Biology Graduate Student Handbook


Welcome to the Department of Biology Graduate Program! While you may not realize it now, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting phases of your academic careers. No longer are you undergraduates locked only into taking classes, you now have the opportunity to actively shape your future careers. No matter your subsequent aspirations, this is where it all begins! Graduate school is an exciting time because everything is up to you and your success is completely entwined with the level of effort you input. So, from now on, the sky truly is the limit.


Graduate school is also a very challenging endeavor, sure to be filled with myriad questions. Thus, if you need any advice, feel a desire to rant or just need to ask a question, the following people are great resources:

Faculty Contact Information

Cliff Ross

Departmental Chair

(904) 620-2830

Matt Gilg

Graduate Coordinator 

(904) 620-1949  

Amy Keagy

Lab Manager

(904) 620-1796


For a complete listing of departmental faculty and advisors, click here. 


Besides these individuals, the best resources you will probably have are your fellow colleagues and major advisor, so never be afraid to seek advice from the more established graduate students, your advisor, other faculty or staff. The department is here to help you.


Remember that while this is an exciting time, it is also a very trying one. Gone are the days of laissez-faire schedules and summer/winter vacations. Graduate students, especially those pursuing the M.S., are expected to put a lot of hours into their work, and, as such, disciplined dedication is paramount. However rigorous this may sound, it is also exciting, for now you have the opportunity to make your own mark as you begin crafting your contribution to the scientific body of knowledge. So let us know how we can help you realize your ambitions, and, remember, you should feel empowered, as your success is entirely up to you!


In addition to this guide, you are advised to read the Graduate School Student Handbook as it provides general information applicable to ALL graduate students regardless of their programs of study.  While the Biology Graduate Student Handbook contains valuable information specifically related to graduate studies in Biology at UNF, the Graduate School Student Handbook addresses policies, procedures and resources related to graduate studies in general at UNF.  It is your responsibility to review the information both in this handbook and in the Graduate School Student Handbook as you will be held responsible for abiding by its content.

  • 1. Getting Started
    • 1.1 Academic Advising
    • 1.2 Choosing a Mentor
    • 1.3 Student Orientation
    • 1.4 Biology Graduate Student Responsibilities
    • 1.5 Program Director Responsibilities
    • 1.6 Offices & Services
    • 1.7 Graduate Faculty in Biology
  • 2. Degree Requirements
    • 2.1 Graduate Programs in Biology
    • 2.2 Master of Arts in Biology Program Description
    • 2.3 Master of Science in Biology Program Description
    • 2.4 Course Listings/Descriptions
  • 3. Financial Support
    • 3.1 Biology Graduate Student Awards
    • 3.2 Summer Support
    • 3.3 Thomas Dodson Biology Fellowship
    • 3.4 Travel Funds
  • 4. Graduate Teaching Assistantships
    • 4.1 GTA Commitments
    • 4.2 GTA Office Hours
    • 4.3 GTA Prep Work
    • 4.4 GTA Proctoring
    • 4.5 GTA Progress towards Degree
    • 4.6 GTA Support
    • 4.7 GTA Semester End Assessments and Evaluations for Continued Funding
  • 5. Policies & Procedures
    • 5.1 Academic Integrity
    • 5.2 Good Academic Standing in Biology
    • 5.3 Biology GPA Minimums
    • 5.4 Probation/Suspension/Removal
    • 5.5 MS Students' Committee Formation
    • 5.6 MS Students' Committee Meetings
    • 5.7 MS Students' Graduate Chair Meetings
    • 5.8 Progress towards Degree
    • 5.9 Switching between Graduate Degree Programs
  • 6. Resources
    • 6.1 Careers in Biology
    • 6.2 Forms