What is good standing?
IB students are in "good standing" if they:
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above.
- The department has the student's current Annual Review on file
(submitted to GSAO, Monica Albe, by relevant cohort deadline each academic year).
- Are making satisfactory progress toward their dissertation
(this is determined by a student's mentor and committee, with consideration of the below timeline, the student's research goals, and whether the student is within normative time).
First Year Students
Form your Advisory Committee under the guidance of your faculty mentor. The committee should be made up of your faculty mentor plus two other faculty, at least one from the IB department. You can read more about the advisory committee and IB advising structure here. Your first IB annual review, signed by your advisory committee, is due near the beginning of the Fall semester (see here for the specific deadline).
Take courses that will round out any obvious gaps in your academic background (your advisory committee will help you choose appropriate classes). The department highly recommends students take IB 305, "Academic Survivorship." We also recommend students review IB graduate seminars and courses available for each upcoming semester.
Advanced Evolution Course
Take an advanced course in evolution. IB 160, a course in general evolution with discussions of micro- and macroevolution, will satisfy this requirement. This course must be taken for a letter grade. The IB Head Faculty Graduate Advisor may approve another course, or a previously taken course equivalent to IB 160.
Fellowships & Awards
Apply for National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Pre-doctoral Fellowships, and/or other fellowships. Please see the Graduate Division's guide to fellowships.
Enroll in IB 375, the Teaching Colloquium. All graduate students must participate in this course either prior to or concurrent with teaching their first semester. Two semesters of teaching experience are a Ph.D. requirement and fulfill the Graduate Student Instructor training requirement mandated by the Dean of the Graduate Division. If IB 375 conflicts with another course you're taking, please consider taking an equivalent 375 level course in another department (see list of available courses here). Students should also review UC Berkeley's Teaching Guide for GSIs to prepare for their upcoming GSI appointments.
For U.S. citizens and permanent residents, begin gathering materials and filing for California residency. Filing for CA residency allows eligible students to save over $15,000/yr. If students do not establish CA residency by the summer after their first academic year, they will be responsible for covering the non-resident tuition in their second year.
Second Year Students
All students should meet with your Advisory Committee early in the fall semester to get advice for the year and prepare for the qualifying examination (including help in choosing a Qualifying Exam Committee). Please read the details of your IB annual review here. Your annual review, signed by your advisory committee, is due at the beginning of October (see here for the specific deadline).
You may decide, in consultation with your advisory committee, that you would benefit from additional coursework in preparation for your qualifying exam or dissertation. We also recommend students review IB graduate seminars and courses available for each upcoming semester.
Fellowships & Awards
Each year, students should review the available departmental, campus, society, national and international awards and fellowships they may want to pursue and make a plan for the year. Please see the Graduate Division's guide to fellowships. If you think you'd be a good candidate for the UC Berkeley Mentored Research Award, please discuss with your faculty mentor (the IB department has an internal competition and then nominates an IB candidate for the campus competition early in the Spring).
Qualifying Examination Preparation
During the third semester, you should form your Qualifying Examination Committee. (Sometimes, international students choose to do this in their first year to avoid the NRST fees in their second year). Please read the guidelines of IB Qualifying Exams here. This QE committee may include members of your Advisory Committee with the exception of your faculty mentor. You MUST have your QE committee reviewed and approved by the IB Head Graduate Advisor and then submit your QE committee into CalCentral by October 15th. The department recommends that students meet with each QE committee member at least three times to prepare for the exam.
Students normally take the QE in the spring semester of their second year and QE must be completed by the end of the spring semester. See IB QE Guidelines for more information.
Assemble Dissertation Committee
Soon after passing your Qualifying Exam, form your Dissertation Committee and petition for Advancement to Candidacy. Please review the policy on IB Dissertation Committees here. Your IB faculty mentor(s) should be the chair/co-chairs of your dissertation committee. Please work with your faculty mentor to devise the rest of your dissertation committee. Students advance to candidacy by submitting their proposed Dissertation Committee into CalCentral using the Higher Degrees Committee Form. (The IB department covers the associated fee.) Please talk to with IB's Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, if you are hoping to add a non-academic senate member to your dissertation committee.
Third Year Students
Dissertation Research Proposal
By the beginning of the Fall semester, all third-year students should have advanced to candidacy. In preparation for their first dissertation committee meeting, they need to prepare an eight-page dissertation proposal. The plan should contain goals, hypotheses, and planned methods of data gathering/analysis for each chapter of the dissertation -- it should be an expansion of the two-page outline they prepared for the annual review in their second year. Students should supply their 8-page proposal to their dissertation committee at least two weeks before their annual review. The dissertation committee has the right to require modification to the dissertation proposal before approving it.
All students should meet with your Dissertation Committee in the fall semester. Please read the details of your IB annual review here. Your annual review, signed by your dissertation committee, is due at the beginning of November (see here for the specific deadline).
Fellowships & Awards
Each year, students should review the available departmental, campus, society, national and international awards and fellowships they may want to pursue and make a plan for the year. Please see the Graduate Division's guide to fellowships.
Professional development should be a priority throughout a student's time at Berkeley. Building your scientific and professional network takes time, so don't forget to spend time on it as you progress in your PhD program. See the Graduate Division's Professional Development Guide, and discuss ideas with your faculty mentor and your dissertation committee. We recommend IB graduate students present their work (talk or poster) at a scientific/professional conference at least once a year.
Fourth and Fifth Year Students
All students should meet with their Dissertation Committees in the fall semester. Please read the details of your IB annual review here. Your annual review, signed by your dissertation committee, is due at the beginning of December (see here for the specific deadline).
Fellowships & Awards
Each year, students should review the available departmental, campus, society, national and international awards and fellowships they may want to pursue and make a plan for the year. Please see the Graduate Division's guide to fellowships. Consider fellowships for students who are in the advanced stages of their PhD, like the UC Dissertation-Year Fellowship (the IB department has an internal competition and then nominates an IB candidate for the campus competition early in the Spring). Students hoping to continue in academia/research should also begin looking for postdoctoral fellowships (check out this list of postdoc funding opportunities) to help plan out the final stages of their PhD and their path after filing.
Continue to seek opportunities through the Graduate Division's Professional Development Guide. Students may also want to review the members of IB's PhD private LinkedIn group (Monica can provide you with the link) to see what careers our PhD alumni have pursued. In addition to presenting at scientific/professional conferences, students should consider what other activities or projects will help them attain their career goals. We recommend setting up informational interviews with people who hold careers you're interested in. Students should also make a plan for when they will be giving their department finishing talk -- although this is not an absolute PhD requirement, it is highly encouraged of all graduating students.
CalCentral Academic Progress Report Check-In
If you are getting close to graduation, set up an appointment with IB's Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, to review your CalCentral Academic Progress Report. Make sure you have fulfilled all of the basic requirements for your PhD -- like your required two semesters of GSIs, course requirements, etc. If you haven't already gained teaching experience by working as a Graduate Student Instructor for two semesters, you should do so now.
File your dissertation.
Students should familiarize themselves with the requirements for Berkeley PhD Dissertations. See the IB Dissertation Overview and if you have any questions, please set up a meeting with IB's Graduate Student Services Advisor, Monica Albe, to ensure you are aware of all the associated rules. Don't risk being surprised by a rule right before submitting!