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International Understanding & Communications Requirements

International understanding and communications are important with respect to domestic and global issues concerning natural resource conservation and stewardship. In recognition of the need for global literacy of PhD students, there are communications requirements in English and in one other language or understanding of a foreign culture. The pursuit of cultural understanding should entail depth and effort equivalent to reading comprehension of a foreign language; i.e. freshman level survey courses are not sufficient. Logically, pursuit and demonstration of cultural understanding should be related to the dissertation research context. Proposals for international understanding are also subject to review by the Department's Graduate Studies Committee.

A. Assessment of English Competence
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Resources or Wildlife and Fisheries Science will be required to demonstrate a high level of competence in the use of the English language (see Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin). An assessment of English competence will be made at the PhD Candidacy Examination, which is normally given before or during the second semester of the student’s residence. The student will be expected to demonstrate competence in subject matter related to the major. In addition, the Candidacy Examination will be used to assess both written and oral English competence. In general, a written question (possibly non-subject matter) will be included in the examination. The PhD candidate also will be expected to demonstrate English competence in both written and oral answers to questions dealing with subject matter. Competence will be demonstrated by using proper vocabulary, spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation, and by constructing answers in an understandable and organized manner.

Written and speaking competence in English will be assessed by the Candidacy Examination committee. The 4-person (or more) committee will evaluate all answers given by the student to written and oral questions at the PhD Candidacy Examination. Foreign students are also required by the Graduate School to be certified in oral English proficiency prior to serving as teaching assistants (see Section IIF. AEOCPT).

B. Improvement of English Competence
A PhD candidate who does not adequately demonstrate competence in English shall be directed into one or more special remedial courses. These courses will be approved by the Candidacy Committee, depending on the student’s inadequacies. Non-native speakers of English will be required to pass with at least a "B" grade ESL 114G (Basic) and/or ESL 116G (Reading and Writing). Native speakers of English will be required to pass with at least a "B" grade at least one of the following courses: ENGL 202 (Effective Writing), or ENGL 418 (Advanced Technical Writing and Editing). In addition, the student will be required to enroll in subject 590 and give at least one oral presentation.

C. Attainment of English Competence
A PhD student who has not adequately demonstrated competence in the English language at the PhD Candidacy Examination shall fulfill all remedial requirements recommended by the Candidacy Examination Committee. The student then will be required to retake the English competence component of the PhD Candidacy Examination. If a student fails to demonstrate a high level of English competence at the second assessment, the Candidacy Examination Committee will recommend to the Graduate Program Coordinator that the student not be allowed to continue in a PhD program.