Academic Program Plan for Doctoral Students
This timeline contains the required and recommended benchmarks for the successful completion of the doctoral degree. Specific details can be found in the EEB Graduate Handbook
- During week 0, attend new student orientation and take EEB 201, Introduction to R for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
- Students who are not California residents must begin gathering documentation to establish residency the following summer.
- Sept/October: Students must form and meet as soon as possible with their Guidance Committee to plan coursework for their first year.
- Take EEB 200A, Evolution
- October: Attend weekend field excursion for new students, EEB 296
- Take EEB 200 B, Ecology
- By the end of Winter quarter, submit the first draft of the Departmental Written Qualifying Exam to guidance committee for feedback.
- Take EEB 200 C, Animal Behavior if needed.
- Take EEB 250, Professional Skills for Biological Research
- Take EEB 495, TA Preparation Seminar
- By week 8 of Spring quarter, submit the final draft of the Departmental Written Qualifying Exam to guidance committee. Students must pass this exam at the PhD level before Year 2.
- Conduct pilot studies, develop dissertation proposal.
- Students who are not California residents, must apply for residency. The department does not guarantee payment of non-resident tuition for students who fail to obtain residency.
- Take an advanced quantitative course in Statistics, Biostatics, or Bioinformatics. This may be taken in later years if approved by faculty advisor.
- Form doctoral committee.
- Students must pass the Qualifying Exam and advance to doctoral candidacy between the end of the second year and Winter quarter of Year 3.
- Any student who has not advanced to candidacy by the end of the Winter Quarter of Year 3 will lose “good standing” and be ineligible for on-going Departmental or University support (e.g., Teaching Assistantships and UCLA fellowships).
- Students must meet with entire committee some time during year 3. This is an annual requirement starting the year after advancement to candidacy, but it’s always a good idea for students to stay in touch with committee members. A single meeting with all the committee present is preferable, but if it is logistically difficult or impossible individual meetings are acceptable.
Years 4 and Year 5
- Until students have completed the Ph.D., each year they must arrange a meeting with dissertation committee members and file an annual progress report signed by all committee members with the Graduate Student Affairs Officer.
- Attend conferences, career events and panels, to strengthen professional networks for upcoming job searches. Students should be applying for positions at least one year before they plan to file the dissertation.
- Late February/early-March (annually): Students should apply for the UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship one year in advance of their final year.
- Students must be enrolled in the quarter they plan to file the dissertation, or pay a “filing fee” in lieu of tuition during the filing quarter. Graduate Division deadlines vary by quarter, but typically dissertations are due a few weeks before the end of the quarter.
Revised: March 21, 2019