Upon completion of the first year of study students will be evaluated on the basis of their academic performance and by completion of the Qualifying Examination (QE). 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 will be important criteria for evaluation.
The Qualifying Examination determines, in part, the student's eligibility for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The examination is designed to test the student's basic knowledge of molecular biology and genetics, as well as assess creativity and rationality of research design.
The Qualifying Examination will be held near the end of Term 1 of the second year, unless the student petitions the Graduate Education Committee (GEC) for a delay due, for example, to the need to make up courses that were not passed in year 1 or other extenuating circumstances. Students must take the qualifying examination by the end of their 2nd year of enrollment. Any exception must be approved by the director of Graduate Studies and the dean.
The Qualifying Examination Committee will consist of five members; four are faculty (primary or secondary appointees) in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics and one member is from outside the department. The composition of the Qualifying Examination Committee will be formulated by the director of the Qualifying Examination Committee in consultation with the director of Graduate Studies. The student's advisor may not serve on the student's Qualifying Examination Committee, but is encouraged to attend the examination as an observer only.
The Qualifying Examination is comprised of four parts:
- Preparation of one written abstract
- Preparation of a written proposal
- Oral presentation of the proposal
- Oral defense of the proposal
- Sample abstracts #1
- Sample abstract reviews #1
- Sample proposal #1
- Sample abstracts #2
- Sample abstract reviews #2
- Sample proposal #2
- Places to find an Overview of the NIH Grant Process