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Graduate Programs

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Graduate Programs
  • 01

    Course work

    • Course work
  • 02

    Advancement to degree candidacy

    • A. General policies on the advancement to the degree candidacy
    • B. Qualifying examination
    • C. Foreign language (English) proficiency exam
  • 03

    Dissertation/Thesis defense guidelines

    • A. PhD & MS/PhD Program
    • B. MS Program
  • 04

    Polices on graduation

    • A. General requirements of graduation
    • B. PhD & MS/PhD program
    • C. MS program

Course work

The intent of the SIMS Graduate Program is to develop in the student an extensive working knowledge in biomedical sciences. This program involves an in-depth, independent, original research experience culminating in an approved dissertation. It is expected that the graduates will be properly equipped with the knowledge and training needed to independently conduct research in his/her area of specialty.

The SIMS Graduate Program requests for students to fulfill the following requirement to achieve graduate degrees. Students are strongly recommended discussing with their academic advisors to design courses in each semester.

  • MS, PhD and MS/PhD students should enroll as a full time student for at least 4, 5, and 7 semesters, respectively.
  • A minimum of 30, 36 and 60 credit hours is required for the MS, PhD and MS/PhD, respectively.
  • Total 6 research credits (2 credits per semester) are required.
  • Students can take up to 12 credit hours in each semester.
  • Total graduate point average (GPA) should be 3.0 or higher at a 4.5 scale.
  • The following courses are required
    • Advanced Biochemistry (8608, 3 credit hours)
    • Advanced Molecular Biology (4661, 3 credit hours)
    • Advanced Cell Biology (A652, 3 credit hours)

Advancement to degree candidacy

A. General policies on the advancement to the degree candidacy

  1. 1.All students must pass the qualifying examination consisting of 3 or 4 subjects to advance to the MS or PhD degree candidacy, respectively.
  2. 2.Students who have enrolled at least 2 semesters and have acquired at least 12 credit hours are eligible for the qualifying examination for the MS degree candidacy.
  3. 3.Students who have enrolled at least 3 semesters and have acquired at least 18 credit hours are eligible for the qualifying examination for the PhD degree candidacy.
  4. 4.Students who passed or were waived the foreign language (English) proficiency examination are eligible for the qualifying examination for the graduate degree candidacy.
    • Students who are pursuing the MS/PhD degree follow policies on the doctoral degree candidacy.

Advancement to degree candidacy

B. Qualifying examination

  1. 1.Eligible student should submit an application for the qualifying examination and pay the application fee (KRW 20,000/subject - KRW 60,000 for MS and KRW 80,000 for PhD) by due dates.
  2. 2.The qualifying examination may be taken in April or October of each year. The exact date and place of the examination will be announced by SCH graduate school.
  3. 3.The qualifying examination consists of following subjects.:
    • MS : Institute weekly seminar and two additional subjects among Advanced Biochemistry, Advance Molecular Biology, or Advance Cell Biology (total 3 subjects)
    • PhD : Advanced Biochemistry, Advanced Molecular Biology, Advanced Cell Biology, and an additional subject designated by student’s academic advisor (total 4 subjects)
  4. 4.The qualifying examination will be conducted as a comprehensive written examination to test student’s basic knowledge, research design and creative thinking. Professors of each subject will set exam questions and grade.
  5. 5.Status of pass or fail will be determined based on percentile scores. 70 percentile or higher scores in each subject will be considered as pass.
  6. 6.Examination for each subject must be completed in 60 minutes. No cellular phone or dictionary is allowed in the examination site.
  7. 7.Status of pass or fail will be individually informed at the portal site of SCH graduate school.
  8. 8.Students who fail on the examination may re-take the examinations with permission of graduate committee.
  9. 9.Students who fail on parts of the examination should re-take the examination on the failed subjects with permission of graduate committee.

Advancement to degree candidacy

C. Foreign language (English) proficiency exam

  1. 1.Graduate students should pass the foreign language (English) proficiency examination.
  2. 2.English proficiency examination is waived for those who have submitted accredited test scores, provided that the scores met the minimum requirement of SCH graduate school.
  3. 3.Students who have enrolled at least 2 semesters in the MS program and have acquired at least 12 credit hours (excluding research credits) are eligible for the English proficiency examination.
  4. 4.Students who have enrolled at least 3 semesters in the PhD program and have acquired at least 18 credit hours (excluding research credits) are eligible for the English proficiency examination.

Dissertation/Thesis defense guidelines

A. PhD & MS/PhD Program

The major advisor will be the supervisor of the student. The major advisor will oversee the student's program of study and the thesis research. The student and the major advisor will appoint the Thesis Committee for the student, consisting of more than three other members of the graduate faculty in the SIMS Graduate Program and at least one member of the Biology (or Biomedicine) graduate faculty from outside SIMS Graduate Program (five total members).
This committee is usually appointed no later than 6 months or sooner after passing the qualifying examination. A committee is not formed until a student has developed a dissertation topic and can provide at least an outline to a prospective faculty member so that they may make an informed decision about serving on that committee.

The advisory committee will be responsible for guiding the student as they prepare the PhD proposal and evaluate their comprehensive oral examination and dissertation defense. A meeting of the entire committee is required for the presentation of the dissertation proposal, the final defense, and at any time during the course of the program that the faculty advisor deems necessary to provide advice and guidance to the student.

If a member of the Thesis Committee cannot be present in the oral examination of the dissertation proposal or final defense, other members of the Thesis Committee (in consultation with the student’s supervisor, if possible) shall appoint a replacement for the absent member. At least two members of the original Advisory Committee, including the director of the Thesis Committee, must be present.
All members of the Thesis Committee in the examination of a PhD candidate should read the dissertation thoroughly prior to the examination.

Thesis Proposal

By the end of the next semester, but no later than 6 months after passing the qualifying examination, a thesis research proposal should be developed, presented to, and approved by the Thesis Committee. A copy of the proposal must be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and the SIMS Graduate Program. Only those students who have submitted a signed copy of the approved thesis proposal to the Thesis Committee may enroll in the thesis research program.

The dissertation research proposal should demonstrate that the student is acquainted with the literature relevant to the research problem. It demonstrates that the student understands how to apply the scientific method to this problem. It assures that the experimental design or research protocol involves the methods, materials, sample sizes, and statistical tests appropriate to the question. Basically, it ensures that the student knows what is to be done before the student proceeds. At the committee-student meeting, the above points should be addressed and discussed prior to approval of the proposal.

Mechanisms of the Thesis Proposal

Students who pass the written exam are qualified to move on to the Thesis Proposal and defense of their dissertation topic. Once the student has completed proposal document, the soft copy will be distributed to all dissertation committee members before scheduling the Thesis Proposal. Students and dissertation committee members should discuss and determine the schedule for Thesis Proposal.

Thesis Proposal should be completed within 6 months after the qualifying examination of the SIMS Graduate Program. It is strongly recommended that the proposal should be structured similar to research grant proposals (e.g. US NIH R21 or R01 format), and that should include the following key topics:

  1. 1.Hypotheses to be tested and research objectives or specific aims derived from students’ research hypothesis.
  2. 2.Description of the key background information and preliminary results that serve as the basis for the hypotheses.
  3. 3.Designs of experiments to test the hypotheses, accomplish specific aims or objective, and a discussion of possible outcomes and interpretation of those outcomes.
  4. 4.A rationale for each experimental approach, possible problems, or alternative plans for the proposed research.
  5. 5.A timetable for completion.
  6. 6.Titles of manuscripts and expected journals in which to publish research from the dissertation.

In the oral presentation of the Thesis Proposal, the student is expected to summarize the significance and rationale of the proposed experiments, and anticipated outcomes in approximately 30~45 minutes. The student should respond to the written feedback from the Thesis Committee. The presentation is accompanied and followed by questions from the Thesis Committee, concerning such issues as the proposed research, alternative hypotheses, and projected outcomes. Although the emphasis of questioning will be on the dissertation research, questions on any area of biology may be asked including, but not limited to, those topics from the qualifying exam where the student is deemed weak by the committee.

In preparation for the Thesis Proposal, the student is encouraged to discuss the written proposal and dissertation defense with the members of the Thesis Committee to ensure that the proposal will pass the Thesis Proposal.

Assessment of the Thesis Proposal

Each faculty member of the Thesis Committee records his/her scores on the “Assessment Sheet of the Thesis Proposal for PhD in integrated medi-bio science”. Following the oral component of the Thesis Proposal, the committee will vote on the performance of the student. The exam is meant as a single event, and all portions of the exam are to be considered when the members vote. The Thesis Committee will assign the student a decision of Pass, Provisional Pass, or Fail.

If the committee decision is “Pass”, the Thesis Committee will notify students with the decision at the meeting. The signed copies of proposal, exam form, and assessment forms should be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and the SIMS Graduate Program. If the committee decision is “Provisional Pass or Fail”, the committee will notify students and the SIMS Graduate Program with a decision and address specified deficiencies of the proposal in writing. The decision letter has to state details of deficiencies and provide suggestions to improve the proposal.

Three of 4 committee members must vote “Pass” in order for a student to pass the examination. If the candidate fails the Thesis Proposal, the student may be given a second opportunity to be examined if the dissertation committee recommends it with the approval of the student’s supervisor, the director of the Thesis Committee. The second exam must be completed within 3 months after the primary Thesis Proposal.

Oral Examination for the Progress Check

After the Thesis Proposal, the candidate has on oral examination to report his/her progress on the dissertation research to complete. The Thesis Committee conducts at least 3 examinations before the final dissertation defense.

The presentation is accompanied and followed by questions from and discussions with the Thesis Committee, concerning such issues as the proposed research, alternative hypotheses, and projected outcomes. The emphasis of questioning and directing will be on the students’ dissertation research. At the end of the oral examination, the Thesis Committee will assign a grade of “Pass” or “Fail”, based upon a majority vote of the Thesis Committee.

If the committee decision is “Pass”, the Thesis Committee will notify students with the decision at the meeting. The signed copies of exam and assessment forms should be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and the SIMS Graduate Program. If the committee decision is “Fail”, the committee will notify students and the SIMS Graduate Program with a decision and address specified deficiencies of the student’s thesis in writing.

Final Examination (Dissertation Defense)

Student and major advisor should schedule the last advisory committee meeting at least 6 months before the graduation committee meeting. If the student fulfills all requirements for graduation, the advisory committee will be transformed to the graduation committee after adding one more committee member from outside of SCHU. The candidate has a final oral examination involving public presentation and defense of the dissertation to complete. The Thesis Committee must be notified of the examination date, time, and place at least 1 month prior to the examination. At the end of the final oral examination, the Thesis Committee will assign a grade of “Pass” or “Not Pass”, based upon a majority vote of the Thesis Committee.

The Thesis Committee and the candidate may invite SIMS graduate students, friends and family members of the candidate to attend the public presentation, but not the defense after public presentation.

At the end of the examination, the Thesis Committee will assign a grade of “Pass” or “Fail”, based upon a majority vote of the Thesis Committee. The Thesis Committee will notify students of the decision at the end of the meeting. The signed copies of the exam form should be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and the SIMS Graduate Program.

The student who fails the final examination may be given a second opportunity to be examined if the dissertation committee recommends it with the approval of the student’s supervisor, the director of the Thesis Committee. The second exam must be completed within 6 months after the primary final examination. If a second failure on the final exam occurs, the candidate will be dismissed from the SIMS Graduate Program of doctoral degree.

Scheduling of Final Exam (Dissertation Defense)
  1. 1.In consultation with the Thesis Committee, the student arranges the date and location of the examination.
  2. 2.All oral exams must be held on regular class days between the first and last days of class (inclusive) of the semester. No exams may be scheduled on final-exam days or on “study days” or during interims between semesters.
  3. 3.All oral exams must be scheduled between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM such that at least 2 hours are available for the exam.
Public Presentation (only for PhD Candidate)

After getting permission at the last advisory committee meeting, the candidate has oral examination for the dissertation research of his/her thesis to public audience to complete.

  1. 1.In consultation with the Thesis Director and Committee, the student arranges the date and location of the presentation with the SIMS Graduate Program Office and secures approval from the Dean of the SIMS Graduate School; submit the Announcement of Doctoral Oral Exam form to the SIMS Graduate School at least 14 working days before the event.
  2. 2.The candidate also posts the Announcement of Doctoral Oral Examination form in the SIMS Graduate School.
  3. 3.Attendance at the oral presentation is open to the public. The seminar should summarize the dissertation and should last approximately 45 minutes.
  4. 4.All members of the SIMS faculty are encouraged to participate in the presentation.
  5. 5.The Thesis Committee and the candidate may invite SIMS graduate students to attend the exam. Friends and family members of the candidate being examined may also be invited to this public exam.

Dissertation/Thesis defense guidelines

B. MS Program

Major Advisor and Thesis Committee

The major advisor will be the supervisor of the student. The major advisor will oversee the student's program of study and the thesis research. The student and the major advisor will appoint the Thesis Committee for the student, consisting of two other members of graduate faculty in the SIMS Graduate Program (three total members).

This committee is usually appointed no later than 6 months before the dissertation/thesis defense of master degree, but may be appointed sooner. The major advisor, the student’s supervisor, will be responsible for guiding the student as they prepare the thesis and evaluating his/her dissertation defense. A meeting of the entire committee is required for the presentation of the defense.

If a member of the Thesis Committee cannot be present in the presentation of the defense, other members of the Thesis Committee (in consultation with the student’s supervisor, if possible) shall appoint a replacement for the absent member. At least two members of the original Advisory Committee, including the director of the Thesis Committee, must be present.

All members of the Thesis Committee in the examination should read the dissertation thoroughly prior to the examination

Thesis

y the end of the semester, at least 6 months before applying for the assessment for graduation, a thesis should be developed, presented to, and approved by the director of the Thesis Committee. A softcopy of the thesis must be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and the SIMS Graduate Program and distributed to all dissertation committee members, at least 1 month before the Dissertation Defense date. Only those students who have submitted a soft copy of the thesis and the application form of the defense to the Thesis Committee may enroll in the thesis defense program.

Dissertation/Thesis Defense

The MS candidate a final oral examination involving presentation and defense of the dissertation. The Thesis Committee must be notified of the examination date, time, and place at least 1 month prior to the examination. At the end of the final oral examination, the Thesis Committee will assign a grade of “Pass” or “Not Pass”, based upon a majority vote of the Thesis Committee.

The Thesis Committee will notify students of the decision at the meeting. The signed copies of the exam form should be submitted to the director of the Thesis Committee and SIMS Graduate Program.
The student who fails the oral examination may be given a second opportunity to be examined if the dissertation committee recommends it with the approval of the student’s supervisor, the director of the Thesis Committee. The second exam must be completed within 3 months after the primary oral examination. If a second failure on the final exam occurs, the candidate will be dismissed from the SIMS Graduate Program of master’s degree.

Scheduling of Dissertation/Thesis Defense
  1. 1.In consultation with the Thesis Committee, the student arranges the date and location of the examination.
  2. 2.All oral exams must be held on regular class days between the first and last days of class (inclusive) of the semester. No exams may be scheduled on final-exam days or on “study days” or during interims between semesters.
  3. 3.All oral exams must be scheduled between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM such that at least 2 hours are available for the exam.

Polices on graduation

A. General requirements of graduation

To graduate SIMS graduate program, students must complete the following requirements: a) complete graduate coursework; b) pass the English exam and take a departmental qualifying examination; c) submit the approved dissertation; and d) fulfill the publication requirement.

Polices on graduation

B. PhD & MS/PhD program

Course work

Throughout the PhD program, students are expected to maintain good academic standing, which means that students must meet the following standards:

  1. 1.A minimum of 36 credits (PhD) or 60 credits (MS/PhD) of graduate coursework, including Advanced Biochemistry, Advanced Molecular Biology, and Advanced Cell Biology
  2. 2.A minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate coursework
Dissertation

An original research dissertation is required for the PhD degree. A written proposal of the dissertation research must be approved by the student’s Thesis committee before the dissertation defense. Each student in the PhD program must present a seminar to the faculty and students on his/her dissertation research.

Publication requirement

Students pursuing PhD degree are required to have a minimum of one first author research paper published as a result of their research. Students and their advisors should ensure that at least one first author research manuscript has been submitted from the student’s thesis research within one semester of the Thesis Defense. Prior to scheduling the dissertation defense, students must show evidence to the graduate program director of having authored a minimum of one original manuscript that has been published in a peer-reviewed international journal with an impact factor higher than 5 or within the top 20% of their categories in Thomson Scientific Journal Ranking before graduation. Multiple research articles with a total impact factor higher than 5 can replace the publication requirement for gradation. The advisor of the student should be a corresponding author or co-author on the manuscript.

English Exam and Qualifying Exam

Students must pass or be waived from the English exam for the graduate degree candidacy. The qualifying exam must be taken following the policy of SCHU and SIMS graduate program.

Polices on graduation

C. MS program

Course work

Throughout the MS program, students are expected to maintain good academic standing, which means that students meet the following standards:

  1. 1.A minimum of 30 credits of graduate coursework, including Advanced Biochemistry, Advanced Molecular Biology, and Advanced Cell Biology
  2. 2.A minimum GPA of 3.0 in graduate coursework
Dissertation

An original research dissertation is required for the MS degree. A written proposal of the dissertation research must be approved by the student’s Thesis committee before the dissertation defense. Each student in the MS program must present a seminar to the faculty and student on his/her dissertation research.

Publication requirement

Students pursuing MS degree are required to have a minimum of one co-author research paper published as a result of their research. Students and their advisors should ensure that at least one co-author research manuscript has been submitted from the student’s thesis research before the dissertation defense. Prior to scheduling the dissertation defense, students must show evidence to the graduate program director of having authored a minimum of one original manuscript that has been published in a peer-reviewed national or international journal no later than 1 year after graduation. The advisor of the student should also be a co-author on the manuscript

English Exam and Qualifying Exam

Students must pass or be waived from the English exam for the graduate degree candidacy. The qualifying exam must be taken following the policy of SIMS graduate program and SCHU.