Second Year of Studies


The second year of study begins with a meeting between the student and the SAC advisor.  At this meeting, the student's rotation experiences will be reviewed, and the student will update the advisor on the student's progress in choosing a lab.  By the time this meeting is held most students have been accepted into a lab for conducting their dissertation research.  Occasionally a student will decide to take a fourth rotation that finishes in September or October; such "extra" rotations must be approved in advance by the student's SAC advisor and the Director of the Program.  It is anticipated that students will have been accepted into a lab by September 1 of their second year.



PQE Resources


Preliminary Qualifying Examination.  All students take a Preliminary Qualifying Examination (“PQE”) by the end of March of their second year.  The examination includes two parts:  (1) A written thesis proposal and (2) an oral presentation.


Students are given substantial guidance in preparation for the PQE.  The Neurobiology 215 course includes a component which trains the students in writing a proposal; students are given serious feedback by faculty lecturers in the course.  Additionally, students are given many opportunities to practice giving talks before their PQE, including a “PQE Club” in which second-year students enlist the help of older students in preparing their oral presentations.

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