Two Phase Qualifying For Candidacy For The Neuroscience Ph

Two Phase Qualifying For Candidacy For The
Neuroscience Ph.D.
Phase I: Successful completion of Phase I of the Ph.D. Qualifying
process is determined by satisfactory passing of all courses. During
Phase I, students are expected to cultivate a scholarly foundation in
neuroscience, refine critical thinking abilities, and demonstrate their
mastery of course material by earning at least a B in each required
class and an overall B average when both required and elective
courses are considered. There are two potential outcomes of the Phase
I process: pass or fail. Students who pass Phase I will continue on to
Phase II of the Qualifying Examination process as outlined below.
Students who fail Phase I (i.e., earn a grade of C or less more than
once) will be dismissed from the program.
Phase II: Phase II of the Qualifying Process consists of two parts: a
written examination followed by an oral exam. The written portion of
Phase II is submitted in the summer of the second year of study, after
Phase I of the Qualifying Examination is successfully completed. The
oral portion of Phase II takes place early in the subsequent Fall
The written examination is a research proposal presented in the format
of a National Research Service Award (NRSA) grant proposal. This
document serves as a first version of the Dissertation Thesis Proposal
and should include a description of a clearly-stated research problem
that relates to a student's area of experimental inquire, as well as
experiments designed by the student to test a specific hypothesis.
The oral examination will be 1 1/2 to 2 hours in duration, and
examinations for all students will be held in late September - early
October. The purpose of the oral exam is to evaluate the student's
knowledge base, understanding of experimental design, capacity to
connect related concepts, and ability to think critically. If the
committee approves the NRSA written proposal and finds the oral
performance by the student acceptable, the student is officially
designated as a Ph.D. candidate.
An initial organizational meeting to prepare students for the Phase II
Qualifying Examination will be held during March of the students'
qualifying year. At this meeting, proper NRSA format and examples of
questions likely to be asked during the oral portion of Phase II will be
reviewed, and the Director of Graduate Studies and members of the
Oversight Committee for Students will be present to answer questions.