Here’s some help navigating the bureaucratic requirements of the GGE and some pointers to relevant resources on the GGE Homepage.
Starting out? You’ll want to form a Guidance Committee. These three professors (including your advisor) will help you plan out your coursework for the first 1-2 years. Your course plan will have to include any entrance requirement deficiencies identified by the GGE. A detailed description of the process is here.
Another thing to take care of as soon as possible, if you are not already a California resident, is to establish residency. This is critical because most funding sources will not pay non-resident tuition for the first year. The main ways to establish residency are to register your car, get a California driver’s license, and register to vote. More details can be found on the registrar’s website.
Time to think about Quals? At least a quarter before your anticipated exam date, you’ll need to 1) Schedule an exam date with your chosen committee of five examiners, and 2) Have another meeting with your Guidance Committee to fill out a Pre-Qualifying Exam Evaluation form. Once the form is turned in, you can officially schedule your qualifying exam date, which needs to be at least 60 days before the exam. Your Qualifying Exam Committee will be made up of 5 faculty, one of whom will serve as examination chair and de-facto examiner in Principles of Ecology, but will not ask questions on the topic (the 200-series core course counts for this topic). A detailed description of the process is here
Congrats, you passed your quals! Now you need to identify your 3-person Dissertation Committee. This committee includes your advisor, plus 2 other faculty (commonly but not necessarily also on your Qualifying Exam Committee). You need to pay $90 (seriously) to grad studies and submit a form for advancement to candidacy (Use Form B). Also, make sure to submit your 15-page dissertation proposal to Holly within 6 months of your exam date. Your Dissertation Committee will need to sign off on this. It should have a well-developed idea of what your research will be on.
Then you’ll do a bunch of research. When your dissertation is ready (3+ chapters, approved by your Dissertation Committee), you’ll submit the final, signed dissertation form to the office of Graduate Studies by the appropriate formatting.
A full description of GGE degree requirements can be found here. Please note that this general overview is just a guide, and students are responsible for meeting specific requirements outlined in the GGE bylaws and degree requirements documents.