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Departmental and University Seminars

Departmental Seminars. Weekly seminars are held in the department during the academic year. Speakers include departmental faculty and graduate students, and speakers from outside the department (both on- and off-campus). These seminars usually consist of a formal presentation which is followed by a question-and-answer session that can some-times lead to lively discussion. Topics incorporate the breadth of scientific sub-disciplines represented in the department. Seminars provide a forum for exchange of ideas and for interactions among members of the department. Such exchanges are a critical component of graduate education, and provide a convenient method for students to get to know other members of the department. All graduate students should attend the departmental seminars and are expected to sign up each quarter for department seminar (Bot 507 or 607). The Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology sponsors weekly seminars that feature outside speakers. Do not fail to attend a seminar simply because the specific topic is outside your main field of interest - you might actually learn something if you attend!

University Seminars. Other departments at OSU, such as Entomology, Horticulture, Zoology, and Forestry, also sponsor regular seminar series and many of these may be of interest to graduate students depending on their areas of specialization. Announcements for seminars are listed each week in the OSU Staff Newsletter, as well as posted on the notice board outside the main office.

Policy on Thesis Proposal Seminars/Required Graduate Student Seminars

Objectives: The purpose of this requirement is to focus the student, advisor, and program committee on the thesis research early in the student’s program. In addition, the requirement will provide an opportunity for Department members to become familiar with the planned research, and to provide comment and feedback on the proposed research.

Policy: The thesis proposal seminar is required of all Ph.D. and thesis-M.S. students. The seminar should be planned to occur within the first 15-18 months of the student’s program. Students should work with their advisor and other sources to learn how to organize and prepare effective seminars. Length of the seminar is limited to one-half hour (20 minute presentation, 10 minutes for questions) and, normally, the seminar should be scheduled during one of the regular seminar times on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons. The seminar should be advertised by the Department. Both oral and written feedback from Department members is encouraged.

Administration: The seminar time should be scheduled one quarter in advance with the Chair of the Seminar Committee. A reminder/check-off for the proposal seminar requirement will be placed on the student’s annual evaluation form.


Approved by vote of the faculty in May 1995


Graduate Student Seminars. A member of the Seminar Committee will notify students well in advance of the date for the required seminar which will normally be on the student's thesis research. The following guidelines should be useful when preparing for this presentation.

  • 1. A student should begin development of a seminar several weeks in advance of the scheduled presentation. Students are not only expected to give smooth and well-prepared presentations but also to be knowledgeable about the subject. This may involve considerable background reading on the topic.

    2. A student should work closely with his/her major professor in the development of the seminar. A "dry run" with the major professor several days before the seminar presentation is strongly suggested.

    3. Visual aids should be prepared well in advance of the seminar presentation so that poorly exposed slides can be retaken, readability of charts can be tested, etc. Costs involved in preparation of visual aids should be cleared through the major professor.

    4. A brief written biographical sketch should be provided by the seminar speaker to the chairperson of the Seminar Committee by Tuesday noon preceding the presentation.

    5. The time allowed for presentation of the seminar may vary (about 30-40 minutes). The development of an awareness of timing is important and running overtime should be avoided.

    6. The speaker should be in the best position to answer many of the comments and questions raised during the discussion period, but if necessary he/she should feel free to call on members of the audience to enter into the discussion.