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Current Students FAQ

How do I choose my Ph.D. committee?  

This is a good thing to discuss with your advisor.  Your committee should have 4 people: your advisor plus two members from the CCB grad group and one member outside of the CCB grad group.  The outside member must be present for exams but need not be present for annual meetings. In deciding on committee members, you might think about which faculty have complementary research interests so will be able to give research suggestions.

What do I do for my annual committee meeting?  

Often these are scheduled for the summer when people's schedules are a bit less hectic. However, there is often a lot of traveling happening in the summer, so it is good to try to schedule this meeting with your Ph.D. committee two or three months in advance. Before your meeting, you and your advisor should fill out this form and then send it to the committee. During your annual meeting with your committee, it is a good idea to prepare some slides on: classes taken, conferences attended, talks/posters presented, papers published, and then to give a short research update as well as an idea on future plans. 

How should I prepare for my qualifying exam? 

Karina prepared this awesome document to guide you through the process!  The committee will ask you about topics related to your research and chemistry fundamentals. They will want to see how you explain things, so the more practice you have explaining and answering questions, the better. Get together with your fellow grad students and practice. Students who have taken their qualifying exam will have an idea of the kinds of questions that faculty might like to ask (e.g. "Professor Isborn always asks about harmonic oscillators..."), so ask them for advice.