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FAQ - Current Students

Answers to the questions asked frequently:

How many credits should I sign up for each semester?  You should sign up for approximately nine credits but there could be variables in this due to the length of time you have been in the program.  

How do I request help for travel that I want to take relevant to my research area?

What is a POSC?  POSC means Program of Study Committee - for details of what POSC involves click here.

What are the responsibilities of the POSC Committee?  POS Committee Responsibilities:  A Summary

How do I set up my first POSC meeting? 

Setting up your first POS meeting:  By the end of the first year in the major professor’s laboratory, a Ph.D. student majoring in Genetics and Genomics must formally set up a Program of Study (POS).  To accomplish this, the student contacts committee members to select a date for a committee meeting (at least 3 committee members must attend for Ph.D. and 2 committee members for M.S. degree).  One week prior to that meeting, the student must present a written basic research plan to all members of the POS committee.  In the written proposal, the student should provide information about educational and research backgrounds, outline basic questions to be pursued in the Ph.D. research, and indicate some of the basic research strategies to be employed and possible future directions (impact of the research).  During the oral presentation, the student should carefully consider feedback from the committee members, as they often have good insights and advice for research and career enhancement. The student should coordinate with committee members unable to attend this first POS meeting, individually providing the same oral presentation that was given to the group.   

Good Strategies for setting up POS meetings.  Students need to realize that many professors have very full schedules.      
1.  Talk with major professor about possible dates, amount of time required for the meeting
2.  Identify DAYS that everyone on your POS committee will be present in Ames. A two-week interval several weeks in the future for initial and annual
(usually 1 to 2 hours). At least a month in the future for prelim and final defense seminars (usually 2 to 3 hours)
3.  Identify windows (several hours) on those days when your POS faculty are available.  You should identify how much time (hours) will be needed in      during this part of the contact. (Students might opt to use an on-line free scheduling program like Doodle for finding out which hours everyone is available.)
4.  After the faculty respond, the student can select one or a few times when everyone appears to be free, and when a room is available for the meeting, and again solicit the opinions of the  POS committee members. 
5.  This whole process needs to be completed in one or two days so that slots that were free during the initial inquiry remain free.  E-mail is the preferred method of communication.

Yearly POS meetings:  Genetics and Genomics students should meet with their committees annually.  At least 3 members for Ph.D. and 2 members for M.S. must be present.  The student is responsible for setting up these meetings.

Who do I need to have on my POSC committee?  

  • Ph.D. students POS will require five faculty and 72 credits
    • Graduate College Handbook Information:  
    • Three faculty must be genetics faculty
    • One faculty member must be listed as “outside”; this is up to you and your major prof.
      • The “outside” faculty member can be a faculty member in Genetics and Genomics and/or your home department.   
      • The outside graduate faculty member(s) of the POS committee provide relevant specialized knowledge or a different perspective helpful to the planning, execution, and reporting of research, or some aspect of intellectual diversity deemed important by the committee and/or major.
  • M.S. students POS will need three faculty and 32 credits
    • Two faculty must be genetics faculty: 
    • One faculty member must be listed as “outside”; this is up to you and your major prof.

I need to add or drop a course where do I find an add/drop form?  This is done through AccessPlus.  You will find a "Registrar Forms" and use the "Schedule Change Form".

How do I show on my POSC I have met the BBMB 404 and STAT 587 (previously known as STAT 401) requirements since I didn’t take them here?  Show how you met this requirement in the comments section of the POSC  ▪ “example”:  Took STAT 503 at U of Missouri; was approved by IGG as meeting STAT 401 (renumbered STAT 587) requirement

How do I show my 4th 400 level course.  I can only show STAT 401(renumbered STAT 587), BBMB 404, STAT 402 and I took STAT 416 (renumbered STAT 581) as well?  STAT 416(renumbered STAT 581) is a core course so it should be on your POSC.  Choose one of the other courses and put it in the comments section of the POSC showing when you took it and the grade.