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Environmental Science Ph.D. Program

Research Policy

All faculty and staff members who are in supervisory positions with regard to students are expected to work closely with them, and to provide them with appropriate guidance and counsel to the end that these students should maintain the highest academic and ethical standards.

Advisory Committee Members are encouraged to engage in free discussions of research principles and responsibilities; in order to increase their students’ awareness on the importance of maintaining high ethical standards in research. Research results should be supported by verifiable evidence. Students are required to maintain sufficient written records and other documentation of their study data

General Guidelines

The general field of research to be used for the dissertation should be agreed on by the student and the Advisory Committee at their first meeting, as a basis for selecting the proper courses to support the proposed research.

As soon thereafter as the research project can be outlined in reasonable detail, the official forms for proposing the dissertation should be completed. The research proposal should be approved at a meeting of the Student’s Advisory Committee, at which time the committee should carefully review the proposal as to the feasibility of the proposed research and the adequacy of available facilities. The approved proposal, signed by all members of the Student’s Advisory Committee, the Program Director, and the Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, should be submitted (in quadruplicate) to the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies for final approval. This should be done before commencement of data collection.

The ability to perform independent research must be demonstrated by the dissertation, which must be the original work of the candidate. While acceptance of the dissertation is based primarily on its scholarly merit, it must also exhibit creditable literary workmanship. The format of the dissertation must be acceptable to the Division of Graduate Studies. Instructions as to format should be obtained from the office of the Division of Graduate Studies.

Admission to Candidacy

To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree, a student must have:

  1. Completed the formal course work with a GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. Passed the comprehensive examination.
  3. Filed with the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies, the dissertation proposal approved by the student’s Advisory Committee, the Program Director and the College Dean

The final examination (dissertation defense) will not be authorized for any doctoral student who has not been admitted to candidacy.  Form I executed the first year of study is to be followed in a timely fashion by Form II, a Petition for Graduate Degree Candidacy, filed after successful passing of the Comprehensive Examination.

Policy for Research off Campus

After it is determined by both the student and the advisor that suitable and usable research support is available at a site off the JSU campus, a research plan needs to be constructed that fully informs all involved parties as to what is expected and how research will be conducted.

 At an early meeting with advisor and graduate student, an Official at the site of research needs to be identified as the co-advisor to serve on the committee. The co-advisor would need to be a Ph.D. holder in a field related to the student’s research area.

The off campus co-advisor would need to be approved by the advisor, with a complete C.V. sent to the advisor who should forward a copy to the Program Director.

The advisor, student and prospective co-advisor would need to meet together in order to make sure the proposed research is feasible from the standpoints of personnel, time, scheduling, supplies and equipment needs. The responsibilities of the co-advisor would center on the research supervision each semester that the student works off campus. This is very important as the main input for grading the student’s dissertation research that semester would come with the co-advisor input in conjunction with the JSU advisor. Periodic visits by the JSU advisor to the research site would need to be made subject to the nature of the research project.

Application for Degree

Formal application for the degree must be filed in the office of the Division of Graduate Studies prior to the end of the semester, or prior to the end of the summer term in which the student expects to complete requirements for graduation.  Form III, Application for Degree, is available for this purpose.   Form IV, Application for Clearance, is to be attached to Form I Doctoral Degree Plan.  The latter form should be completed thoroughly, updating all courses completed with course number, title, credit, grade, quality points and semester taken

Environmental Science Ph.D. Program


1400 John R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39217-0280

Phone: 601.979.2241