1st Year

  • Complete standard graduate organic sequence - CH 535/630/631/632 - a grade of B or better is expected for all courses that count towards your degree.
  • Formally join the research group (typically by the end of Fall term).
  • Start attending Tuesday noon group meetings and Wednesday evening literature meetings in Fall term.
  • Start conducting research (typically in Winter or Spring term).
  • Take additional courses as appropriate (including special topics course CH 636/637/638) - a grade of B or better is expected for all courses that count towards your degree.
  • Start taking organic cumulative exams in Spring term (3 hour exam on current literature held twice a term - typically on Thursday evenings).

2nd Year

  • Complete remaining of normal coursework - a grade of B or better is expected for all courses that count towards your degree.
  • Establish your graduate committee and have initial program meeting. (This should be completed by Fall term. Talk to your advisor for suggestions of committee members. You will need a 2-3 page typed research summary (proposed research and accomplishments to date) as well as the completed Program of Study form.)
  • Obtain at least 4 points on organic cumulative exams by end of 2nd year in order to remaining on the PhD track in organic chemistry (10 total points are required to complete organic cumulative exams. These exams serve as the written component of your oral preliminary exam.).

3rd Year and Beyond

  • Complete with a grade of B or better the seminar-based course CH 633 (HYPOTHESIS, EVIDENCE, AND ARGUMENT IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY) during your 3rd year.
  • Students typically obtain the required 10 points on organic cumulative exams during their 3rd year.
  • Students are required to complete their oral preliminary exam within twelve months of finishing their organic cumulative exams.

1 Year before Graduation

  • Outline plan for experiments that need to be completed for thesis. This plan should be developed in discussion with your advisor.
  • If planning on applying for external fellowships to support a postdoctoral position, discuss with advisor suggestions for good fits in postdoctoral mentors.

6 Months before Graduation

  • Start actively applying for jobs. Please make sure to show your application packet to your advisor prior to sending it out. For postdoctoral applications, regular "snail mail" (USPS Priority Mail is a often a good choice) is strongly recommended over email (unless specifically requested by the faculty member you are applying to). Application packet should include cover letter, detailed CV, 4-6 page research summary and copies of all publications.
  • Start working on organizing your experimental sections to confirm that you have all necessary characterization.
  • Start working on an outline for format for thesis. Make sure to discuss regularly with advisor for guidance and feedback.

3 Months and Less Before Graduation

  • Start Actively writing thesis. Do not start with introductory chapter first - save until later in the writing process. Make sure to show regular drafts to your advisor. Save files by chapter and regularly (e.g. every day) with a new name (e.g. Chapter One-05.05.13.doc).
  • Schedule your thesis date (after consultation with advisor) approximately 1-2 months in advance.
  • Distribute thesis to committee members by two weeks prior to the examination date. Make sure to ask if they prefer electronic or print versions of your thesis.
  • Thesis defenses typically last 2-3 hours. There is a 50 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions that is open to the public. After the seminar and questions, the defense goes into executive session with just the candidate and the committee members.

After Graduation

  • Make sure to give advisor electronic (DOC or DOCX) files of your thesis as well as PDF versions of both the thesis and the NMR spectra.
  • Your lab notebooks, spectra and compound inventory should well-organized and shown to your advisor prior to leaving.
  • Clean thoroughly your hood, lab bench and desk prior to departing.
  • Make sure to keep in contact with you advisor. We welcome the updates on your career.
  • Thank you for picking OSU and the Carter lab for your graduate career. Good luck in your future endeavors.