Guidelines

Information, Guidelines, and Expectations of Students in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program (PSGP)

The purpose of this communication is to provide information, guidelines and outline expectations for new students in the PSGP.  More detailed and additional information can be found in the following resources:

  1. Procedures Governing the Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program.
  2. A Bulletin of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Graduate Studies  click here
  3. Website of Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program click here
  4. PSGP Guidelines and Expectations

M.S. Year 1

  1. First Day of Classes:  Graduate Studies Academic Calendar
  2. In the Fall semester of their first year, all incoming PSGP M.S. students are required to take PHSC 845 (Quantitative Pharmaceutical Analysis) and, if not waived, IPBS 801 (Fundamentals of Biomolecules).
  3. All incoming PSGP M.S. students are required to meet at least six PSGP faculty members within the first month to discuss the faculty’s research program. Students must: 1) obtain signatures from the faculty they meet with; 2) select four faculty whose laboratory he/she would like to join; and 3) return these forms to Department Administrator no later than one month after starting the program.
  4. A research advisor must be chosen within 6 months from the date of admission, but should happen much earlier than this. The research advisor must be a PSGP faculty. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be completed and submitted by 3 months after entering the program.
  5. In consultation with their research advisor, all students must form an Advisory Committee within 6 months after entering the program. The Advisory Committee must consist of the research advisor and at least two additional faculty members with graduate faculty status.
  6. The Advisory Committee must meet and approve a program of study within the 6 months from the date of admission to the program.
  7. Attendance is mandatory for all departmental, college, CDDN, and defense seminars. Up to four unexcused absences per semester are allowed.

M.S. Years 2+

  1. The Supervisory Committee must meet every six months to evaluate academic and research progress of the student. Meeting minutes should be distributed as outlined below.
  2. Comprehensive Exam should be taken no more than 10 months prior to completing all Masters requirements.
  3. Final Oral Exam (Thesis Defense) - All PSGP M.S. students are required to give a 20-30 min research presentation to the department followed by an oral examination by the advisory committee.
  4. Attendance is mandatory for all departmental, college, CDDN, and defense seminars. Up to four unexcused absences per semester are allowed.

Ph.D. Year 1

  1. First Day of Classes:  Graduate Studies Academic Calendar
  2. In the Fall semester of their first year, all incoming PSGP Ph.D. students are required to take PHSC 845 (Quantitative Pharmaceutical Analysis) and one of the following IPBS courses: IPBS 801 Fundamentals of Biomolecules or IPBS 802 Molecular Cell Biology.
  3. Unless funded by a Research Assistantship (RA) from an individual faculty, all incoming PSGP students are required to meet at least six PSGP faculty members within the first four weeks to discuss the faculty research program and plan rotations. Students must obtain signatures from the faculty they meet with and return the form to Department Administrator no later than one month after starting the program.
  4. Unless funded by a RA from an individual faculty, all incoming PSGP Ph.D. students must complete at least two 8-12 weeks lab rotations within the first nine months following the date of admission. At least two of these rotations should be with PSGP faculty with a primary appointment in the College of Pharmacy.
  5. In addition to the two rotations within the College of Pharmacy, students may choose, unless restricted by recruitment conditions, to complete additional laboratory rotations in research groups of PSGP faculty with a primary appointment outside the College of Pharmacy.
  6. Students funded by RA may complete a lab rotation with the approval of the faculty member providing the RA.
  7. Students recruited by the College of Pharmacy through national and international scholarship programs are required to rotate and select research advisors from PSGP faculty with primary appointment in the College of Pharmacy.
  8. A research advisor must be chosen within 9 months from the date of admission. The research advisor must be a PSGP faculty member.
  9. In consultation with their research advisor, all students must form a Supervisory Committee within 10 months from date of admission. The Supervisory Committee must consist of the research advisor and at least three additional faculty members with graduate faculty status.
  10. The Supervisory Committee must meet and approve a program of study within the first 13 months from the date of admission to the program.
  11. An Individual Development Plan (IDP) must be completed and submitted by 12 months after entering the program.
  12. Attendance is mandatory for all departmental, college, CDDN, and defense seminars. Up to four unexcused absences per semester are allowed.

Ph.D. Years 2+

  1. The Supervisory Committee must meet every six months to evaluate academic and research progress of the student. Meeting minutes should be distributed as outlined below.
  2. Comprehensive Exam should be taken by the end of year 3 in the program. The comprehensive examination includes a 25-minute public presentation.
  3. All PSGP students are required to give one 30-minute seminar on the topic of their graduate research in year 3 or 4 in the program. The seminar requirement may be waived by the PSGP Chair when a student provides evidence of giving an oral presentation at a national or international conference.
  4. Attendance is mandatory for all departmental, college, CDDN, and defense seminars. Up to four unexcused absences per semester are allowed.

Advisory/Supervisory Committee

  1. After the student has identified a research advisor, their Advisory (M.S.) or Supervisory (Ph.D.) committee should be formally established.
  2. A Ph.D. Supervisory committee must consist of at least four members of the University of Nebraska Graduate Faculty.
  3. An M.S. Advisory committee must consist of a minimum of three Graduate Faculty members.
  4. Advisory/supervisory committees must meet every six months.
  5. Minutes of all committee meetings, after the review from advisor, should be uploaded into Sequidor and sent to the PSGP Chair, all committee members, and the department administrative assistant.

PSGP and Other Seminars

  1. Regular Department seminar is held during the Fall and Spring semesters (PHSC 970: Seminar in Pharmaceutical Sciences). Attendance by all full-time and part-time PSGP students is mandatory. Students who are located off-campus must arrange to attend an equivalent weekly seminar.
  2. Any absence from a Department seminar must be explained to and pre-approved by the faculty member coordinating the seminar. More than four absences per semester without a valid reason will result in an “F” grade for the course.
  3. It is expected that, in addition to the Department seminar, all graduate students will attend any other seminar presented by visiting researchers (e.g. faculty candidates, guests from industry, or other academic institutions).
  4. All students must attend the oral defense presentation of any member of the PSGP.

Laboratory Safety and Etiquette

  1. Students must not undertake any laboratory work until they have read the UNMC Safety Manual and are prepared to conform to the required standards and requirements.  
  2. Students are reminded that the most common breaches of laboratory safety include the following: 1) not wearing appropriate clothing e.g., shorts & open foot wear are not allowed, 2) not wearing laboratory coats and/or safety glasses, 3) consuming food and drink, 4) storing food and drink in laboratory refrigerators, 5) incorrectly packaging and storing bio-hazardous material for disposal, 6) incorrectly disposing of broken glass, 7) discarding disposable pipettes in plastic trash containers, and 8) inadequately labeling chemicals and solutions that are on the bench or stored in refrigerators.
  3. Students must know the location of the safety shower and fire extinguisher in each laboratory they work.
  4. Report all safety concerns to your advisor, the Chair of the College of Pharmacy’s Safety Committee, and/or Chair of the department.
  5. Students should know who is Chairperson of the COP Safety Committee.  Currently it is Dr. Sorin Luca.
  6. Scientific equipment is expensive.  Do not use any equipment until you have been appropriately trained to use it correctly. 
  7. Leave all equipment in the condition that you found it, or better.  Accidents happen and equipment fails from time to time.  Immediately report any equipment failure, breakage, or substandard performance to your advisor. 
  8. Record the use of the equipment in the log book.
  9. Do not use or remove chemical, solvents or equipment from any other laboratory without the appropriate faculty member’s permission.
  10. The first PSGP seminar in fall is a safety seminar.  Attendance is mandatory and all students must sign the form stating they are familiar with the safety regulations in the college.  This signed form is to be maintained in the safety file.
  11. The College now uses the UNMC safety manual, which can be accessed on line at Safety Office website.

Comprehensive examination

Students are expected to take their comprehensive (admission to candidacy) examination immediately after completing the course requirements i.e., typically during their second year in the program.

Interactions with the PSGP Administrator

Administrators are busy.  Do not expect telephone orders for overnight delivery.  Plan your research in advance.

  1. Stationery supplies in the department are for faculty use only.  If you need access to anything in the administrators area, ask their permission.
  2. If you need a document printed using the color printer, ask the administrator to identify a time that will be convenient for them or email them the item for printing at their convenience.