Biological Sciences Columbia University
FACULTYRESEARCHPh.D. PROGRAMM.A. BIOTECHNOLOGYUNDERGRADUATECOURSES
M.A. BIOTECHNOLOGY
Current Students
Introduction
Student Handbook
Coursework
Theses
Seminars
Sites and Forms
Alumni
Alumni Careers
Prospective Students
Introduction
Frequently Asked Questions
Admissions Requirements
Who Should Apply
Coursework
Fees & Financial Aid
Contact Us
Apply Now
Thesis Guidelines

Student Handbook

Subject
Format
Faculty Advisor
Content
Deadlines
Formatting and Style Requirements
Suggestions
MS Word template


Subject

The thesis can be about any subject related to the natural science aspect of Biotechnology. This includes, but is not limited to, almost anything that is touched on in the W4034, W4300 and G4305, as well as almost all the research fields of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences and many in the Health Sciences Campus. Non-natural science issues such as business, law, ethics, can be included only as a small portion of the major picture. They should not be the main, or the only, theme of the thesis.

Back to Top



Format

Option 1: Review articles with strong "views" and "future" components. The thesis shall give in-depth evaluations of the field, including the history, current status, and future directions.

Option 2: Grant proposal following NIH RO1 rules using Form PHS398

Option 3: Scientific report. For students who have done independent research (G4500-3 or uncredited), the thesis can be about their research while enrolling in the MA program. The general format should follow the Research Articles in Nature Biotechnology. Exception is that the thesis should have a much more extensive background section. Remember that materials already used for reports and credits cannot be used again for thesis.

Back to Top



Faculty Advisor

Any Columbia faculty members can serve as advisors. The involvement of the faculty member can range from “holding-hands-every-step-of-the-way” to just reading the final draft, depending on the agreement between the student and the advisor. If you would like to have a non-Columbia faculty as your primary advisor, you need an additional Columbia faculty to be the final reader and to approve the thesis.

Most people, advisor and advisee alike, find it helpful to have at least some ideas about what and how you plan to write before approaching somebody for advice. You must have at least one faculty advisor who will read your final draft critically. In order not to overwhelm research faculty with reading commitments, we may have to limit the number of thesis each faculty can be asked to advise.

Please inform your advisor of all rules and deadlines. Keep in mind that many people take summer vacations.

Back to Top



Content

Title page

Required

Copyright page

Optional

Abstract

Required

Table of contents

Required

List of charts, graphs, illustrations

Optional

Acknowledgements

Optional

Dedication

Optional

Preface

If applicable

Main body of the thesis (including introduction and chapter pages, graphs, photos, figures, and tables)

Required

References

Required

Appendices

If applicable

Back to Top



Deadlines

Plan to submit all materials as early as possible. Computers crash. Papers jam in the printer. Degree conferring dates do not change. Materials denoted with an (*) should be emailed to the MA Biotechnology office (biotech@biology.columbia.edu). It is the students’ responsibility to meet all deadlines. Part of the training here is to practice "making other people do what they are supposed to do on time."

 

Deadline

 

10/15/2014
degree
2/11/2015
degree
5/20/2015
degree
10/21/2015
degree

Subject* – just a few lines: what and how you plan to write it

5/28/2014 9/24/2014 12/18/2014 5/26/2015

Proposed title and outline*: ½ to 1 page

6/25/2014 10/22/2014 1/20/2015 6/23/2015

Written agreement* from a faculty advisor

Completed thesis to faculty advisor and MA program office*

8/20/2014 12/17/2014 3/23/2015 8/20/2015

Note of receipt* of completed final draft from the advisor

Note of approval* of the final revised version from the advisor

10/1/2014 1/28/2015 5/6/2015 10/7/2015

Electronic copy of the advisor-approved version to MA office*

Approval from the MA program

10/8/2014 2/4/2015 5/13/2015 10/14/2015
One final bound copy

Application for Degree submitted to Registrar

9/2/2014 11/3/2014 12/1/2014 9/8/2015

A copy of the form should also be emailed to the program at biotech@biology.columbia.edu. The form can be accessed at the following link:- http://registrar.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/degree-app.pdf

Back to Top




Formatting and Style Requirements

Follow the requirements exactly. It not only makes a better-looking thesis, it keeps a thesis from being rejected due to technicalities.

Back to Top



Suggestions

THINK: I think a lot and write very little.
- Ernest Hemingway

SIMPLIFY: Rule Seventeen: Omit needless words. Omit needless words. Omit needless words.
- William Strunk Jr.

REVISE: In my writing, I average about ten pages a day. Unfortunately, they're all the same page.
- Michael Alley

Recommended books:

"The Elements of Style" by W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, ISBN: 020530902 (paper back only costs $6.95)

"The Handbook of Good English" by Edward D. Johnson ISBN 0-87196-141-5

"Lapsing Into a Comma" by Bill Walsh. ISBN: 0809225352

Back to Top



MS Word template

Thesis should be submitted electronically to advisors and the MA office in one file. Here is an MS Word template if you have difficulties with page numbers.

If your file is too big to transmit electronically because it contains too many high-resolution graphics, separate the graphics from the text. In that case, it is OK to send one text file and one graphic file.
HOMEDIRECTORIESNEWS & EVENTSRESOURCESEMPLOYMENTCONTACT US