A significant aspect of graduate education beyond formal courses and thesis/dissertation projects is active participation in the professional community that exists within academic departments at universities. Student/faculty seminars are one of the professionally rewarding activities of this community. Accordingly, all graduate students are encouraged to participate in each Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science Department seminar regardless of whether they are registered for seminar credit.

It is expected that all students enrolled in seminar 503 and 603 will participate fully in all aspects of the course. However, situations do arise for non-thesis option students who are satisfying their degree requirements through distance education options. For these students, the department’s Graduate Seminar Committee has developed an on-line section that contains a set of expectations that will allow the seminar 503 requirements to be met off-site. Specifically, students must be non-supported, in one of the non-thesis options, and must be able to show hardship in meeting the attendance requirements for the standard 503 course. For example, non-thesis option students who are not employed in the Knoxville area would have difficulty meeting the course attendance requirements; thus, they would meet the hardship requirement. For additional information about the seminar 503 expectations for non-thesis students, contact the chair of the Graduate Seminar Committee.