Search button


UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2016-06-29

Optics and Photonics PhD



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:

Introduction

The Optics PhD program requires a minimum 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, of which more than 50 percent should be at the 6000 level or higher. These hours must be comprised of:

  • 39 credit hours of formal course work, exclusive of independent study, satisfying the following requirements:
    • at least 30 credit hours must be Optics (prefix OSE) courses.
    • at least 6 credit hours must be science and engineering graduate research methods/laboratory courses of which at least 3 credit hours must be in Optics.
  • at least 15 credit hours of Dissertation (OSE 7980)

Curriculum

The Optics and Photonics PhD program is intended for students with a bachelors or master’s degree in Optics, Electrical Engineering, Physics, or closely related fields who wish to pursue a career in research or academia. Students with degrees in related fields may be required to take undergraduate articulation courses determined by the program director on a case-by-case basis.

Students are required to pass a qualifying examination, usually taken after 12 months in the program. About one year after passing the qualifying exam, students must take a candidacy examination, form a dissertation committee, and submit an approved plan of study before being admitted to candidacy doctoral status. The PhD core courses are not absolutely required, but they have been designed to include a significant portion of the material upon which the qualifying examination is based. Consequently, students are strongly encouraged to include most of these courses in their plan of study.

The Optics and Photonics PhD program requires a minimum 72 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree, of which more than 50 percent should be at the 6000 level or higher. These hours must be comprised of: 

  • At least 39 credit hours of formal course work satisfying the following requirements:
    • at least 30 credit hours must be Optics (prefix OSE) courses.
    • at least 6 credit hours must be science and engineering graduate research methods/laboratory courses of which at least 3 credit hours must be in Optics.
  • at least 15 credit hours of Dissertation (OSE 7980)

Additional notes on the curriculum:

  • Up to 30 credit hours of appropriate graduate courses earned in a master’s program from accredited universities may be waived with approval from the graduate committee.
  • Only courses with grades of “B” or better can be transferred. 

Required Courses—21 Credit Hours

Core Courses—15 Credit Hours

  • OSE 6111 Optical Wave Propagation (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 5115 Interference and Diffraction (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 5312 Light Matter Interaction (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6211 Imaging and Optical Systems (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6525 Laser Engineering (3 credit hours)

Research Methods/ Laboratory Courses—6 Credit Hours

At least 6 credit hours of approved Optics and related science/engineering research methods/laboratory courses are required from the list below. At least one must be in Optics (OSE). One required laboratory may be waived if the student can demonstrate an equivalent hands-on proficiency in that laboratory specialization. These research methods/laboratory courses count toward the formal graduate course work requirement.

  • OSE 6234C Applied Optics Laboratory (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6455C Photonics Laboratory (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6526C Laser Engineering Laboratory (3 credit hours)
  • OSE 6615L Optoelectronic Device Fabrication Laboratory (3 credit hours)
  • Other graduate science and engineering labs may be taken with college approval.

Elective Courses—36 Credit Hours Minimum

Restricted Electives—9 Credit Hours

In addition to the required courses above, students will need to complete an additional 9 credit hours to meet the 30 hours of formal Optics (OSE) course work required. An additional three hours of optics course work will also be required if the student waived out of one of the research methods/laboratory courses above, or if one of the laboratory courses taken is not an OSE prefix.

Other courses with significant optics content may be accepted toward the Optics (OSE) course work requirement, upon approval by the Associate Dean. 

    A listing and description of courses offered by the College of Optics and Photonics is found in the "Courses" section of the Graduate Catalog Menu at the top of the page.

    Unrestricted Electives—27 Credit Hours Minimum

    A combination of formal course work and research hours comprise the remaining unrestricted hours. At least 9 of these hours must be formal course work, which may be graduate optics, science or engineering courses. In addition to the 9 hours, 18 credits may be regular formal course work, doctoral research hours, independent study, or doctoral dissertation hours.  The independent study hours are limited to a maximum of 3 credit hours.  Any courses outside of the graduate optics, science or engineering disciplines must be approved by the college associate dean.

    Dissertation—15 Credit Hours Minimum

    • OSE 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

    Qualifying Examination

    Before students are eligible to take the candidacy examination, they must pass a written qualifying examination, which for full-time students is normally taken at the end of the first year of graduate study. The purpose of the qualifying exam is for the student to demonstrate mastery of the fundamentals of optics and photonics. The exam is administered by the doctoral qualifying examination committee, which consists of several graduate faculty members representing the appropriate disciplines, appointed by the director or designee. The committee’s duties include the preparation and grading of the examination material, and it may solicit input from other interested faculty. The exam is a closed book written exam in the general areas of electromagnetic foundations of optics, interference, diffraction, coherence, linear systems imaging, and light matter interaction. Students who do not pass the qualifying examination in two attempts will not continue in the program.

    Candidacy Examination

    Students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination before admission to full doctoral status. The purpose of the candidacy exam is for the student to demonstrate his or her readiness for the PhD program through preliminary research work in the chosen field of study. The candidacy exam is comprised of written and oral portions. The exam is administered by the members of the student's dissertation advisory committee who are full faculty members of the College of Optics and Photonics. External committee members of the dissertation advisory committee are not appointed until after the student has passed the candidacy exam. The exam is normally taken near the completion of required course work. Students must pass the candidacy exam before registering for doctoral dissertation hours (OSE 7980).

    Admission to Candidacy

    The following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours:

    • Completion of most course work, except for dissertation hours.
    • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
    • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
    • Submittal of an approved program of study.

    Dissertation Proposal and Defense

    Approximately one year after passing the general candidacy examination, and after the student has begun research, the student will write a dissertation proposal and present it to their dissertation advisory committee for its approval. The proposal must include the research performed to date and the research planned to complete the dissertation. The committee, which consists of three graduate faculty members from the College of Optics and Photonics and one faculty member from outside the college, must be approved by the director or designee and will meet annually to review the student’s progress. The dissertation advisory committee also administers the dissertation oral defense examination.


    Timeline for Completion

    First Year

    Students are usually expected to take a full course load, meaning 9-12 hours, unless designated part-time by the Associate Dean. Additionally, students are required to select a dissertation advisor, get started on research, and begin drafting their Plan of Study. In the first year, students will usually spend more time on courses, in preparation for the qualifying exam, than on research, but students on research fellowships/assistantships must also meet their research obligations. By the end of their first year, full-time students are expected to take the qualifying exam. Part-time students, must take the qualifying examination when the relevant core courses are completed.

    Before beginning their second year of full-time study, students are required to select a dissertation advisor. The dissertation advisor must be selected from the college list of approved graduate faculty and must be qualified to serve as chair of a dissertation committee.  Until a dissertation advisor is selected the Associate Dean will serve as the student's academic advisor, however, the selection of a dissertation advisor must occur by the end of the second year of full-time study.

    Second Year

    Before the beginning of the second year, students are required to submit their proposed Plan of Study to the Office of Academic Programs. Second year students are usually expected to devote a large fraction of their time to research, while typically also taking about 6 hours of formal course work per semester. After completing the core requirements, students should take their candidacy exam by the end of the second year. Prior to scheduling a candidacy exam, the PhD dissertation advisory committee should be formed. Once committee members are selected from the approved graduate faculty, the student is responsible for completing the Request to Form PhD Advisory Committee form and submitting it to the Office of Academic Programs. The Associate Dean must approve all dissertation committees. Additionally, once formed, the dissertation advisory committee may not be changed, unless for some reason a committee member becomes unavailable due to extended or permanent absence.

    Third Year

    By the third year, an Optics PhD student should be primarily involved with dissertation research and substantially done with courses except for upper level courses that are taught infrequently. Within one year of passing the candidacy exam, the dissertation proposal should be written and examined by the dissertation advisory committee. The student must ensure that The Report of Dissertation Proposal Examination form is submitted to the Office of Academic Programs once the examination is complete.

    Subsequent Years

    After passing the dissertation proposal students should be entirely engaged in their research. Students must arrange annual progress meetings with their dissertation advisory committees. Students must complete the Report of Annual Meeting with Dissertation Committee each subsequent year to document their progress towards dissertation defense and graduation.

     

    Course Schedule

    For a specific three-year course schedule, please contact program advisor.

    Examination Requirements

    Plan of Study 

    A Plan of Study is a listing of course work agreed to by the student and the degree program specifying course degree requirements.  A specific Plan of Study, which will vary from student to student, must be formulated jointly by the student and their dissertation advisor. Additionally, it must comply with the graduate catalog current at the time of enrollment in the program, or, with permission, current at the time the plan of study is proposed or amended.  Once completed, the Plan of Study must be approved by the dissertation advisor and the Associate Dean prior to the second term of full-time enrollment.  For a graduate student carrying a reduced load, the establishment of a Plan of Study may be delayed up to the registration for the tenth graduate semester hour.  The student may make changes in the Plan of Study at any time with approval of the dissertation advisor and the Associate Dean. 

    Students requesting to transfer credits from a previous institution must note those classes on the Plan of Study. Additionally, students are required to provide the appropriate documentation for transferring credits at the time of submitting the Plan of Study. Requests to transfer credits without the appropriate documentation will be denied. 

    Qualifying Examination

    Before students are eligible to take the candidacy examination, they must first pass a written qualifying examination, which must be taken at the next opportunity after all of the following listed courses have been taken:

    • OSE 5115 Interference, Diffraction and Coherence
    • OSE 5312 Light Matter Interaction
    • OSE 6111 Optical Wave Propagation
    • OSE 6211 Imaging and Optical Systems

    Note:  OSE 6525 – Laser Engineering is a required PhD core class, but is not part of the Qualifying Examination

    Those students failing on the first attempt must retake the exam at the very next attempt. Failure to take the exam at the required time will be regarded as equivalent to a failure of the exam. The qualifying examination committee may offer an oral exam to students who marginally fail on the second attempt, and based on the results of this oral exam, the student may pass.

    The purpose of the qualifying exam is for the student to demonstrate mastery of the fundamentals of optics and photonics. The exam is administered by the doctoral qualifying examination committee, which consists of several faculty members representing the appropriate disciplines, appointed by the director or designee. The committee’s duties include the preparation and grading of the examination material, and it may solicit input from other interested faculty. The exam is a closed book written exam in the general area of electromagnetic foundations of optics, interference, diffraction, coherence, geometrical optics and imaging science, light matter interaction guided waves and optoelectronics and laser engineering.  In order to adequately prepare for the exam, students are encouraged to reference the college’s detailed list of subjects covered on the exam.

    The qualifying examination is closed book, closed notes. For this reason, students may not bring their own calculators or computers. However, the college will issue students with approved calculators. These calculators may be checked out from the front desk a few weeks prior to the exam to allow students to become familiar with their operation.

    The exam is graded in a "double-blind" manner where steps are taken to ensure the absolute anonymity of students in the grading process.  Students are assigned code numbers for the purpose of labeling papers.  These codes are unknown to the exam committee.  Additionally, the committee reviews the exam results, determines the pass / fail threshold, and when assigning oral exams, the code numbers are removed from committee view.

    Students who do not pass the qualifying examination in two attempts will not continue in the program and are required to schedule an advisement appointment with the Associate Dean.

    Candidacy Examination

    Students are required to successfully complete the candidacy examination before admission to full doctoral candidate status and enrollment into dissertation hours. The purpose of the candidacy exam is for the student to demonstrate his or her readiness for the PhD program through preliminary research work. The Candidacy Examination should be taken when the student is nearing the end of course work. For full time students this is normally about one year after completing the qualifying examination.

    The exam is administered by the members of the student’s dissertation advisory committee who are members of the optics faculty. Before students can take the candidacy examination, the first section of the dissertation advisory committee approval form, which lists the optics faculty members of the dissertation advisory committee must be signed by all members and approved by the associate dean and be on file with the college. Dissertation advisory committee membership is prescribed in the section below. External committee members of the dissertation advisory committee are not appointed until after the student has passed the Candidacy exam.

    The candidacy exam is comprised of written and oral portions. For the written portion, the student will be required to write a report and a comprehensive literature survey on a subject related to their eventual dissertation research topic.  The exact subject matter will be determined by the committee chair and communicated to the student at least one month prior to the candidacy exam. The written report should contain between 5,000 and 10,000 words. It should roughly follow the format of a scientific journal paper, containing an abstract, an introductory section that thoroughly and historically reviews prior work in the field, where appropriate, a section that describes the students own research progress to date and a section that describes possible avenues of future research in the field. The student must make the written report available to all committee members at least one full week before the date of the oral exam.

    In the oral part of the examination, the student will orally present the report, and through questioning, the committee will further probe the student’s competency in the research topic. Students who do not pass at the first attempt must retake the Candidacy examination within 6 months. A student will have only two opportunities to pass. Should the student not pass on the second attempt, they will not be able to continue in the PhD program.

    Students must complete eleven of the thirteen required academic courses, and be enrolled in the twelfth course during the term that the Candidacy exam is attempted before Graduate Studies will update the student to Candidate status. This means that 33 of the 39 academic hours must be completed prior to attempting the exam.

    Students must pass the candidacy exam and have the candidacy and dissertation advisory committee documentation received and processed by the College of Graduate Studies prior to the first day of classes for the term in order to enroll in dissertation hours (OSE 7980) for that term. Due to the time required for processing, this means the candidacy exam must be scheduled by the Academic Calendar Dissertation Deadline Date in the term prior to updated Candidate status.

    SPEAK Test Requirement to Enter Candidacy

    All optics PhD students who were required to meet TOEFL requirements for admission must pass the SPEAK test with a score of at least 40 to qualify for PhD Candidacy status. Recognizing the importance of oral presentation skills to the careers of PhD level scientists and engineers, the College of Optics and Photonics would like to help all its PhD students achieve a reasonable level of proficiency in spoken English. Therefore, the college makes available spoken English classes in addition to the SPEAK test requiring spoken English proficiency to enter PhD candidacy.

    The college will pay the fees for PhD students to take the SPEAK test. Should a student fail, the college will pay for the student to take the English Accent Reduction Course offered by the UCF Center for Multilingual Multicultural Studies. A student may also elect to take the accent reduction course prior to taking the test. The college will not limit the number of times the student may take the test before reaching the required score. However, for each student, the college will only pay for a maximum of two attempts of the exam and one Accent Reduction Course. Both the SPEAK test and the English Accent Reduction course are offered spring and fall. These will be announced to student periodically, or students may directly inquire to the COP Office of Academic Programs.

    Dissertation Proposal Examination

    Usually within 18 months of passing the candidacy examination, and after the student has begun research, the student must write a dissertation proposal and present it to the dissertation advisory committee for its approval. The proposal must include the research performed to date and a detailed plan of research required to complete the dissertation. Approximately two weeks after the committee receives the written report, the student will present the proposal orally to the dissertation advisory committee. After evaluation of the written and oral presentations, the committee may either accept the proposal as-is, or may require the student to revise the proposal.

    Dissertation Requirements

    University Dissertation Requirements

    The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.

    All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

    The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:

    • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
    • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
    • Defend by the defense deadline
    • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
    • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
    • Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline

    Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.

    The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.

    The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at editor@ucf.edu.

    Dissertation Advisory Committee Membership

    The Dissertation Advisory Committee will consist of a minimum of four members. At least three or a majority of the committee, whichever is larger, must be full faculty members in the College and must be graduate faculty approved for doctoral advisory committee membership. See note below for definition of "full" faculty members. See the Graduate Faculty section for a list of those approved faculty members. At least one member, referred to as the "external member", must be either a faculty member in another college at UCF or be a recognized researcher from outside the university whose research specialty matches that of the dissertation. If the external member is a UCF faculty member, he or she must be on the graduate faculty and qualified to chair dissertation in his or her own program. If the external member is from outside the university, they must be approved to serve by the College of Optics curriculum committee. Such approvals are specific to each dissertation. Further questions on the composition of dissertation advisory committees can be answered by the Associate Dean.

    As stated above, the Candidacy exam is administered by the committee members who are full members of the college. Prior to scheduling the candidacy exam, these members must be identified and approved by filling out the first section of the dissertation advisory committee approval form. Upon passing the candidacy exam, the external member or members of the committee should be identified and the second part of the dissertation advisory committee approval form should be completed, approved and filed with the college.

    Note on definition of "full" faculty members in the college: The college is composed of full faculty members and faculty members from other departments at UCF who hold joint appointments in the college. The easiest way to identify these is by looking at the faculty listing on the College web site. By college policy, faculty with joint appointments count as external members of dissertation advisory committees. However, they are also usually eligible to serve as dissertation chairs but in that case, committees must consist of the chair, three full members of the college faculty and another external member Questions about the eligibility of committee members should be addressed to the associate dean. 

    Dissertation Progress

    Students are expected to successfully progress in their dissertation research each year. Upon admittance into the doctoral program, students are held to a deadline of seven years to graduate before completed courses are considered outdated and removed off the degree audit. In order to ensure students are continuously working on their dissertation, it is required that once enrolling in dissertation hours (7980) the student must continuously enroll (including summers) in dissertation hours until actual defense. For more information on the before mentioned policies, please reference the current catalog.

    The College of Optics has implemented a new policy that requires faculty to review the progress of their PhD Students annually, once they have completed 24 months in the program. This should be done in the spring semester and completed by January 31, every year. The purpose of the process is that students and faculty should have a clear and common understanding about how each student is progressing towards the degree. The first part of the process will be for students to write a very brief report summarizing their progress towards their dissertation in the past year, providing an estimate of their cumulative progress towards their ultimate goal of writing and defending their dissertation. The report should be approximately 1 page in length. Please discuss this with your advisor before starting the process. It is desired that the process be as little burden as possible. The form to use is on the college website/PhD Handbook.

    Review for Original Work

    The university requires all students submitting a thesis or dissertation as part of their graduate degree requirements to first submit their electronic documents through iThenticate.com for advisement purposes and for review of originality. The committee chair (adviser) is responsible for the scheduling of the review and for sharing the results with the committee. Complete the writing of your dissertation early enough in your final semester to submit to iThenticate.com and allow ample time for your committee chair and advisory committee to review the results and provide their comments to you. Your advisory committee must agree that your writing meets university requirements before your committee chair can sign your Dissertation Approval Form.

    Dissertation Oral Defense

    In the semester that the student plans to graduate, he/she must discuss with their dissertation advisor.  Once the dissertation advisor certifies the student is ready for graduation, the student must ensure that the university notified by filing an online Intent to Graduate Form by logging into myUCF and navigating to the Student Center – Intent to Graduate: Apply. International students are encouraged to seek advisement from the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and the International Services Center when intending to graduate.

    The announcement of the dissertation defense is due to the Office of Academic Programs at least two weeks prior to the scheduled oral defense date. Announcing an upcoming defense can be done by completing the Dissertation Abstract and Announcement of Dissertation Defense form and submitting the form to the Office of Academic Programs. To avoid time conflicts among committee members, the oral defense should be scheduled well in advance.  After the intent and announcement are submitted, students are responsible for meeting all additional university graduation requirements and deadlines as outlined in the academic calendar.  Failure to complete a dissertation format review by the format review deadline, meet the dissertation defense deadline, or submit the dissertation by the final submisison deadline will result in removal from the graduation list for that term.

    After evaluation of the dissertation and the defense, the committee may either pass the student immediately, or may require that the student carries out additional work to satisfactorily complete the dissertation.

    After the defense but prior to leaving, each graduate student must attend an exit interview. Students may contact the Office of Academic programs to schedule an appropriate time.

    Graduate Research

    As a graduate college for optical science and engineering education and research, the research activities of COP faculty span the spectrum from basic science to prototype development. Additionally, the faculty vigorously pursue joint research projects with industry, academia, and government laboratories. The main facilities of the COP are housed in a state-of-the-art 96,000 foot building dedicated to optics and photonics research and education.

    The COP faculty collaborate closely with other UCF research units, including the Center for Nanoscience and Technology, the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, the Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC), the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), and the Florida Solar Energy Center. Several COP faculty hold joint appointments in these and other UCF departments, including Departments of Physics, Chemistry, Mechanical Materials and Aerospace Engineering, and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, which facilitates access to the outstanding facilities in these units and encourages interdisciplinary research.

    Patent and Invention Policy

    UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and to (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. For further information on UCF’s Patent and Invention policies, students are encouraged to reference http://www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu/ > Policies > General Graduate Policies.

    Research and Independent Studies

    It is the policy of the College that research or dissertation hours (OSE 6918, 7919 or 6908) are graded either "s" or "u" and these do not affect a student’s grade point average. Independent studies are not usually taught in the College. For an independent studies course to be approved, the instructor must supply a detailed syllabus, list of learning outcomes and expectations for the student, along with an assessment and grading methodology. Independent studies are usually graded with a letter grade and hence do count in the program of studies. However, students should remember that there is a maximum of 12 hours of research or independent studies that can count toward the PhD.

    Research Policies and Ethics Information

    UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu-->Compliance.

    Financial Support

    The College of Optics and Photonics works to provide students the opportunity to fully engage themselves in research education. Doctoral students are typically funded by a mixture of research assistantships, and external, university and college fellowships. The fellowships are awarded to students in the form of an assistantship. In addition to fellowships, students typically receive tuition remission covering 100 percent of their fees.

    As with any type of employment, a large responsibility of ensuring continuance of the position rests with the student. This section is meant to briefly cover the requirements for securing funding and renewing an assistantship. Students are encouraged to reference the current graduate catalog and contact the Office of Academic Programs with additional questions.

    • Students must meet the expectations of their dissertation advisors in order to maintain funding. If, at any time, students do not meet the expectations of their dissertation advisor, funding can be canceled.

    • Students must maintain good academic standing with a graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher each term. If a student's term or program GPA falls below 3.0, funding will not be available until the student’s status returns to good academic standing (GPA of at least 3.0).

    • University financial resources are to be used to support full-time, degree-seeking graduate students who maintain good academic progress. Therefore, students not enrolled full-time and/or in a probationary status due to a low GPA are not eligible for funding. 

    Graduate Student Associations

    The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu

    The following the program related organizations:

    Optical Society of America Student Chapter, Student Chapter: osa.creol.ucf.edu/

    International Society for Optical Engineering, Student Chapter: spie.creol.ucf.edu/

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Orlando Section: ewh.ieee.org/r3/orlando/

    Professional Development

    As students progress in their academic career, the University of Central Florida also provides many opportunities for professional development. The following is a listing of several organizations offering outstanding development opportunities.

    Career Services 

    • Career Expo
      Held in the fall and spring, this event provides the opportunity for employers to discuss internship, career, and employment opportunities with University of Central Florida students and alumni.
    • Internship Job Fair 
      Provides the opportunity for employers to discuss internship, career, and employment opportunities with University of Central Florida students and alumni through the Internship
    • Fair and Spring Career Expo
      Statewide Job Fair Joint effort from all Florida universities to provide the opportunity to Florida students to meet with employers and discuss internship, career, and employment opportunities.
    • Employment Prep Fair 
      Held prior to each Career Expo, this event provides students with the opportunity to meet with employers to learn more about job search techniques, resumes, interviewing, and negotiating job offers. Employers are available to critique resumes and offer practice interviews. This event is designed to better prepare students for success at Career Expo.
    • Externship Information Sessions
      Provide students with information on how to participate in winter and spring externships. The Externship Program offers students the opportunity to shadow an employer in their professional area of interest to learn more about the career field as well as the organizations culture, products, and services.
    • Career Panels
      Provide students with opportunities to hear employers talk about potential careers and jobs relative to their majors. These employer panels are ideal for anyone considering a major or already declared in a major relevant to the panel's professional field.

    GTA Certificate Program

    Students receive group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning staff and experienced UCF professors, as well as textbooks and materials. GTAs will attend a 12-week, non-credit program. 

    Topics include: 1. Presentation skills and practice 2. Balancing the many roles of TA's 3. Course design and management 4. Delivery of instruction, teaching strategies 5. Learning differences among students 6. Instructional technology (hands on) 7. Giving assessment and soliciting feedback 8. Building a peer support network 9. Professional survival skills, ethics, legal issues.

    Pathways to Success Workshops

    Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit http://www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/  

    Graduate Research Forum

    The Graduate Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster and best oral presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition. The Research Forum is usually held in the spring semester. Students may contact the college or the College of Graduate Studies for more information.

    Graduate Excellence Awards

    Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:  

    Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

    Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

    Award for the Outstanding Dissertation – It recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

    For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.

    Job Search

    UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.

    For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.

    Forms

    • College of Graduate Studies Forms
      This web link provides a listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
    • Graduate Petition Form
      When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.

    Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

    1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
    2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
    3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
    4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
    5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

    When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

    Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

    Paraphrased Material

    Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

    Use and Adaptation of the Material:

    You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).

    Explanation:

    The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

    The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

    Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

    For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

    Useful Links