Preliminary Exams

The purposes of the oral exam are to evaluate and strengthen the student’s abilities to conceive and organize an original research project, and to discuss that project in a critical manner with other scientists. 

Second year students will receive detailed instructions from the Graduate Program Committee in early January, and complete their exam in May. Components of the exam include the topic proposal, abstract, specific aims, a written document, and an oral exam. 

Upon passing prelims, students must form a thesis committee, meet with the committee at least once per year, and submit an Annual Progress Report to the GPC.