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tennessee technological university

School of Environmental Studies

Checklist & Program Timeline
A Resource for Students and Faculty

About the Checklist

  • This Checklist is intended to assist students and faculty advisors by providing an outline of the administrative procedures which must be followed as students progress through the program.
  • The official source for all policies and procedures relating to graduate study are outlined in the Graduate Catalog.
  • This checklist should be filled out by the student and kept up to date in the student's copy of the handbook.
  • The student should seek council from his/her academic advisor when necessary.

Please Note:

  • Students that do not possess a master's degree and also have several undergraduate deficiencies may find it difficult to follow the timetables presented below.
  • The student's research mentor or academic advisor will assist said student in revising the timetable, should a student enter the program with many deficiencies.
  • In some cases, a student may need to take as much as one year of undergraduate coursework before initiating the time-table for the Research Plan, Program of Study, Environmental Research Seminar (Chemistry Concentration), Comprehensive Exam, etc.
  • The Director of Environmental Sciences will assist faculty or students should this need arise, however this issue should be discussed with your academic advisor first. He/She should then notify the director if exceptions and/or assistance is requested.

The Checklist

  1. Admission to the Program: Date ________________

    1. Deadline for application: Four weeks prior to date of registration.
Required Forms and Procedures: Contact the Graduate School for complete information.
Standing: _____Full _____Provisional
  2. Initial Registration:_________Semester, 20_____

    1. Biology: You should contact your major's professor to obtain assistance in the registration process.

    2. Chemistry: You should contact the departmental chairperson who will select an academic advisor to assist you in the registration process.
Note: You must complete all requirements for the degree within eight years from the beginning of the above semester of initial registration.
  3. Selection of Major Professor: Date_________________

    1. Deadline: No later than the end of the semester in which you will complete 15 semester credits in the Ph.D. program.
Biology: No Action required. Your major professor was selected as a part of the admission process.
Chemistry: Based on your particular area of interest in chemistry, your academic advisor will assist you in the selection of a major professor. You should interview at least five (5) members of the Chemistry graduate Faculty. 
Note: Your major's professor will serve as the chairperson of your advisory committee and as your primary resource person for the remainder of your graduate program. Whenever you have questions or problems, consult with your major's professor.
  4. Selection of Advisory Committee: Date_________________

    1. Deadline: No later than the end of the semester in which you will complete 15 semester credits in the Ph.D. program. 
Required TTU Form: Request for Appointment of Advisory Committee

      1. Note: The organization and appointment of advisory committees to supervise graduate study for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Sciences shall be the same (generally) as in the master's program, except that the advisory committee shall consist of at least five members of the Graduate Faculty.
      2. Three members shall be from the student's area of concentration in either Biology or Chemistry.
      3. Two members shall be from separate departments of the environmental science core outside the student's area of concentration. Changes in a Ph.D. advisory committee must adhere to all policies and procedures governing graduate study at the University, as contained in the Graduate Catalog and administered by the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies.
  5. Approval of Proposed Program of Study: Date _______________

    1. Deadline: No later than the end of the semester in which you will complete 15 semester credits in the Ph.D. program.

      1. Required TTU form: Proposed Program of Graduate Study.
Note: Your Proposed Program of Study is a comprehensive list of all courses you will take as a part of your doctoral program. It must include a minimum of 61 semester credits, consisting of at least 43 credits in course work beyond the bachelor's degree and at least 18 credits in Research and Dissertation.
      3. The course work must include 13 credits in “core courses” and 12 credits in 7000-level courses. It may include up to 18 credits in course work (excluding Research and Thesis) taken as part of an accredited graduate program.
  6. Research Plan: Date _______________

    1. Deadline: The Research Plan must be completed by the end of the second semester for Biology Concentration students and the end of the third semester (excluding summers) for full-time students and at a date agreeable with the Advisory Committee for part-time students.

      1. Required TTU Form: Research Plan Cover Sheet
: The Research Plan must be approved by the students Graduate Advisory Committee. The Research Plan Cover Sheet must be attached to the cover of the Research Plan and kept on file in the office of the Director of the Ph.D. Program in Environmental Sciences.
      2. Oral Presentation and defense of the Research Plan is required. Each member of the Students Graduate Advisory Committee should be given at least one week to review the written portion before defense.
      3. If the advisory committee feels it is necessary for the student to undertake additional coursework following the oral presentation, the Substitution form or completed Program of Study should be attached to the Research Plan as well. (both forms are found either in the Forms section of the website, or in the appendix of the handbook).
  7. Reclassification to Full Standing, (if applicable): Date _________________

    1. Deadline: No later than the end of the semester in which you will complete 15 semester credits in the Ph.D. program.

      1. Required TTU form: Application for Reclassification to Full Standing.

      2. Note: If you were admitted to the program in Provisional Standing, the conditions which must be satisfied before reclassification to Full Standing were listed on the Certificate of Admission.
  8. Environmental Science Seminar
 / Chemistry Concentration:
    1. EVS 7910 should be completed the semester before the Comprehensive Exam for Chemistry Concentration students.
    2. This seminar will be given to the faculty and students of the Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program and any other faculty who may wish to attend. The seminar may cover any topic in Environmental Chemistry but may not include research outlined in the student's Research Plan.
    3. A 50-minute seminar should be prepared. This seminar should be scheduled with the Department of Chemistry Seminar Chairman the semester you plan to take this course.
    4. Chemistry Concentration students are required to give a second 50-minute seminar - their defense seminar - during the semester they plan to graduate. This seminar should also be scheduled with the Chemistry Department Seminar Chairman and will include representative data from their dissertation.

  9. Environmental Science / Biology Concentration:
    1. EVS 7910 should be taken the semester you plan to graduate.
    2. The requirement of EVS 7910 is met by formal presentation of your research dissertation and should be scheduled with your mentor and/or the Biology Department Seminar Chairman, whichever is applicable.
  10. Comprehensive Exam:

    1. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination must be achieved in a timely fashion.
    2. Divisional requirements of the Comprehensive Examination must be met within a year following the completion of 80% of the course work in the student's Program of Study, including successful completion of all core courses.
    3. It shall be the student's responsibility, in consultation with his/her research advisor, to schedule this examination at a date agreeable to the whole examining committee. The committee shall be given at least two months advance notice of the Examination date in order to make preparations.
    4. Any second attempts to pass portions of the Comprehensive Examination must be scheduled in the subsequent (Fall/Spring) semester.
    5. Failure to follow these procedures shall result in the student's dismissal from the program. Any appeal by the student for exceptions to this policy shall be made in writing and submitted to the Executive Committee of the Ph.D. program.
  11. Admission to Candidacy:Date _________________

    1. Required TTU form: Memorandum from the chairperson of your advisory committee to the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies. 
Admission to candidacy is based on the recommendation of your advisory committee. You must have:
    2. Satisfactorily completed eighty percent of the course work in your proposed program of study;
    3. Satisfactorily completed your comprehensive examination; and
    4. Submitted a proposed doctoral research project (research plan) which has been approved by your advisory committee.
  12. Submission of Application for Graduation:Date _________________

    1. Deadline: The beginning of the semester in which the degree is expected to be conferred.
      1. See the calendar in the Graduate Catalog for the date.

      2. Required TTU form: Application for Graduation.
 This application is for a specific Commencement Exercise.
      3. If you do not complete all requirements for graduation as anticipated, another Application for Graduate must be submitted.
      4. Deadline: At least three weeks prior to your anticipated date of graduation.

      5. Required TTU form: Memorandum from the chairperson of your advisory committee to the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies.

        1. Note: After all members of your advisory committee have had an opportunity to read the complete final draft of your dissertation, the chairperson of your advisory committee will schedule a meeting of the committee to hear your presentation and defense of the research. The committee may accept the dissertation as presented or may request modifications or further research. It is recommended that the oral defense be scheduled well in advance of the above deadline.
  13. Submission of Dissertation to the Graduate School: Date _________________

    1. Deadline: See Important Dates and Deadlines for exact dates on the Graduate School website.

    2. Proposed final copy: At least three weeks prior to your date of graduation.

    3. Official final copies: At least one week prior to your date of graduation.

    4. Note: The dissertation must be completed in a format specified by the Graduate School.
      1. The proposed final copy of the dissertation and an abstract of the dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval at least three weeks prior to your anticipated date of graduation.
      2. After the proposed copy has been approved and, if necessary, revised, three official copies of the dissertation and four official copies of the abstract must be provided to the Graduate School at least one week prior to your anticipated date of graduation.
  14. Graduation:Date _________________

    1. Note: You must be enrolled in school during the semester in which the degree is granted.
    2. You are expected to be present at the Commencement Exercise for the conferral of the degree unless written authorization to graduate in absentia has been granted by the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies.
Student Orientation & Campus Information
From registration to the library, student housing, mail and more!

Orientation Information for Students


  • Before you can register, you must have met with your advisor, received an advisement sheet, and determined the 5-digit Course Registration Numbers (CRNs) for your classes.
  • Your advisor will tell you your registration time and give you your Alternate PIN (formerly known as Registration Access Code [RAC]).
  • You can log on and register during or following your appointment time only.

To register for classes you must log in to Eagle Online and follow these steps:

  • From the TTU homepage, locate the "Current Students" drop-down menu bar in the upper-right corner. Select "Eagle Online." (Be sure to click once as you navigate through Eagle Online.)
    • Click on "Registration, Grades, ...."
    • Click on "Enter Secure Banner .... "
    • Click in the User ID: box and type in your T# and 6-digit Login PIN. Click "LOGIN."
      • For additional information see the current Graduate Catalog.

Research Facilities

  • The Environmental Sciences' faculty and teaching and research laboratories are predominantly located in the Department of Biology, the Department of Chemistry, and the Center for the Management, Utilization and Protection of Water Resources.


  • The University Library contains over 300,000 books, many daily U.S. and international newspapers, periodicals, government publications, maps, electronic databases, and a media center.
  • The science librarian, located at the front desk when you enter the library, can assist you with the familiarization of these sources as well as inter-library loan.
  • Graduate students may check out books for the entire current term.

Residential Life (Student Housing)

  • Tennessee Tech has 25 residence halls and a 304 unit apartment complex called Tech Village Apartments, which provide housing accommodations for enrolled students – both undergraduate and graduate.
  • To inquire, or secure an assignment on campus, simply request an application packet by calling the Office of Residential Life at 931-372-3414 or toll free at 1-800-255-8881.
  • This request needs to be made as soon as possible as there is usually a waiting list for the Tech Village Apartments. There are also a number of close, off-campus apartments available.


  • The University operates a U.S. post office that is located in the bottom floor of the Roaden University Center.
  • Additionally, a mail box will be provided for you in either the Biology or Chemistry main office.
    • Department of Biology, TTU Box 5114, Cookeville, TN. 38505
    • Department of Chemistry, TTU Box 5055, Cookeville, TN. 38505.
      • Your mailbox should be checked regularly for general announcements, specific communications, and other important mail.


  • As soon as you are registered, an email account will automatically be set up for you.
  • There are numerous microcomputer laboratories located on campus, including one in Foster Hall (Chemistry), one in Pennebaker Hall (Biology), and one in Southwest Hall (The Water Center).
    • Instructions are posted in these labs to assist with logging on for the first time.
    • Help Desk personnel are usually there to assist you, should a problem arise.


  • Keys will be distributed on an “as needed” basis to all graduate students.
  • These are available from the main office in the building for which you will be working.
  • The keys are your responsibility and should never be loaned to others.
  • Report lost keys immediately to the individual whom assigned them to you.
Projected Course Offerings Fall 2015-Fall 2018
For information contact Irene Mauk, 931-372-6246 or email