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Expected Standards of Performance

All students will complete a group of core neuroscience courses, as specified below, as well as a variety of specialty courses in their focus area. In addition to coursework, students are also required to engage in applied learning experiences and to produce finished products illustrating their understanding and capability to apply key concepts and skills. These experiences must include involvement in research above and beyond the required Second Year Project and Dissertation project. Students must also complete a series of Professional Milestones, including presenting research at a professional meeting, writing and submitting a grant, and publishing a paper. 

Students entering with a baccalaureate degree are expected to complete a Second Year Project within 2 years and the Ph.D. within 5 years. Students entering with a master’s degree are expected to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. within 4 years.  These students would be expected to take the required courses and electives in the PhD program or have equivalent courses in their MS program.  Neuroscience faculty will evaluate the student’s MS program to determine which courses will be required to complete the PhD. 

All students are required to pass a comprehensive exam before advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. Students entering with a baccalaureate must pass the comprehensive exam prior to the beginning of their fourth academic year in the program. Students entering with a master’s degree must complete the comprehensive exam prior to the beginning of their second academic year in the program. 

Students will be assigned a faculty advisor at the time they are admitted to the program.  This faculty member will remain the student’s primary advisor through the student’s time in the program.  Each student’s progress in the program will be reviewed annually by all program faculty in a student review meeting. Students will receive written feedback on their progress following this meeting. The feedback will address progress in the areas of:

  • Research skills and progress
  • Progress toward completion of the program
  • Didactic coursework
  • Assistantship performance
  • Other accomplishments and/or concerns