Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Student FAQs

You should begin searching for a Research Supervisor or multiple Rotation Supervisors prior to applying to our graduate programs. See the guidelines and policies associated with faculty supervisors for your specific program of interest within our website. Review the Program Faculty participant list for your program of interest in order to rapidly identify faculty with whom you wish to work. Once you have identified several faculty members whose research programs align with your interests, you should reach out to them directly about the possibility of joining their research lab.

Your Research Supervisor is ultimately responsible. The Supervisor and your Supervisory Committee must be consulted. Students entering a biology graduate program on rotations should consult with both their Rotation Supervisors and the Director or Associate Program Director for their program for assistance in selecting courses.

This will vary based on which program you wish to participate in. Please see details for your program of interest within our website under Academic Programs. Your Advisor/Supervisory Committee may require that you complete additional courses on top of those listed within the posted description of your program of interest.

Your Research Supervisor, in conjunction with your Supervisory Committee.

Any course in which you present at least one formal seminar. These include courses with titles which contain the words ‘seminar’, ‘journal club’, or ‘colloquium’.

Yes. However, the Ph.D. Program in Integrative Biology requires that students complete three seminars in separate semesters. As such, while enrolling in three seminars within the same semester is permitted, doing so will not fulfill that program requirement.

With approval from your Research Supervisor and Supervisory Committee, electives offered by other COS or COM departments may be taken to fulfill some program requirements. Refer to the guidelines and policies associated with your program for program-specific restrictions. You can also plan ahead by consulting historical course schedule data on the FAU web page and contacting the respective faculty who teach courses of interest to you.

Currently the Integrative Biology I core course is offered once a year by the Biology Department during the fall semester. The Statistics core requirement can be fulfilled by courses offered in the Biology, Math and Psychology Departments. Statistics is offered at least once a year. Scientific Communication is offered during the spring semester by the Department of Biology and is to be taken during the Ph.D. program participants during their second spring semester within in the program. Master’s students can request approval to take Scientific Communication as an elective however seats are limited and priority will always be given to Ph.D. students because the course is a core requirement for their program which must be taken within the right stage of the program.

Yes. Doctoral programs may accept a maximum of 36 credits earned elsewhere in an approved graduate program. A maximum of six graduate credits earned from another institution in a non-degree seeking status may be transferred. Your Advisor/Supervisory Committee must approve of the transfer. The core courses/journal club/seminar courses must be still taken at FAU. See the FAU catalog (Academic Policies and Regulations) for further details and restrictions.

The Teaching Assistantship stipend for PhD students in the Integrative Biology program is $20,000 per academic year. An academic year includes three subsequent semesters—fall, spring and summer. Assistantships also come with a tuition waiver; however, students do not receive a waiver of fees that pay for items such as parking decals, gym access, technology fee, etc.

The Research Assistantship stipend for Ph.D. students in the Integrative Biology program must pay at least $20,000 per academic year (subsequent fall, spring, and summer semesters). Faculty awarding the RAs out of their grant funds may choose to pay more than that amount if they are able to and wish to do so. This would be discussed directly between the student and the specific faculty member with whom they would work. Assistantships also come with a tuition waiver; however, students do not receive a waiver of fees that pay for items such as parking decals, gym access, technology fee, etc.

There are numerous student clubs and organizations in which graduate students can participate. Students in the IB Ph.D. Program typically participate in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), which is housed within Student Government and The Association of Biological and Biomedical Students (ABBS) which is housed within the Department of Biology.For a complete listing of all active FAU Student Organizations, visit Collegiate Link (and log in with your FAU username and password) or the Student Involvement & Leadership office.

Students interested in forming their own student organizations may do so through The Council of Student Organizations (COSO) under Student Involvement.

Direct all inquiries to the appropriate Program Coordinator: 

For students interested in the Biology Master’s Program or the Professional Science Master’s Program in Business Biotechnology, contact Mrs. Rebecca Dixon at rdixon@fau.edu.

For students interested in faculty and programs offered on the Boca Raton, Jupiter, Davie, or Harbor Branch campuses and or at any other off-site facility or affiliate institutions (MPFI or Scripps), contact Dr. Stacee Caplan at scaplan4@fau.edu.

For students interested in the Environmental Science Master’s Program, contact Mrs. Cynthia Berman-Gruen at cberman2@fau.edu.

New Students FAQs

Your Research Supervisor is ultimately responsible. The Supervisor and your Supervisory Committee must be consulted. Students entering a biology graduate program on rotations should consult with both their Rotation Supervisors and the Director or Associate Program Director for their program for assistance in selecting courses.

This will vary based on which program you wish to participate in. Please see details for your program of interest within our website under Academic Programs. Your Advisor/Supervisory Committee may require that you complete additional courses on top of those listed within the posted description of your program of interest.

Your Research Supervisor, in conjunction with your Supervisory Committee.

Any course in which you present at least one formal seminar. These include courses with titles which contain the words ‘seminar’, ‘journal club’, or ‘colloquium’.

Yes. However, the Ph.D. Program in Integrative Biology requires that students complete three semesters of seminar. As such, while enrolling in three seminars within the same semester is permitted, doing so will not fulfill that program requirement.

With approval from your Research Supervisor and Supervisory Committee, electives offered by other COS or COM departments may be taken to fulfill some program requirements. Refer to the guidelines and policies associated with your program for program-specific restrictions. You can also plan ahead by consulting historical course schedule data on the FAU web page and contacting the respective faculty who teach courses of interest to you.

Currently the Integrative Biology I core course is offered once a year by the Biology Department during the fall semester. The Statistics core requirement can be fulfilled by courses offered in the Biology, Math and Psychology Departments. Statistics is offered at least once a year. Scientific Communication is offered during the spring semester by the Department of Biology and is to be taken during the Ph.D. program participants during their second spring semester within in the program. Master’s students can request approval to take Scientific Communication as an elective however seats are limited and priority will always be given to Ph.D. students because the course is a core requirement for their program which must be taken within the right stage of the program.

Yes. Doctoral programs may accept a maximum of 36 credits earned elsewhere in an approved graduate program. A maximum of six graduate credits earned from another institution in a non-degree seeking status may be transferred. Your Advisor/Supervisory Committee must approve of the transfer. The core courses/journal club/seminar courses must be still taken at FAU. See the FAU catalog (Academic Policies and Regulations) for further details and restrictions.

There are numerous student clubs and organizations in which graduate students can participate. Students in the IB Ph.D. Program typically participate in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), which is housed within Student Government and The Association of Biological and Biomedical Students (ABBS) which is housed within the Department of Biology.For a complete listing of allactive FAU Student Organizations, visit Collegiate Link (and log in with your FAU username and password) or the Student Involvement & Leadership office. 

Students interested in forming their own student organizations may do so through The Council of Student Organizations (COSO) under Student Involvement.

Direct all inquiries to the appropriate Program Coordinator: 

For students participating in the Biology Master’s Program or the Professional Science Master’s Program in Business Biotechnology, contact Mrs. Rebecca Dixon at rdixon@fau.edu.

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program on the Boca Raton, Jupiter, Harbor Branch, or Davie campuses and or at any other off-site facility or affiliate institutions (MPFI or Scripps), contact Dr. Stacee Caplan at scaplan4@fau.edu.

For students participating in the Environmental Science Master’s Program, contact Mrs. Cynthia Berman-Gruen at cberman2@fau.edu.

Current Student FAQs

Students working full-time toward a Master’s degree are expected to complete all requirements within two (2) years after entering the program.  

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, the core course (three courses) and elective requirements (nine credits) must be fulfilled prior to Advancement to Candidacy (formal defense of the dissertation proposal which should occur by the end of Year 3 Semester 1). The Ph.D. Program seminar requirement can be fulfilled any time before graduation. Ph.D. students typically do not enroll in further coursework upon achieving candidacy however you are not prohibited from doing so.

For students participating in a Biology M.S. Program, the thesis committee must be formed by the end of the second semester "masters students must select a Biology faculty advisor from the list of participating master’s program Biology faculty available here."

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, the Supervisory Committee must be in place before the end of first semester so that the committee may provide input on your elective course selections. Students on rotation who have not yet identified a Ph.D. Supervisor should plan to form their committees within two months of choosing a supervisor. Students must identify a Supervisor by the end of the second semester. The Dissertation Committee must be in place by the end of Year 2 and prior to the candidacy exam.

For students participating in a Biology M.S. Program, your Committee will consist of three members of the Biology Faculty. 

Procedures for Masters Program Committee Formation

1) In consultation with your Advisor, contact (no later than term 2) two additional Biology Faculty members to serve on the Graduate Supervisory Committee. The Advisor for all PSM-BB students will be designated by the Department, and the MS Graduate Programs in Biology will represent the rest of the committee.

2) Official verification of the Graduate Supervisory Committee must be completed in writing. Please download the Committee Formation form at http://www.science.fau.edu/biology/masters/masters-forms.html

3) Each professor agreeing to serve on the committee must sign the form, which is then turned in at the Biology Office.

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, the Supervisory Committee should consist of three members of the IB Ph.D. Program Faculty including your advisor. Four members of the IB Ph.D. Program Faculty, including your advisor, should form the Dissertation Committee. The same three members of the Supervisory Committee can serve on the Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Committee must have at least one member whose research specialization is outside of your immediate area of research. At least one member of both committees must have previously trained a Ph.D. student. At least three members of the Dissertation Committee must be FAU faculty (non-affiliates). An Affiliate Faculty Research Supervisor/Committee Chair requires an FAU Faculty Co-chair.

Your advisor is responsible for your summer support. Consult with your Supervisor in January to understand your options. There are limited summer Teaching Assistant (TA) positions available in the Biology Department.

For students participating in a Biology M.S. Program, there are limited summer Teaching Assistant (TA) positions available in the Biology Department.  We do no guarantee summer support. 

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, a TA request must come from your supervisor to a Program Coordinator.

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, only your Research Supervisor can request TA support. The supervisor should submit requests directly to a Ph.D. Program Coordinator.

For Masters student participants, the Program Assistant sends out an email each semester with a deadline by which a response is required.

For Ph.D. Students, requests must be submitted by May 15 for fall support, by Oct 15 for spring support and by April 1 for summer support. A new request must be submitted for each semester in which the student wishes to obtain a TA position.

Yes. Requests must be submitted by May 15 for fall support, by Oct 15 for spring support and by April 1 for summer support. A new request must be submitted for each semester in which the student wishes to obtain a TA position.

Yes. But your advisor must alert a Program Coordinator and a Laboratory Coordinator of an intended change in support status by the deadlines posted above. A late request to switch from RA to TA will not be possible if all TA positions have already been filled. A late request to switch from TA to RA may result in denial of a subsequent TA request.

For students participating in a Biology M.S. Program, an Annual Evaluation must be submitted prior to the final exam week during the spring semester (the specific deadline date will be established and sent out via email to all students earlier in the spring semester), the student and his/her advisor are required to submit to the MS Graduate Programs in Biology Committee a form (which will be distributed to students near the end of the spring term).

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program or one of its concentrations, there are two:

The first is a Milestones Checklist which must be updated by each Ph.D. student and submitted by the end of Year 1 Semester 1 and then resubmitted annually at the beginning of each subsequent fall semester.

The second is an Annual Research Progress Report which must be submitted for each student by their Research Supervisor at the beginning of each fall semester starting in Year 3 Semester 1. These records are stored in your student file by a Program Coordinator. They require original signatures and may be updated more than once a year if needed.

Yes. Doctoral programs may accept a maximum of 36 credits earned elsewhere in an approved graduate program. A maximum of six graduate credits earned from another institution in a non-degree seeking status may be transferred. Your Supervisor/Supervisory Committee must approve of the transfer. The core courses/journal club/seminar courses must be still taken at FAU. See the FAU catalog (Academic Policies and Regulations) for further details and restrictions.

There are numerous student clubs and organizations in which graduate students can participate. Students in the biology graduate programs typically participate in the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA), which is housed within Student Government and The Association of Biological and Biomedical Students (ABBS) and the Association of Integrative Biology Students (IB Club) which are housed within the Department of Biology (see Student Organizations within the Student Resources portion of this webpage). For a complete listing of all active FAU Student Organizations, visit Collegiate Link (and log in with your FAU username and password) or the Student Involvement & Leadership office.

Students interested in forming their own student organizations may do so through The Council of Student Organizations (COSO) under Student Involvement.

Direct all inquiries to the appropriate Program Coordinator: 

For students participating in the Biology Master’s Program or the Professional Science Master’s Program in Business Biotechnology, contact Mrs. Rebecca Dixon at rdixon@fau.edu.

For students participating in the Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program on the Boca Raton, Jupiter, Harbor Branch, or Davie campuses and or at any other off-site facility or at affiliate institutions (MPFI or Scripps), contact Dr. Stacee Caplan at scaplan4@fau.edu.

For students participating in the Environmental Science Master’s Program, contact Mrs. Cynthia Berman-Gruen at cberman2@fau.edu.

See our Student Support, Scholarships and Financial Aid page.

See the International Student and Scholar Support Services office website.

Submit a form 14 (see Graduate College Forms) to your Program Coordinator.  Be sure to specify on the form that you will be working full time with a reduced enrollment and state why you require full time status (e.g. for loan deferment eligibility, health insurance eligibility, scholarship/fellowship eligibility).  Students petitioning for full time status with a reduced enrollment must be enrolled in at least one research credit during the semester in which they are petitioning for said status.

Log into the MYFAU webportal

Click on Self-Service

Click on Student Loan Deferment Status and Enrollment Verification

Select Current Enrollment

Click on Obtain an Enrollment Certificate

The Enrollment Certificate is updated periodically and it may be that your form has been processed but your status on this page does not yet display as full time.  If you have submitted a form 14 some time ago and your enrollment certificate does not code you as full time, please send an email to the appropriate Graduate College staff member (see the Graduate College Staff page) and copy your program coordinator and Helen Randall in the College of Science Dean’s Office (hrandal3@fau.edu) to inquire as to the status of your full time status request.