Life Sciences PhD theses :  Collection home page
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Home > Biological Sciences > Dissertations and Theses in Biological Sciences
Biological Sciences, School of
Dissertations and theses in biological sciences.
Exploring The Interactions Between SARS-CoV-2 and Host Proteins. , Sojan Shrestha
Evaluating Assessment Score Validity and Characterizing Undergraduate Biology Exam Content , Crystal Uminski
Discovering Novel Polyextremotolerant Fungi, and Determining their Ecological Role Within the Biological Soil Crust Consortium , Erin Carr
METHANOGEN METABOLIC FLEXIBILITY , Sean Carr
A Tale of Two Genomes: The Complex Interplay Between the Mitochondrial and the Nuclear Genomes , Abhilesh S. Dhawanjewar
Transcriptome Assembly and Characterization of Chemoreceptors for Corn Rootworms , Bailee Egan
Mitochondrial Functions are Major Targets of Isocyanide Activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae , Morgan A. Siemek
Access to Online Formative Assessments in Introductory Biology Courses: Investigating Barriers to Student Engagement , Allison Upchurch
Characterization of a novel glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD2) in the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Itzela A. Cruz Powell
Mitochondrial Genome Structure and Double Strand Break Repair in Arabidopsis thaliana , Sterling Ericsson
Characterization of Novel Chlorovirus Glycosyltransferases That Synthesize Atypical Glycans , Eric Noel
Studies of the dUTPase of the Western Corn Rootworm , Carlos Riera-Ruiz
BIOINFORMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE GUT MICROBIOTA DERIVED FROM THE OIL FLY HELAEOMYIA PETROLEI FROM THE LA BREA TAR PITS , Brian Dillard
Functions of Vocal Mimicry in the Complex Song of the European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris , Maria Goller
POLEROVIRUS GENOMIC VARIATION AND MECHANISMS OF SILENCING SUPPRESSION BY P0 PROTEIN , Natalie Holste
The Relationship Between the Cervical Microbiome and Cervical Cancer Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa , Cameron Klein
Identification of the Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) Surface Glycoprotein Targets of Human KSHV-specific Neutralizing Antibody Responses , Yasaman Mortazavi
Prey Selection by Birds of Prey , Anisha Pokharel
Metagenomic, Viral and Host Genetic Analyses of Congenital Tremor in Pigs , Kylee Sutton
DGTS Production as a Phosphate Starvation Response in the Human Fungal Pathogen Candida albicans , Caleb Wehling
Regulation of Vaccinia Virus Replication: a Story of Viral Mimicry and a Novel Antagonistic Relationship Between Vaccinia Kinase and Pseudokinase , Annabel T. Olson
Plant mitochondrial genome evolution and structure has been shaped by double-strand break repair and recombination , Emily Wynn
Contributions of the gp120 Variable Loops to Envelope Glycoprotein Trimer Stability in Primate Lentiviruses , Dane Bowder
CONDITION-DEPENDENT LIFE HISTORY STRATEGIES , Shivani V. Jadeja
EVALUATION OF A HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS GENOTYPING ASSAY FOR CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING IN TANZANIA , kandali kapie
Influenza D Virus M2 Protein Exhibits Ion Channel Activity in Xenopus laevis Oocytes , Evan Daniel Kesinger
Establishing Benchmark Criteria for Single Chromosome Bacterial Genome Assembly , Timothy Krause
Behavioral Plasticity Across Non-Social Contexts in Female Green Swordtails, Xiphophorus Hellerii , Lindsey M. Coit
Resource allocation for acorn production: A comparison across species pairs of oaks with contrasting acorn production patterns and water use strategies , Kyle A. Funk
Variation in Density Dependent Seedling Survival Across Forests of Different Successional Age and Hunting Protection Status , Nohemi Huanca-Nunez
Phytohormone signaling in Chlorella sorokiniana: perspectives on the evolution of plant cell-to-cell signaling , Maya Khasin
Small RNA-Dependent Gene Silencing in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii : Functions and Mechanisms , EUN JEONG KIM
Nitrogen Addition and Ecosystem Functioning: Changes in Species Composition Leaf Traits Amplify Increases in Leaf Area Index and Canopy Chlorophyll , Anna R. Tatarko
Examination of Contribution of Pentose Catabolism to Molecular Hydrogen Formation by Targeted Disruption of Arabinose Isomerase ( araA ) in the Hyperthermophilic Bacterium, Thermotoga maritima , Derrick White
The Roles of Biotin in Candida Albicans Physiology , Nur Ras Aini Ahmad Hussin
The Plasticity of Functional Traits in the Dipterocarps of Borneo , Ju Ping Chan
Proximate and Evolutionary Causes of Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Crab Spider Mecaphesa celer , Marie Claire Chelini
Inter- and Intra-individual Variation in Predator-related Behavioral Plasticity Expressed by Female Green Swordtails ( Xiphophorus hellerii ) , Rachael A. DiSciullo
POPULATION AND MORPHOLOGICAL CHANGES IN AMERICAN KESTRELS THROUGH SPACE AND TIME , Teresa E. Ely
Evaluation of the Effects of Radiation on the Positioning of Histones and Other Proteins , Ashley Elizabeth Foster
THE JOINT EFFECT OF PHENOTYPIC VARIATION AND TEMPERATURE ON PREDATOR-PREY INTERACTIONS , Jean P. Gibert
Sequencing and Comparative Analysis of de novo Genome Assemblies of Streptomyces aureofaciens ATCC 10762 , Julien S. Gradnigo
Investigation of Lipid Profile Patterns Along Latitude in an Eastern Australian Cline and After Stress Selection in the Laboratory, and Experiments on Stress Tolerance with RNAi Knockdown of Lipid Biosynthesis Genes , Li Ko
Characterization of the Role of Host and Dietary Factors in the Establishment of Bacteria in the Gastrointestinal Tract , Janina A. Krumbeck
Identification and Characterization of Ion Channel Activity of the M2 Protein from Influenza Virus D (DM2) , Jianing Liu
No Nonsense: The Protection of Wild-Type mRNAs From Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae , Krista Patefield
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MORPHOGENESIS AND SECRETION IN THE FILAMENTOUS FUNGUS ASPERGILLUS NIDULANS , Lakshmi Preethi Yerra
Observational Learning in the Jumping Spider Phidippus audax , Robert M. Adams
Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Transmission and Infection among Young Zambian Children , Landon Olp
Expansion of the Chlorovirus Genus by Studies on Virus Natural History and Chlorella Host Metabolism , Cristian F. Quispe
A Lipidomics Approach to the Viral-Host Dynamics of the Unicellular, Eukaryotic Alga Chlorella variabilis and its Viral Pathogen, PBCV-1 , Suzanne Rose
Plasticity in Female Mate Choosiness: A Result of Variation in Perceived Predation Risk and the Interaction of Female Age and Male Density , Ashley Atwell
Placental HPV Infection in HIV Positive and HIV Negative Zambian Women , Chrispin Chisanga
Stress Responses and Energy Storage in Drosophila melanogaster Selected for Resistance to a Gram-Positive Bacillus cereus Spores , Zhen Hu
FUNCTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE BAF-B1 AXIS DURING THE VACCINIA VIRUS LIFE CYCLE , Nouhou Ibrahim
Costs of Female Mating Behavior in the Variable Field Cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps , Cassandra M. Martin
Chlorovirus Skp1 and Core Ankyrin-Repeat Protein Interplay and Mimicry of Cellular Ubiquitin Ligase Machinery , Eric Andrew Noel
The equitable contributions of environment, management and restoration status on grassland diversity and composition , RaeAnn C. Powers
Investigations into Sensory Ecology and Gene Evolution of the pea aphid ( Acyrthosiphon pisum ) , Swapna R. Purandare
Biosorption of Heavy Metals onto the Surface of Bacteriophage T4 , Zheng Huan Tan
THE ROLE OF THE N-TERMINUS ON THE ENZYMATIC ACTIVITY OF dUTPase FROM DICTYOSTELIUM DISCOIDEUM , Kyle C. Varon
Investigating the Role of MicroRNAs in the Response to Nitrogen Deprivation in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Adam Voshall
The Mechanism of Small RNA Biogenesis, Degradation, and Function in Arabidopsis , Meng Xie
THE PREDICTION OF B-CELL EPITOPE VIA BIOSTATISTICAL AND BIOINFORMATIC METHODOLOGY AND APPLICATIONS , Bo Yao
Regulation of Phialide Morphogenesis in Aspergillus nidulans , Hu Yin
Trade-offs in Male Lek Behavior , Sarah A. Cowles
THE EPIDEMIOLOGY OF HUMAN HERPESVIRUS-8: TRANSMISSION OF INFECTION TO CHILDREN IN ZAMBIAN HOUSEHOLDS , Kay L. Crabtree
THE ORIGIN AND MOLECULAR EVOLUTION OF TWO MULTIGENE FAMILIES: G-PROTEIN COUPLED RECEPTORS AND GLYCOSIDE HYDROLASE FAMILIES , Seong-il Eyun
Analysis of Human Papillomavirus Capsid Proteins: Insights into Capsid Assembly , Willie A. Hughes
Coccidia of Gerbils from Mongolia , Ethan T. Jensen
Investigation of the life history and lipid content consequences of reduced abundance of delta-9 Desaturases in Drosophila melanogaster , Li Ko
Small Interfering RNA-Mediated Translation Repression Alters Ribosome Sensitivity to Inhibition by Cycloheximide in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Xinrong Ma
PREDATION AND BEHAVIORAL PLASTICITY IN GREEN SWORDTAILS: MATE CHOICE IN FEMALES AND EXPLORATORY BEHAVIOR IN MALES , Andrew J. Melie
Telomere-Related Factors and Human Papillomavirus Genome Maintenance , Adam Rogers
Spontaneous male death and monogyny in the dark fishing spider Dolomedes tenebrosus Hentz, 1843 (Araneae, Pisauridae) , Steven K. Schwartz
EVOLUTION OF HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS TYPE 1 CLADE C ENVELOPE V1-V5 REGION DURING DISEASE PROGRESSION IN NON-HUMAN PRIMATE MODEL , For Yue Tso
The Roles of Phenotypic Plasticity and Genotypic Specialization in High Altitude Adaptation , Danielle M. Tufts
Transcriptional analysis of cervical epithelial cell responses to HIV-1 , Andrew A. Block
THE PSEUDOMONAS SYRINGAE TYPE III SECRETION SYSTEM: THE TRANSLOCATOR PROTEINS, THEIR SECRETION, AND THE RESTRICTION OF TRANSLOCATION BY THE PLANT IMMUNE SYSTEM , Emerson Crabill
Gene Duplication and the Evolution of Hemoglobin Isoform Differentiation in Birds , Michael T. Grispo
Foraging Challenges: Unsuitable Prey and Limited Information , Travis M. Hinkelman
ASSESSING PATTERNS OF HYBRIDIZATION AND MULTIPLE MECHANISMS OF REPRODUCTIVE ISOLATION BETWEEN ERYTHRONIUM ALBIDUM AND ITS CONGENER E. MESOCHOREUM , Kathy Roccaforte
Characterization of Binding and Fusion Efficiencies Mediated by the V1-V5 Env Derived from Transmitted and Non-transmitted Viruses Isolated from a Perinatal Transmission Cohort from Zambia , Mackenzie Waltke
Herbivory affects patterns of plant reproductive effort and seed production , Natalie M. West
COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF DIFFERENTIAL GENE CALLING METHODS FOR RNA-SEQ DATA , Ximeng Zheng
Population Genetics of Cell to Cell Movement of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus , Melissa S. Bartels
EXPLORING SOURCES OF SELECTION ON THE MULTIMODAL COURTSHIP DISPLAYS OF TWO SISTER SPECIES OF WOLF SPIDERS: SCHIZOCOSA CRASSIPALPATA AND SCHIZOCOSA BILINEATA , Mitch Bern
The Role of Human Ubc9 During the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Replication Cycle , Christopher R. Bohl
EFFECT OF DIET QUANITITY AND QUALITY ON FEMALE SAMPLING BEHAVIOUR AND MATING PREFERENCES IN A FIELD CRICKET , Heidi L. Bulfer
ANALYSIS OF TURNIP CRINKLE VIRUS EFFECTS ON THE INNATE AND ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY IN ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA , Teresa J. Donze
Investigation of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) Encoded Infected Cell Protein 0 (bICP0) , Natasha N. Gaudreault
Characterization of RNAi-defective mutants -- Mut13-2 and Mut20 -- in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Arit Ghosh
THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL CONTEXT & CACHE SURVIVAL ON PINYON JAY CACHING BEHAVIOR , Christine L. Keefe
HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS GENOTYPE CONCORDANCE WITHIN ZAMBIAN COUPLES , Kgomotso Makhaola
Life history tradeoffs and phenotypic plasticity: The tale of a flight polyphenic field cricket , Chandreyee Mitra
Truncated dUTPase of Dictyostelium discoideum is active and likely to form trimers , Phuoc V. Nguyen
Functional Classification of Divergent Protein Sequences and Molecular Evolution of Multi-Domain Proteins , Pooja K. Strope
MSH1 INFLUENCE ON PLANT MITOCHONDRIAL GENOME RECOMBINATION AND PHENOTYPE IN TOBACCO , Peibei Sun
The Complexities of Wolf Spider Communication Exploring Courtship Signal Function in Rabidosa rabida , Dustin J. Wilgers
The complexities of wolf spider communication: Exploring courtship signal function in Rabidosa rabida , Dustin J. Wilgers
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Quantitative genetics of gene expression: regulatory complexity and patterns of variation , exploring an enigma: the geographic and temporal origins of the western ghats flora , spatio-temporal organisation and dynamics of centromere , investigation of the chromatin characteristics driving murine rif1s association with and compartmentalisation of late-replicating chromatin , exploring the importance of axial identity in transplantation studies using neural progenitors of specific anteroposterior identity , investigating the role of sucrose in controlling lateral root formation in arabidopsis thaliana , is mutational meltdown a threat to the mega diverse genus begonia , investigating the molecular mechanism of caffeine and antifungal resistance in schizosaccharomyces pombe epimutants , characterising the role of the sumo e3-ligase pias in heterochromatin establishment in the drosophila embryo , epigenetic signatures of chronic inflammation and their relation to brain structure and function across the lifecourse , macroevolution of virulence shifts in human-infective rna virus species , viruses and microorganisms associated with a wild community of gambian drosophilidae , phenotyping single cells of saccharomyces cerevisiae using an end-to-end analysis of high-content time-lapse microscopy , biochemical characterisation of zfr, a regulator of splicing and rna editing , characterisation of a host receptor for plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocyte rosette formation , study of how catabolite repression and ribosome levels determine cell growth in batch cultures of saccharomyces cerevisiae , investigating cell cycle control mechanisms in cd8+ effector t cells , speciation and sex-biased gene expression in the scarce swallowtails , exploring coherence and disorder: an analysis of spatial patterning within the neuromesodermal progenitor niche , non-canonical function of the spindle checkpoint protein mad3 in meiosis .
15 Ways to Prepare for a Successful Life Science Thesis Defense
After finally writing and editing your thesis, it’s time to defend. Here we discuss what steps you can take to prepare for your defense and provide some tips on how to successfully defend in front of the thesis committee.
For many graduate students, the thesis defense can be scary and extremely nerve-wracking, but with the proper preparation, it can actually be an enjoyable experience. It is important to remember that you are the ultimate expert in your research project. While professors on the committee may know your field of study in a general sense, they have not spent the time you have studying your thesis topic. Keep in mind that the committee is not there to make you fail, but is there to ensure you are prepared and have the skills necessary to proceed independently as a scientist. Follow the guidelines below to understand what to expect, ease your nerves and show off what you have learned over the past few years. If you need to refresh your public speaking skills, be sure to check out our articles on public speaking for the grad student and seasoned researcher .
What to expect
1. the setting..
While most defenses are open to the public, some are closed door. This will depend on the department and institution so check with your program to see what type of defense you will have.
Since many defenses are seen as more of a formality and celebration, there is often food and drinks provided. Be sure to find out if you are responsible for providing refreshments for your guests and committee in advance.
2. Inviting Friends and Family.
Most programs allow you to invite guests such as friends and family. If your family and friends do attend, tailor your presentation to a wider audience so everyone can understand. Also, don’t forget to be prepared for embarrassing questions. Take them with a sense of grace, and they will brush right over. If you’re worried that your parent with a background in life sciences may try to stump you, remind yourself that it is okay not to know the answer—just stay professional and confident.
Pro Tip: Preemptively involve your family before the time of the defense. The best way to do this is to invite them to your presentation and give them an overview prior to the defense. Ask if they have questions, and if not, provide them with intelligent questions to ask. By charging them ahead of time, they’ll be too distracted by the honor of the task to try anything else, and you’ll already be prepared to respond to their questions.
3. The Committee.
The committee is usually made up of your advisor as well as other professors from your department. Occasionally, there may be a few professors from a related department, but a majority will be from yours. The advisor serves as the moderator for the defense and does not have a say in the outcome.
4. Format of the defense.
At most institutions, the event begins with a presentation by you—sometimes with interruptions for questions. At the conclusion of your talk, the committee may have you leave the room while they decide which questions they will ask you. You will be invited back into the room for the defense portion, and the committee will ask you a series of questions. Most questions are simple and not meant to stump you, but expect a few challenging ones.
5. Failure is rare.
As stated previously, at many institutions, the thesis defense is more of a formality that happens once the final revisions have been made to your dissertation. Therefore, failure is rare. The committee does not let people defend until they are ready. Common outcomes are passing and passing with revisions required. While failure is the third possible outcome, it is unusual.
Before your Defense
6. reread your thesis..
Two weeks before you defend, set aside some time to reread through your thesis in its entirety. While it may seem like overkill since you already spent so much time writing it, going back over your thesis can help to bring the bigger picture back to mind before you present. This is very important when it comes to answering questions from the committee about the implications of your project. The details of your research will be freshly accessible in your mind after going over the paper one last time as well.
7. Pretend to be the examiner.
As you review your thesis/dissertation, try to do so from the perspective of your thesis committee. Look for the strengths and weaknesses of your research. Try to identify potential areas of confusion because the audience will likely ask questions about parts of your thesis that could have been expanded upon. Write out the questions that you come up with while rereading, and then go back and answer them to the best of your ability. Were you able to answer them thoroughly? If not, now is the time to brush up on current literature about the topic as well as the nuances of your own research study .
8. Attend other thesis defenses.
Perhaps one of the most intimidating aspects of the thesis defense is not knowing what to expect. You may have heard rumors about previous thesis defenses and how they were but if you weren’t actually there to see it, these rumors won’t be as helpful. At many universities, students are allowed to observe the thesis presentations of other students. Take advantage of this opportunity before you start preparing your presentation. Not only will this help to calm your nerves since you will have a better idea of what to expect, it will help you to form a list of dos and don’ts in your head for your own talk. Look for the strengths and weaknesses in each student’s defense and learn from their mistakes and successes.
9. Schedule a strategy meeting with your advisor.
Scheduling a time to meet with your advisor can be very helpful. Once you have outlined how your talk will go and what the points of your thesis are, share your plans with your advisor. He or she has been on defense committees in the past and can give you some insight into how you may want to alter the structure or content of your presentation based on common mistakes that other students have made. Remember that your advisor is rooting for you and was once in your shoes preparing for his or her own thesis defense.
Pro Tip: At most universities, you can meet with the committee before your defense as often as you can get them all in a room together—take advantage of this. Each time you meet with them, you will get more and more recommendations on how to make you thesis better and therefore have a better defense.
10. Get the most out of practicing.
There are a few ways you can optimize your practice time so you get the most out of it. Practice alone the first few times until you become more comfortable with your talk. When you feel like you are ready, record yourself giving your defense. One of the most convenient ways to do this is using the camera on your laptop or your cell phone. After you finish, take time to review your recording. Check out your body language and look for certain words or phrases that you use repeatedly—many of us do this when we are nervous. You can also use your recording to gauge the length of your presentation.
Once you have practiced enough, get a group of your colleagues together and practice giving your defense to them. By presenting to people with a background in your field, you have the opportunity to ask them to grill you with questions. Some of their questions may even be similar to questions the committee will ask you when it is time for your actual defense and will help you get used to answering questions about your project on the fly.
Pro Tip: In biology, there are many words that are hard to pronounce if you are not used to saying them on a regular basis. We often get accustomed to using acronyms and abbreviations in daily speech, but try to avoid this by practicing the pronunciation of any words you don’t know how to say. If you are unsure about how a word should sound, inquire with your advisor, look online for a pronunciation key, or check with your peers.
During your defense
11. don’t assume everyone has read your entire thesis..
Even though you provided the committee with your thesis in advance, it is important not to assume that they were all able to read through the whole paper. Therefore, you should present the importance of your research project, what methods you used to complete your project, and what the outcomes of your research were. You should also provide the committee with an explanation of the implications of your study both to your field specifically and also to the wider body of scientific knowledge. Stating your recommendations for future research is also encouraged because you will probably be asked about it if it is not addressed during your presentation.
On the other hand, be prepared to answer questions that may come from your paper rather than your talk. Some of your committee members will have read your entire thesis and may reference a specific paragraph or page in it when posing a question. Be sure to have a paper copy with you just in case!
12. Be prepared for questions.
There are some questions that you can anticipate being asked. For example, if there are any weaknesses or limitations to your project, you can be almost certain that your committee will ask about them. Prepare for questions like this by creating slides with graphics and text that will help you answer any questions you suspect may be brought up. You can leave a blank slide between your presentation and extra slides or save them in an entirely separate file—just be sure they are easily accessible.
Remember that you are not expected to know everything, and if you don’t know the answer, it is best to be honest. Perhaps you hadn’t thought of that question before, but you can tell the committee that you will consider it in the future.
Pro Tip: When answering questions, first listen to the entire question. Next, restate the question back to the person who posed to be sure you understood it correctly. Lastly, answer the question to the best of your ability and provide a succinct close to your answer to minimize a long dialog. If you need to pause to gather your thoughts, that is OK.
13. Dress the part.
It can be easy to put off planning what you are going to wear for your thesis defense when you are caught up in preparing for the talk itself. However, don’t put this off until the last minute. Looking professional is important in making a great impression with your thesis committee. Remember that you are defending the fact that you deserve your master’s or Ph.D. as much as you are defending your thesis—so dress the part. Your outfit should be business professional. For men, wear dress pants along with a coat and tie. Women should wear a skirt or pant suit, but a dress can work, too. Try to steer clear of sleeveless dresses, low cut tops or anything that will make you feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to have to adjust your outfit constantly during your talk; this will appear fidgety and unprofessional.
14. Be confident, but not arrogant.
Body language plays a big role in all types of communication. In your thesis defense, it is imperative to speak with confidence about your research and your findings. If you speak as though you are unsure, it will be hard for the committee to believe what you are saying and it may come off as though you aren’t confident about your results. The defense committee is there to ensure you are capable of working independently after graduation. This is your time to prove to the committee what you have learned over the past few years and that you deserve a Ph.D. in your field.
Pro Tip: Minimize your use of qualifying words such as likely, may, might, could, should, probably and usually . Excessive use of these words will cause you to lose your authority. Add strength to your presentation by instead using works like will, always and won’t .
15. Record your defense.
During or after the question section of your defense, the committee will provide you with feedback, suggestions and revisions for your thesis. However, it can be difficult to remember all of the words of wisdom when you are nervous. If you set up a video or audiotape to record your talk, you will have a record of what was discussed so you can go back and make edits to your thesis as necessary after your defense is over.
These 15 tips can help you successfully deliver a thesis defense at any university, but remember that your institution will have its own guidelines to help you prepare your defense. Since the thesis defense varies between departments and schools, it will also be beneficial to talk to your peers who have already completed one. Gather as much information as you can and jump right in to the planning stages. Don’t get caught up in your fears and remember that you are the only expert on your research. Your advisor and defense committee would not let you defend if you weren’t ready. You can do it!
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BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJOR
Senior thesis examples.
Graduating seniors in Biological Sciences have the option of submitting a senior thesis for consideration for Honors and Research Prizes . Below are some examples of particularly outstanding theses from recent years (pdf):
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Theses & Certificates
Your studies are coming to an end and now all that's missing is your final paper.
Thesis - topic selection and registration
In order to find an interesting topic get in contact with chairs, lecturers, professors or external companies. There are often postings on bulletin boards or websites, or just have a look if you find something suitable on our Jobs and Career page.
As soon as you have found a good topic, your thesis needs to be registered.
How do I register my thesis?
Please register your thesis, no matter if bachelor’s or master’s thesis, digitally in the thesis portal of the TUM School of Life Sciences. Please note that the login is only possible via the eduVPN client (download: https://www.eduvpn.org/client-apps/ and instruction: https://doku.lrz.de/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=87425039 ).
You can find detailed instructions including screenshots on how to register your thesis here .
The responsible examiner has to digitally agree to your application. If this is done, the examination team will check if the requirements for the thesis are met (credit requirements, internships, WPP-registration, etc. depending on the study program) and your registration will be submitted to the examination board for approval. If all requirements are met, the registration of your thesis will be approved by the examination team.
You will then receive a confirmation via e-mail from the system, which you should save for your records . In order to have enough lead time for the review and approval of your application, it should be sent to the Campus Office about 4 weeks before the planned thesis start date .
As soon as the registration has been completed, it will also be entered and displayed in TUMonline within the next few days. Please check your account.
Please note that you must be enrolled until the day you submit your thesis . Further information about de-registration: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/withdrawal-from-university/
Thesis Extension and Suspension
If you cannot meet your submission deadline for reasons beyond your control , the examination board may extend the completion period by a maximum of half of the regular processing time . If you are unable to work due to illness , the processing time will be suspended accordingly upon request.
How do I extend my thesis?
The application for an extension must be submitted to the examination board before the date of submission and your supervisor has to agree by providing his signature. Therefore, please contact your supervisor early enough if you have problems with meeting your deadline. In general, you should expect a processing period of approx. 3 weeks until the examination board has decided on your application and the entry is recorded in your student file. If you are ill and can prove by a medical certificate that you are prevented from working on your thesis, the processing time is suspended for the duration of the illness stated in the certificate. Please make sure that the medical certificate contains all the required information, especially the beginning and (expected) end of the inability to work on your thesis, a certificate of incapacity for work is not sufficient (instructions on this can be found via https://www.tum.de/en/studies/during-your-studies/organizing-your-studies/examinations/withdrawing-from-examinations-medical-certificates ) Please send the signed application to [email protected] . It will make it easier for us to process your application if you name it: Last name_Extension.pdf . It will then be forwarded to the respective examination board and you will be informed after the examination board has decided on your application.
Thesis extension / suspension form (English) Antrag auf Verlängerung / Ruhen der Abschlussarbeit (German)
Title page template
The layout of the cover sheet and various specifications are usually chair-specific. Please check the website of the chair or contact the supervisor of your thesis. Various general templates can be found in the MyTUM portal .
The Bachelor's thesis must not be handed in later than three months after your thesis issue date. The Master's thesis must not be handed in later than six months after your thesis issue date. In case of part-time study programs, different deadlines apply in accordance with the respective FPSO.
- Example Bachelor: Start issue date of the thesis May 1, latest submission date August 1.
- Example Master: Start issue date of the thesis October 9, latest submission date April 9.
How do I submit my thesis?
After you have successfully completed your thesis, log in to the thesis portal and upload your thesis as PDF file. You can find detailed information about the upload procedure and about the required designation of your PDF file in the instructions with screenshots here . The digital submission does not prevent you from the obligation to hand in the printed and signed version of your thesis to your examiner.
If the upload to the portal is not possible due to technical reasons, please send your thesis to [email protected] before the deadline.
Evaluation forms for examiners
Thesis evaluation form
The evaluation form is filled out by the examiner and is then sent to the Campus Office ( [email protected] ) along with the title page.
Creation of certificates
After receipt of the thesis grade in the Campus Office you will receive an e-mail with all information regarding the procedure for the preparation of the certificate.
After the approval by your advisor it can take up to 6 weeks until your transcript is issued and signed. You will then be informed by the Central Examination Office that your transcript is ready for collection.
You can also get your certificate by mail. For this, please submit the following request for delivery of the final documents to the department of central examination matters: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/documents/
If you need an early certificate of graduation, please fill out the form for the issuance of a certificate of graduation ( https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/documents/ ) and send it to the Graduation Office and Academic Records (Campus Weihenstephan). Please note that this is not a certificate, only an official confirmation of your degree. If you have any questions, please contact your student advisor: https://www.ls.tum.de/en/ls/studies/campus-office-and-student-advising/advice-and-support/
Further information of the TU Munich on the topic of final theses.
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