graduate credits must be earned for a Ph.D. At least 36 credits, including all dissertation research, must be earned under the supervision of the student's Program of Study Committee. At least 24 of these credits must be earned during two consecutive semesters or during a continuous period including two semesters and a summer session while in residence at the University. (This requirement does not apply to doctoral students who are employed more than half time). A Program of Study Committee may recommend transfer of Master's degree research credits earned at another institution toward partial fulfillment of Ph.D. requirements at ISU. To avoid overspecialization, a significant body of pertinent coursework must be taken outside of the major field. Twelve hours of applicable graduate credit is required by the student's POS Committee.

 


 Course Requirements

M.S. in Veterinary Microbiology (Thesis and Non-Thesis)    

Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology

Required courses for all MS and PhD students:

 

VPth 554:    Ethics in Scientific Research and Writing Cr. 1 

                                       Or  

GR ST 565    Responsible Conduct of Research  Cr. 1

STAT 401      Statistical Methods for Research Workers Cr.4

VMPM 604    Seminar (OR Micro 604 OR Imbio 604) (1 time for MS students and 3 times for Ph.D. students)

 

Additionally, MS students are required to take one course in 2/4 areas and PhD students are required to take 1 course in 3/4 areas.

Required Areas:
Bacteriology:        
VMPM 586     Medical Bacteriology Cr. 4
VMPM 625     Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenesis Cr. 4
Micro 552 & 553 & 555 Combined:
         552:    Bacterial molecular genetics and physiology Cr. 1
         553:    Pathogenic microorganisms Cr. 1
         555:    Fungal biology Cr. 1
Virology:        
VMPM 587      Animal Virology Cr. 3
VMPM 608      Molecular Virology Cr. 3
Immunology:
VMPM 520     Medical Immunology Cr. 4
                Or
VMPM 575     Immunology Cr. 3

Epidemiology:
VMPM 528    Principles of Epidemiology Cr. 3
VMPM 527      Applications to Statistics to Pop Studies Cr. 3
VMPM 529      Epidemiological Methods for Population Research Cr. 3

Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology (Preventive Medicine Emphasis)

Required Coursework:


VMPM 528      
Principles of Epidemiology Cr. 3
VMPM 527      Applications to Statistics to Pop Studies Cr. 3
VMPM 529      Epidemiological Methods for Population Research Cr. 3

A list of additional courses relevant to the VMPM major:

Micro 551    Microbial diversity and phylogeny Cr. 1
Micro 556    Microbial ecology and environmental monitoring Cr. 1
Micro 554    Virology Cr. 1
VMPM 525   Intestinal Microbiology  Cr. 3
VMPM 608    Molecular Virology Cr. 3
VMPM 565    Professional practices in the life sciences Cr. 0.5
PIP 509        Plant Virology Cr. 4
BMS 575      Cell Biology  Cr. 3
V Pth 655     Cellular and Molecular Pathology I Cr. 3
BBMB 645    Molecular Endocrinology; Hormones and Growth Factors Cr. 2
STAT 402     Statistical Design and the Analysis of Experiments Cr. 3
STAT 403     Nonparametric Statistical Methods Cr. 2
STAT 407     Methods of Multivariate Analysis Cr. 3
STAT 415     Advanced Statistical Methods for Research Workers Cr. 3
STAT 421     Survey Sampling Techniques Cr. 3

 


Guidance for New Students

Assistantships and Employment Expectations

Research assistantships (RA) or adjunct instructor positions are available through the designated laboratory and major professor. A 100% tuition credit is awarded to PhD RAs and a 50% tuition credit is awarded to MS students with RAs. Additional fellowships and RAs may be available through agreements with the USDA laboratories in Ames and training grants from NIH or USDA.

Assistantship Time Limit

The time limit for assistantships will vary greatly depending on the type of support. Research assistantships are related to the life of a research grant or availability of departmental, USDA or other support. Students should discuss their support with their major professor, DOGE, Chair or supervisor and plan accordingly. Most VMPM faculty members assume that a M.S. should be completed within two to three years and a Ph.D. in approximately five years. Students should not expect support to be automatically provided beyond these time intervals. Students making inadequate progress will be notified in writing and support may be terminated.

Required Teaching and Research Responsibilities

Teaching responsibilities are generally determined by the Chair. Students receiving Departmental TAs will be expected to take part in TA orientations, workshops and testing set up by the University and the Department.
 

Research responsibilities are determined by the major professor in consultation with the POS Committee. There are no specific departmental research responsibilities.

Registration

Registration is done over the web through AccessPlus (http://www.registrar.iastate.edu/). Registration ends according to posted dates in the University Calendar. This date is usually before the end of the previous term. Questions regarding the registration process can be answered at the previous URL, the departmental office or your major advisor.

Late Registration

For late registration (beginning on the first day of class), a Student Schedule form is required. The Student Schedule form (Appendix C, p. 30), with signatures of the major professor and all instructors, should be presented along with a $20.00 late registration fee to 1220 Beardshear and then to 10 Alumni Hall. A $50 fee is charged the second week of classes and $100 the third week or anytime later.

Add/Drop Slips

Students can use AccessPlus to process drops until the fifth day of classes. After the fifth day of classes, a Request for Schedule Change or Restriction Waiver (Add/Drop Slip) form (Appendix D, p.31) is needed for any changes to the class schedule. A class is not automatically dropped. Add/Drop Slips require the signatures of the major professor, instructor and Chair. A pass/no pass grading option is also offered. The Add/Drop Slip is used to designate this option. The pass/no pass option requires only the signature of the major professor. The forms are available in the departmental office.

Cy-Ride Bus Passes/Fares

All ISU students ride free by showing their student ID card.

 

Internet/E-Mail

Every VMPM student must register for an ISU NET-ID - this gives you access to the Internet and an email account. The Department will send information at various times via electronic mail, so it is imperative that you register as soon as possible for an ID. By doing this, you will be assured that you will receive information sent electronically to our students.

  

Keys

Keys will be issued upon request of the major professor. The application for building, room and laboratory keys is completed in the departmental office. Processing of key applications may take up to two days. Keys must be returned to the Key Issue Desk, Facilities, Planning and Management Building, prior to graduation. Currently there is a fine of $25 per lost key.

 

 

F-1 and J-1 Credit Requirements

International students with an F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant visa are required to maintain full time student status. During Fall and Spring semester:

  • All students are required to be enrolled for a minimum of 9 credit hours.
  • If it is in the student's best interest to be enrolled for less than 9 credit hours, a 'short course form' is to be completed. This form is available in the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

 

During Summer semester:

  • If the first semester that an international student is enrolled at ISU is Summer, the student is required to be enrolled for 5 credits. If it is in the student’s best interest to take less than 5 credits, a 'short course load' form is to be completed. This form is available in the OISS.
  • If the student has been enrolled during the previous semester, the student is not required to be enrolled during the Summer semester.

 

Requirements for Non-English Speaking Students

Graduate students whose native language is not English and who do not have a bachelor's degree from ISU must take the English Placement Test prior to beginning of their first semester. This test is required by the Graduate College and is administered by the Department of English. It must be taken in addition to the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), which is taken as part of the admissions process. A student who does not pass this examination is assigned to one or more courses in the English 99 and 101 series. This course work must be completed during the first year of study, and registration holds are pplaced if the student does not register for these during the first year of study. (There is a developmental course fee for the English 99 course.)
 
Non-native English speaking ISU graduate students who meet or exceed
the TOEFL or IELTS scores below are exempted from taking the English Placement Test. Self-enrollment in English 99 or 101 courses remain possible.
  • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) -- 640 (and above)
  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT) -- 105 (and above)
  • IELTS -- 8.0 (and above)

 

Concurrent Degree Students

Students in the professional school (College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM DVM program) may also enroll in graduate studies in the M.S. or Ph. D. programs within the department. Only students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and are highly motivated will be considered. Students requesting admission as a concurrent student must fulfill all of the admission requirements described above for the graduate college in addition to their acceptance in the CVM DVM program. Students must have competed at least 128 semester hours of pre-veterinary or professional course work. Students will be subject to the normal rules and procedures in effect for both the College of Veterinary Medicine and ISU's Graduate College. Students in the concurrent D.V.M.- Graduate Degree Program will need to have Program of Study approved by the Associate Deans of both colleges and the DOGE or Chair of VMPM.  Students must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average in both programs to remain enrolled.


 
Students enrolled in the Graduate College will satisfy all academic requirements established by the Graduate College. In meeting these requirements, the only courses in the Veterinary College eligible for graduate credit will be courses identified in the ISU Bulletin as being available for graduate credit. Students enrolled in the concurrent program may elect to use courses from their graduate Program of Study, where applicable, to meet the requirements in effect for the professional curriculum, provided approval is obtained from the Curriculum Committee and the Administration of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students should check with the department to confirm the availability of the various graduate courses.  At present courses that can be included are: VMPM 586 Medical Bacteriology; VMPM 586 Medical Bacteriology Laboratory; VMPM 587 Animal Virology; VPth 542 General Pathology; VPth 576 Veterinary Parasitology; and VDPAM 426 Veterinary Toxicology. In order for a graduate course to be acceptable as a substitute for a designated professional course in the Veterinary Curriculum, it must be reviewed by the CVM Curriculum Committee to confirm that the depth and rigor of the course content required by the professional curriculum is adequate as determined by the College Graduate Studies Committee.

 
If a student does not hold a B.S. or B.A. degrees, a graduate degree would not be granted until all requirements for the D.V.M. degree are completed. By not restricting credits earned, a student may pursue graduate studies during summer and holiday sessions and may elect to postpone the fourth year of professional curriculum for one year in order to facilitate pursuit of graduate courses and research. This latter option may be declared during the second or third year of the professional curriculum, and no later than the first day of the spring semester of the third year of the professional curriculum.
 

Concurrent student programs

Required Coursework:

VPth 554      Ethics in Scientific Research and Writing Cr. 1
STAT 401     Statistical Methods for Research Workers Cr. 4
Seminar or data presentations in VMPM 604, Work in Progress, or professional meetings (one for MS students and 3 for Ph.D students over the course of their program)
 
Required:  One course in three of the following four areas:
 
Bacteriology:
VMPM 586      Medical Bacteriology Cr. 4
VMPM 625      Mechanisms of Bacterial Pathogenesis Cr. 4
 Micro 552 & 553 & 555 Combined:
          552:  Bacterial molecular genetics and physiology Cr. 1
          553:  Pathogenic microorganisms Cr. 1
          555:  Fungal biology Cr. 1
 
Virology:
VMPM 587      Animal Virology Cr. 3
 
Immunology:
VMPM 520      Medical Immunology Cr. 4
VMPM 575      Immunology Cr. 3
 
Epidemiology:
VMPM 528      Principles of Epidemiology Cr. 3
VMPM 536      Zoonoses and Environmental Health Cr. 3
 

 

 

Interdepartmental Programs

The Course requirements for the Interdepartmental Majors can be found at their respective web sites:

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB)

Genetics

Immunobiology

Microbiology

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

Toxicology
 


 

 

 

NOTE

 All communications to the Graduate College related to the POS Committee makeup changes, POS changes and status in Degrees must be routed through the Program Chair and DOGE.

Program of Study (POS) Committee

The POS Committee guides the graduate program of the graduate student. Students are encouraged to establish a POS Committee as soon as a major professor is selected. POS Committees should be in place by the end of the second semester of graduate study. 
 
The following requirements have been established by the Graduate College or the Department of VMPM for program of study committee makeup:
 

M.S.

  • POS Committee has at least three members of the Graduate Faculty.
  • Graduate students with major professors who are collaborators must have a co-major professor who holds VMPM regular or allied faculty status.
  • One committee member must be from outside the VMPM Department or the area of study. Allied members or collaborators do not qualify as outside members.  

 
Ph.D.   

  • POS Committee has at least five members of the Graduate Faculty.
  • The major professor, or one of the co-major professors, must hold graduate faculty status.
  • Graduate students with major professors who are collaborators must have a co-major professor who holds VMPM regular or allied faculty status.
  • Three committee members must be members of VMPM graduate faculty holding regular, allied or collaborator status.
  • Two committee members must be from outside the VMPM Department or the field of study. Allied members or collaborators do not qualify as outside members.
  • One committee member must not be a member of the graduate program of the student's major.

 

Each graduate student must confirm their major professor by turning in a signed memo from that faculty member to the Chair of VMPM by the end of the second semester. Students will not be permitted to attend classes during their third semester until the requirement is met.

Each graduate student must submit a Recommendation for Committee Appointment form within three semesters of entering the graduate program. Students will not be allowed to register for a fourth semester until the requirement is met.

 

Program of Study

 
The student and the POS Committee develop a Program of Study (POS), which is a listing of courses required for the individual's degree. Each graduate student must submit a Program of Study form within four semesters of entering the graduate program. Students will not be permitted to register for the fifth semester until the requirement is met. POS forms are available in the departmental office or over the web. Each student's POS should be designed to correct deficiencies in academic preparation, allow study of subject matter that most interests the student, and avoid repetition in areas where the student is well-prepared. The POS Committee assures departmental requirements are met before signing the POS form.
 
Graduate faculty members are encouraged to establish the POS course work for the student at the first meeting of the POS Committee. Written research proposals are formulated early in the student's graduate work. A copy of the proposal should be sent to the DOGE. 

The POS is signed by the student, committee members, Program Chair and the DOGE before being submitted to the Graduate College. When the Graduate College has approved the POS, one copy is returned to the student, one to the major professor and one to the Department.
 
All changes in an approved POS must be made in writing to the Graduate College with the agreement of the student, major professor, Program Chair and DOGE. Major changes, such as course substitution, changing from thesis to non-thesis, or vice versa, and deletion or addition of a declared minor, require POS Committee concurrence and the signature of the Program Chair, DOGE and the Graduate College.

All changes in an approved POS must be made in writing to the Graduate College with the agreement of the student, major professor, Program Chair and DOGE. Major changes, such as course substitution, changing from thesis to non-thesis, or vice versa, and deletion or addition of a declared minor, require POS Committee concurrence and the signature of the Program Chair, DOGE and the Graduate College.

 

Program of Study Committee and Program of Study Time Table

 

Before the 2nd semester:                    Form POS Committee
Before the 3rd semester:                     Develop Program of Study
Before the end of the 3rd semester:    Submit Recommendation for Committee Appointment form
Before the end of the 4th semester:    Submit Program of Study Form

Before the end of the 6th semester     Take preliminary exam

 

 

 

Additional Information

A complete pdf version of the VMPM handbook can be down loaded here.

All of the University regulations and requirements can be found in the Graduate College Handbook and the Graduate College Thesis Manual. They are available on the web through the ISU Graduate College Homepage (http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu). ISU Graduate College Forms are available on the web at http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/forms/student_forms.php). Other references you may wish to obtain include: General Catalog, Graduate College Catalog, Schedule of Classes, Iowa State University phone/e-mail directory (ISU Bookstore). Most, if not all, of these resources are available on the web at the ISU homepage (http://www.iastate.edu).

 

Other topics covered in VMPM handbook:

VMPM Graduate Student Annual Report

 

Preliminary Examinations

A written and oral examintion will be given by the POS committee. Successful completion of written and oral preliminary examinations results in admission to candidacy by the Graduate College.

All of the steps mandated by the University must be fulfilled. All members of the University faculty are free to attend preliminary and final examinations. The basic formats of these examinations can be found in the Graduate College handbook: http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/handbook/

 

 

Thesis & Dissertation Requirements


The Graduate College Thesis Manual, available free of charge from the Thesis Office, outlines requirements for the preparation and submission of theses and dissertations. It is recommended that the student submit a copy to the Graduate College early for format review. It is the responsibility of the student and major professor to ensure that the thesis or dissertation is ready for critical evaluation. Copies of the thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the members of the POS Committee at least two weeks before the final oral examination. All graduate students must submit their thesis or dissertation to the Chair for a signature two weeks prior to the Graduate College deposit deadline for the semester in which the student intends to graduate. 
Complete information can be found in the Graduate College handbook: http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/handbook/

Finishing up

Final Examination

  1. Students should schedule the final examination well in advance.
  2. Copies of the thesis or dissertation must be distributed to the POS Committee at least two weeks in advance of the final examination. Students are strongly advised to ask committee members if they wish to review draft copies of the thesis or dissertation and provide comments prior to scheduling the final examination and distribution to the whole committee. The thesis or dissertation should be of very high quality and the final examination should not be an exercise in thesis editing. Members of the POS Committee may request that the final examination be delayed until deficiencies are corrected.
  3. Students should expect a broad range of questions in the final examination.

Seminar and Publication Requirements

All students are required to deliver a special seminar summarizing their graduate research during the final semester of their graduation. The seminar does not necessarily have to be held in conjunction with the final defense, but frequently is. Additionally, a student should have submitted at least one manuscript for publication prior to the final defense of the dissertation. 
 

Diploma Slip Information

Students must complete and submit an Application for Graduation (Diploma Slip) according to the instructions listed on the form. The Diploma Slip should be submitted by the end of the first week of the semester in which the degree is expected, or by mid-May for a student wishing to graduate during summer session. Students who determine they cannot complete the requirements or meet deadlines for the semester they have indicated, should notify the departmental office and the Graduate College as soon as possible so their names can be removed from the commencement list. Failure to graduate as indicated requires a new Diploma Slip so that intent to graduate is formally re-established. A $15 graduation fee will be charged to all students during the term of actual graduation.

Exit Survey

All graduating students will receive  an exit survey form from the DOGE during the semester of graduation. 
Complete information can be found in the Graduate College handbook: http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/handbook/


Benefits 

Complete information can be found in the Graduate College handbook: http://www.grad-college.iastate.edu/common/handbook/ covering the following topics:

Sick Leave and Vacation for RAs and TAs

Insurance
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Holidays