A. Advisors
B. Evaluation of Student Progress
C. Grades and the Honor System
D. Attending Colloquia and Seminars
E. Commencing Research
F. Registration
G. Distribution of M.S. and Ph.D. Theses and Thesis Abstracts
H. Academic Dishonesty

A. Advisors (back)

A member of the Department's Graduate Committee will advise every graduate student until the M.S. thesis advisor is chosen or until a Ph.D. supervisory committee is formed. At that time, the thesis or dissertation supervisor becomes the student's advisor. Students are, of course, encouraged to seek advice from any member of the faculty at any time.

B. Evaluation of Student Progress (back)

Students are expected to make timely progress towards their degree objective. Each student will be informed periodically by letters from the Graduate Committee and by their advisor of the faculty's evaluation of their progress. Some issues that are considered by the faculty when evaluating a student's progress are:

  1. Is the student taking a full load of substantive courses relevant to his/her degree?

  2. Is the student's grade point average (over all graduate courses) a B or better?

  3. Does the student show interest in current research through attendance at colloquia and seminars and discussions with faculty members?

  4. Has the student started his/her research training at the appropriate time?

C. Grades and the Honor System (back)

Students seeking a Ph.D. are expected to have a "B" average in the substantive courses in their program. No special seminar or research course grades will be included in the calculation of this grade average. In some graduate courses a grade of "P" will be given to indicate passing work. Students are expected to abide by the honor system for examinations and, as specified, for other assignments. If, for example, an instructor gives a take-home or other examination and a student obtains assistance on the examination from written or verbal sources not explicitly approved by the instructor, the student is in violation of the University's Code of Conduct. (For details see The Student Code of Conduct in the UNL Graduate Studies Bulletin.)

D. Attending Colloquia and Seminars (back)

Departmental Colloquia take place every Thursday during the Fall and Spring semesters. Colloquia are generally at 4:00 p.m. in Brace Auditorium (Room 211). An informal reception is typically held in 201 Brace from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., giving students an opportunity to meet with the Colloquium speaker, faculty, and fellow students. Departmental Colloquia are an important part of graduate student education and help to provide students with knowledge of a broad range of topics in physics and astronomy. Graduate students are required to attend ALL Colloquia.

In addition to the weekly Colloquia, seminars are held regularly by the AMOP group, and CMRA.

E. Commencing Research (back)

Graduate students are urged to become familiar with the various research areas in the Department. Departmental Colloquia are one way to do this. Students are also encouraged to attend seminars, which tend to be more technical talks in specific subfields.

Physics 998, a one-credit course required of all graduate students during their first spring semester in residence, is designed to introduce students to research of the different faculty members in the Department. Throughout the semester, approximately different faculty lecture weekly on their research programs.

Once students begin to focus on their area of interest, they are encouraged to register for non-thesis research. A brief summary of the research interests of the faculty is presented in the Department's listing in The American Institute of Physics' annual book entitled Graduate Programs in Physics, Astronomy, and Related Fields. In addition, most faculty have web pages describing their research programs.

F. Registration (back)

Graduate students are expected to register during early registration. If there is some reason why registration cannot be accomplished at that time, the Department office should be notified. Students who receive financial support of any kind from the Department and/or UNL must be registered for courses before their appointment will be processed (i.e., before they receive a paycheck).

G. Distribution of M.S. and Ph.D. Theses and Thesis Abstracts (back)

Two unbound copies of each thesis should be given to Love Library. One bound copy should be given to the Physics and Astronomy Branch Library. Graduate students and/or their advisors are also asked to distribute to faculty and other graduate students a copy of the M.S. or Ph.D. Thesis Abstract to better inform the faculty of student progress and to acquaint graduate students with the research being carried out in the Department.

H. Academic Dishonesty (back)

Graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have historically displayed a high level of integrity when carrying out classroom assignments and when working on examinations or thesis research. The purpose of the discussion here is to make sure that students are fully informed of faculty expectations in this regard. A fairly complete discussion of what may constitute academic dishonesty and the possible penalties for such dishonesty may be found in the Graduate Studies Bulletin issued by the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This section of the Graduate Student Handbook summarizes for graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy some of the main points made in the Graduate Studies Bulletin regarding academic dishonesty and clarifies some issues regarding penalties for engaging in academic dishonesty.

Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty shall be subject to both academic and disciplinary sanctions. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Cheating. Copying or attempting to copy from an academic test, examination, or assigned work of another student; using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices for any academic test or assignment.

  2. Fabrication and Falsification. Falsifying or fabricating any information or citation in any academic exercise, assignment, or examination. Falsification is the alteration of information, while fabrication is the invention or counterfeiting of information.

  3. Plagiarism.Presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgement of the source) and submitting examinations, theses, reports, or other academic work in whole or in part as one's own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person.

  4. Abuse of Academic Materials. Destroying, defacing, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material.

  5. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty. Helping or attempting to help another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty.

  6. Falsifying Grade Reports. Changing or destroying grades, scores or markings on an examination or in an instructor's records.

  7. Misrepresentation to Avoid Academic Work. Fabricating an excuse such as illness, injury, accident, etc., in order to avoid or delay timely submission of academic work or to avoid or delay the taking of an examination.

For a more complete description of what may constitute academic dishonesty, the student is referred to the current Graduate Studies Bulletin. Penalties for academic dishonesty are discussed in Appendix A.