Wayne State University

Degree requirements

Requirements for the Master of Science degree

In addition to the policies described herein, master's candidates must fulfill all established requirements of the Graduate School described in the most recent issue of the University Graduate Bulletin.

Advisor and Advisory Committee. The Master's Research Committee serves to approve students' thesis proposals, monitor progress toward completion of research requirements, and conduct the Master’s Thesis Defense. Either one (1) member of the Research Committee or the Committee moderator shall be a graduate faculty member outside the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Master's degree students shall present written progress reports to their Research Committee members at least once a year. The Master's Thesis must receive the Research Committee's approval for defense prior to scheduling a date for the defense.

Master's Thesis Research Outline. The Master's Thesis Research Outline must be filed with the graduate officer of the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences after applicants have advanced to candidacy and before registration in more than four hours of PSC 8999 (Master's Thesis Research and Direction). The completed form must be accompanied by a prospectus describing the research project.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree

In addition to the policies described herein, doctoral students must fulfill all established requirements of the Graduate School described in the most recent issue of the University Graduate Bulletin.

Advisor and Advisory Committee. The advisor, in consultation with the Dissertation Committee, represents the department in helping students plan their program of study. Additionally, the advisor shall sign students' Plan of Work, recommend candidacy, guide students' research, approve dissertations, serve on the Qualifying Examination Committee and Doctoral Dissertation Committee, arrange for the Qualifying Examination and Dissertation public lecture presentation-defense, and certify to the Graduate School that degree requirements have been fulfilled.

The Dissertation Committee performs an integral function in the progress of a student through their graduate education and training. It is responsible for approving the Plan of Work, developing the oral qualifying examination, approving the advancement of the student to Doctoral Candidacy Status, approving the Doctoral Prospectus and final Dissertation, and providing strategic oversight of the dissertation progress. The Committee must meet at least two times per calendar year — and document their meetings — in order for students to progress.

The Dissertation Committee shall be formed by students' advisors and shall consist of at least three (3) departmental members plus one (1) graduate faculty member from outside the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The expertise of the non-college member must be appropriate to students' dissertation work. In the case of co-advisors from the department, the minimum number of department members shall be increased to four (4). Once Graduate School approval for the committee has been obtained, any changes in the committee composition will require written justification and approval. The Dissertation Committee shall be formed before students have completed three (3) semesters in the program.

Qualifying Examinations. Before taking the Qualifying Examinations, students must have filed a Plan of Work with the Graduate School. Qualifying Examinations for all students will comprise a two component, written examination, a core and a specialization portion that will be equally weighted. The first component will assess students' ability to integrate the principles covered in the departmental core courses and the departmental deminars. The second component will test students' mastery of material in the specific area of specialization which they have designated (e.g., medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, or pharmacology). Each portion of the written exam (Core and Specialization) will consist of eight (8) questions; students must answer six.

The written exam will be administered by the Curriculum Subcommittee, which will determine the participating faculty, select specific questions from those submitted by faculty, and determine the exact dates for the written exam. Participating faculty will generally be those who have presented didactic material in the core course and those involved in coursework in the specific area of specialization, but may include additional faculty at the discretion of the Committee and by recommendation of the faculty advisors.

For the specialization portion of the exam, the Subcommittee will request that faculty submit questions for use in the specialization components.  The Subcommittee will review all submitted questions and select eight (8) for each area of specialization. Similarly, questions will be solicited from faculty participating in the core courses, and eight (8) questions from among those submitted will be selected.

The written examination will be offered annually in the month of June.  All students taking the written qualifying examination at that time will take the core exam and those within a chosen area of specialization will take the same specialization examination. To pass the qualifying examination, students must pass both the core and the specialization components. If students fail either portion of the written Qualifying examination, the Committee will make specific recommendations whether to admit them to a second examination of those parts failed (Core and/or Specialization) and specify any additional work to be completed prior to such an examination. Generally, re-examination should occur within six (6) months of failure of the initial examination.

A separate oral qualifying examination will not be required. The oral Dissertation Proposal defense will satisfy the requirement for an oral qualifying examination.

Dissertation Outline and Committee. Following successful completion of the Written Qualifying Examination, students must prepare the Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Prospectus and Record of Approval Form. This form is approved by the students' Dissertation Committee and the chairperson of the Curriculum Subcommittee. Following approval, the form is forwarded to the Graduate School for the dean's approval.

Within six (6) months of successful completion of the Written Qualifying Examinations, students must present for an oral defense of their Dissertation Proposal. The format of the Dissertation Outline must be that of a research plan intended for submission to an appropriate funding organization, e.g. National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation. The outline should not exceed 15 pages and must include all elements expected for such a document. At the discretion of the dissertation advisor, a budget section may be included in the Dissertation Outline. At the oral defense, the departmental graduate officer or designee will serve as moderator. If a student does not successfully pass the oral defense, then the student may request a re-examination which must be scheduled within six (6) months, but no earlier than four (4) months of the original defense date. Should the student not successfully pass the second oral defense, the student will be excluded from the graduate program.

The department has graduated a total of 73 Ph.D. recipients since the inception of the program. Click here to view a list of recipients.

Thesis/Dissertation Repository

The department serves as a central repository for all of its graduate student theses and dissertations. Upon successful defense of their thesis or dissertation, all students must provide the chair of the Curriculum Subcommittee with one complete copy of the document for binding and addition to the departmental holdings.