During the first year, you will participate in a minimum of three laboratory rotations. Through these rotations, you will obtain valuable hands-on experience in laboratory techniques and become acquainted with a variety of research topics before selecting a major thesis advisor.
Once you select the topic for your thesis, you will be evaluated on the basis of your academic performance and by completion of the Qualifying Examination. The format of this examination is the definition of a novel research problem and the development of a proposal to address the stated question and hypothesis. The significance, feasibility, and the relationship of the proposal to the literature are important criteria for evaluation.
The Qualifying Examination determines, in part, your eligibility for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The examination is designed to test your basic knowledge of molecular biology and genetics, as well as assess creativity and rationality of research design.
You will have the opportunity to both listen to and present many presentations during your education. Program seminars include: