Chemistry and Biochemistry

General Information

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism
Plagiarism is copying the words or ideas of another person without crediting the source via an appropriate citation; it is presenting someone else’s ideas as if they were your own. Intentional plagiarism is completely unacceptable in the scientific community and is a violation of the BYU Honor Code. All written work or figures you do not produce yourself must be properly cited. Use of as few as 8 words of quoted material that is not properly attributed to the original source has been upheld in court as plagiarism. Even if you are the author of a copyrighted work, you cannot use the same material in another publication without citing the original work. Every publisher has different rules about what the original author is allowed to do with copyrighted material. Generally, you need to get permission to use it anywhere else.

From the BYU Honor Code: BYU students should seek to be totally honest in their dealings with others. They should complete their own work and be evaluated based upon that work. They should avoid academic dishonesty and misconduct in all its forms, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, cheating, and other academic misconduct:

“Intentional plagiarism is a form of intellectual theft that violates the widely recognized principles of academic integrity as well as the Honor Code. Such plagiarism may subject the student to appropriate disciplinary action administered through the university Honor Code Office, in addition to academic sanctions that may be applied by an instructor. Inadvertent plagiarism, whereas not in violation of the Honor Code, is nevertheless a form of intellectual carelessness that is unacceptable in the academic community. Plagiarism of any kind is completely contrary to the established practices of higher education, where all members of the university are expected to acknowledge the original intellectual work of others that is included in one’s own work. In some cases, plagiarism may also invoke violations of copyright law.” Further information on the Honor Code and plagiarism can be found here.

We strongly recommend that all graduate students read and be sure they understand the booklet On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research (National Academy Press; Washington, D.C.; 1995), which discusses issues in scientific ethics, including plagiarism. You will receive a copy in your Scientific Writing and Ethics course.

Address/Phone Changes
Make sure the Graduate Program Manager knows your current address, home and cell phone number (if you have one). Occasionally an emergency or other unusual circumstance occurs when a student needs to be contacted immediately. Always keep your personal information updated on myBYU. Be sure your mailing address on myBYU is your current address--not your permanent address.

Bulletin Boards
The bulletin board, located to the right of the C101 BNSN doorway, contains academic and general notices for graduate students. 

Bus Passes
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates a convenient bus system in the Provo/Orem area. Current BYU students, faculty, and staff are eligible to sign up for a UTA pass good for approximately one year. This pass allows you to ride transit anywhere in UTA's service area which runs from Payson to Brigham City, Salt Lake City to Tooele. To register for this pass, go to myBYU, click on the "UTA Bus Pass" button under Miscellaneous, then click on the submit button. After you have registered, you can pick up a pass at any of the locations listed on the website. Bus schedules and route maps are available at the Information desk in the Wilkinson Student Center (2300 WSC). You can find other information about the bus system (regarding Salt Lake City, skiing, etc.) on the Internet at

Catalog and Policies
Students should become familiar with the current Graduate Catalog available on the BYU website. Graduate students in Chemistry and Biochemistry are subject to the policies, degree requirements, deadlines, fees, and standards described therein. Graduate courses in Chemistry and Biochemistry and the requirements of Chemistry and Biochemistry programs and degrees are listed in the Graduate Catalog. Graduate students continue under the policies described in the Graduate Catalog available and current at the time of their admission.

Deadlines and policies should be honored. When they are not adhered to, processes become much more complex, and sometimes fees are applied.

Upon Arrival:

Computer Access and E-Mail
You will be given a department computer account. You will be given a Chemistry Department email address. Set up your account with the Graduate Program Manager and select your preference, and all university and department email will be routed to your preferred choice. Computers are available for your use in W152, C221, and C114 BNSN. Ask the Graduate Program Manager for the combination to enter the advanced student computer room (C221 BNSN). If you have problems operating the computers or using E-Mail, ask current graduate students for help or go to the department computer support representative (CSR), or one of his assistants (209 NICB). Please read your email regularly as important program information is sent via email. Keep your email and mailing addresses, and cell/home phone number updated with the Graduate Program Manager and myBYU.

Use of department computers must be consistent with the BYU Honor code. Please review the Computer Use Policy. All Internet access is monitored by room number and username. Any violation of the honor code, especially the accessing and/or viewing of pornographic material or improper involvement in chat rooms, will result in a loss of computer privileges and immediate referral to the Honor Code Office. Repeat offenders will be dismissed from all programs and employment in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for a year.

Contracts, Signing of
Contracts will be ready for your electronic signature one to three weeks before each semester begins. In order to meet payroll deadlines, it is imperative that you sign your contract as soon as possible. This is done online in response to an email from Student Employment. All students signing contracts must be registered for classes; new international students must have the receipt showing that they have applied for a social security number.

Desk and Study Area
Some time during your first semester, you will finalize the process of selecting a research advisory chair. When you do so, you will be provided with a desk of your own in an office adjacent to your research advisor's laboratory, and you may have access to personal computers in your office/lab. In the meantime, the Graduate Program Manager will assign you a temporary desk.

English, Policy on the Use of
English is the language of international science. A scientist cannot function well in the workplace without good English skills. Mastery of both oral and written English is an essential part of a graduate education in chemistry and biochemistry at Brigham Young University. This is true for students who are native speakers of English, and for those for whom English is a second language. In recognition of the importance of English, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry considers English communication skills as an important component of all evaluations of graduate student progress, including annual progress reports, teaching evaluations, research proposals, cumulative exams, course work, and final oral exams. Significant deficiencies in oral and/or written English will lead to unsatisfactory ratings in annual progress reviews, and possibly to dismissal from the graduate program.

We recognize that the requirement for communication in English places an extra burden on those students for whom English is not the native language. We provide incoming students whose English is deficient with the opportunity to take ESL 301 to improve their skills. However, the primary responsibility for English mastery rests with the student. We believe that the key to success is practice. All scientific communication within the department must be in English, even when all the parties in the discussion share a common language other than English. In addition, we strongly encourage students to use English in every setting, including the home and social functions, as those who are most likely to be successful at learning a new language are those who immerse themselves in that language.

Health Insurance
BYU graduate students may obtain their own medical insurance, or may enroll in the BYU Health Plan.

Honor Code
Brigham Young University exists to provide an education in an atmosphere consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). That atmosphere is created and preserved through commitment to conduct that reflects those ideals and principles. Members of the faculty, administration, staff, and student body at BYU are selected and retained from among individuals who voluntarily live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Observance of such is a specific condition of employment and admission. Those individuals who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are also expected to maintain the same standards of conduct, except church attendance. All who represent BYU are to maintain the highest standards of honor, integrity, morality, and consideration of others in personal behavior. By continuing class enrollment, individuals evidence their commitment to observe the Honor Code standards approved by the Board of Trustees "at all times and . . . in all places" (Mosiah 18:9).

Honor Code Statement. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men . . .If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things (Thirteenth Article of Faith).

As a matter of personal commitment, students, faculty, and staff of Brigham Young University are expected to demonstrate in daily living on and off campus those moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and will

Specific policies embodied in the Honor Code include:

You are expected to be familiar with and abide by these policies. Please read all the information about each policy on the Internet at

Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement. All enrolled continuing graduate students are required to obtain a Continuing Student Ecclesiastical Endorsement for each new academic year. You must have your endorsement completed, turned in, and processed by the Honor Code Office before you can register for fall semester or any semester thereafter. Priority registration for the following fall semester can begin in early April. To avoid registration delays, students should complete and submit their endorsements to the Honor Code Office by March 15. - NOTE: Fall registration will be blocked until you complete this endorsement process.

LDS students may only be endorsed by the bishop of the ward (1) in which they live and (2) that holds their current Church membership record. Non-LDS students are to be endorsed by (1) their local ecclesiastical leader if the student is an active member of the congregation, (2) the non-denominational BYU chaplain, or (3) the bishop of the LDS ward in which they currently reside. Forms and information are available at Advisement Centers, Information Centers, and the Honor Code Office (4440 WSC) or website

International Students’ Report to the International Office
It is required that international students visit the International Services Office (1351 WSC) as soon as possible after their arrival. Please take your I-20 and Visa (including passport and I-94) with you. They will document your arrival at BYU and inform you of any necessary procedures that must be completed as requirements of your visa.

International Students’ Social Security Number
All students must have social security cards. If you don’t have one already, you must apply for a permanent social security card immediately after arrival in the U.S. The Social Security Administration requires verification of employment for international students before they will allow you to apply for a “first time request” of a U.S. social security card. This signed form will be given to you by the Graduate Program Manager. Take it to International Services (1351 WSC) on campus. They will issue you a letter to accompany the verification form in order to apply for a social security card.

The Social Security Administration Office is located at 88 West 100 North, Provo (801-377-5651). The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday and on Wednesdays they close at 12pm. Students must show the following items: (a) I-20, (b) I-94 (given to the student when entering the U.S.), (c) Passport with Visa, and (d) a letter from International Services. When you apply at the Social Security Office, make sure you receive a completed “Receipt for Application for Social Security Number” from the officer. This document allows you to sign a contract and work while you’re waiting for your new number. When you receive a new social security number, you must inform the BYU Records Office (B-150 ASB), the Student Employment Services Office (2024 WSC), and the Departmental Business Office (214 NICB). Take your card with you when you report your new social security number.

International Students Tested for TB at Health Center
The International Services Office will direct international students to the Student Health Center (SHC) for TB tests. They are administered from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You will be required to pay a $10.00 fee. 

The Benson Building is open from 6 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. It is open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Sundays and closed during holidays. If you are in the building after closing hours, you should exit by one of the following two designated doors: (a) the handicap door at the end of the east wing, or (b) the north exit between the west and central wings. After you have chosen a research advisory chair, and when you have a “research need” to enter the building after hours, ask your advisory chair to contact the administrative assistant (2-6269) and request that you be given after-hours access to the building. Then take your student I.D. card to the administrative assistant (C104 BNSN) for clearance and instruction.

When your temporary advisor, research advisory chair, or a teaching/research assignment requires you to possess keys, and you have determined which doorway keys are needed, you should contact the administrative assistant (AA) in C104 BNSN for Key Request cards. Key cards need to be signed by the supervising professor and returned to the AA, who will issue the key. A lost key compromises security, so it is vital to keep all keys secure. When you no longer need the keys, or at the completion of your graduate work at BYU, all BYU keys must be returned to AA. 

After-hours passes are for the graduate student only and should be used only for study or lab research purposes.

Leave Policy
Graduate study in chemistry and biochemistry is a full-time job, and extended leaves of absence are not normally part of a graduate program. However, the need occasionally arises for graduate students to take some time off from their responsibilities. This should always be done with the approval of your advisor. It is the student’s responsibility to be sure that research and teaching obligations are covered. Leaves for periods of more than a few days may require adjustments to your contract; be sure to discuss this with your advisor and with the business office. See the Leave Guidelines.

Loans, Guaranteed Student
Graduate students who are U.S. citizens may apply for Guaranteed Student Loans at the BYU Financial Aid-Loans Office (A-41 ASB). Guaranteed Student Loan payments can be deferred if a graduate student is enrolled for at least two credit hours in a semester and if the department verifies, in writing, that the student is working full-time (defined for this purpose as 40 hours or more per week) on his/her research and teaching. 

A full-time status form is available in the Graduate Program Manager office. The student must complete information on the form, obtain the signature of their advisor and graduate coordinator. The Graduate Program Manager will submit the form to Graduate Studies (105 FPH) each semester. 

Mail Box Assignments
You will be assigned a mail box in C114 BNSN. Any mail that arrives for you will be put in your box. Incoming mail arrives at approximately 9:00 a.m. and outgoing mail is picked up at approximately 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. You should check your mail box at least once each day.

You are required to register your vehicle for parking on campus. It is free of charge and registration can be done via myBYU. Select Miscellaneous and then Parking Registration. You may park in regular student parking lots, or graduate student lots. There are only two lots specifically for graduate students: one is near the Law School Building (JRDB), and the other is north of the Marriot School of Management Building (TNRB) on Bulldog Avenue.

Registration for Classes
The Graduate Program Manager will show you how to register for classes on myBYU. After you have completed proficiency exams, you need to meet with your temporary advisor to decide your first semester registration. If your advised courses conflict with your TA assignment, discuss it with the faculty member who made your assignment (Daniel E. Austin, 801-422-1551, C310 BNSN,

Program, facilities, equipment and safety information will be disseminated to you in a timely manner, usually via email. Because of the nature of the Benson Science Building, fire drills are held on a regular basis. Please leave the building quickly during each fire drill and stay outside, away from the building, until the alarm is discontinued and re-entrance is permitted.

Student ID Card
The ID Center is at 2310 WSC (801-422-3866). Be sure to take indentification (i.e. driver's license, passport) with you. You must be registered for at least one class [Seminar (CHEM 594R) is sufficient] before your student identification card can be issued. 

T.A. Assignments
Teaching/research assignments are assigned before each semester begins. As soon as you receive an assignment in your box, you should meet with the assigned faculty members, introduce yourself, and receive instruction concerning your responsibilities. An evaluation of your performance will be made at the end of each semester and is taken into consideration at each annual progress review. If your TA assignment conflicts with your own class schedule, please notify Dr. Daniel Austin (801-422-1551) immediately.


The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department has a policy that it is unacceptable for TAs to date or show any flirtatious interest in their students. It has been found to invite uncomfortable feelings of favoritism or sexual harassment. TAs who participate in such inappropriate behavior will be disciplined. If you encounter such behavior, you should report it to your advisor or to the graduate student coordinator.

Time Devoted to Research
The number of hours a graduate student devotes to study and research each week (in addition to the time required to fill teaching assistant assignments) is between the student and the advisor, but following are some guidelines that may help you understand the level of commitment that is required for successful graduate work in chemistry or biochemistry. Most who have obtained advanced degrees elsewhere remember doing research 60 or more hours per week during the time they were in graduate school. They remember coming to the lab to do research work during the evenings and on Saturdays. This continues to be the norm in successful chemistry or biochemistry graduate programs. Most of the students from other schools with whom you are competing for scientific success and ultimately for positions in the job market are making that kind of effort. Of course, the amount a student can accomplish in a given amount of time varies, but in many cases a standard 40-hour work week during graduate school will not be sufficient to make satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree, or to successfully compete for the best jobs. All our graduate students are encouraged to put in the long, hard hours that are necessary for success in research. Even working long hours, you should still find time to have fun and to have a life outside of your graduate work. However, graduate study in chemistry or biochemistry is not a part-time endeavor. The harder you work, and the more productive time you devote to your graduate work, the more you will accomplish and the quicker you will earn your degree. You will find great satisfaction as you work hard and make real contributions to science. Also, a solid letter of recommendation from your advisor is critical to securing quality employment after you graduate.

Generally, your time is not your own. By receiving financial support from the department you are committing your full effort to your coursework and research. It is not acceptable to have any other employment or studies while in this graduate program. Any coursework outside your program of study (other than a free religion course each term) must be approved in writing by your advisor and submitted to the Graduate Program Manager.

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Last updated 12 June 2017