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At the end of the first year of their didactic curriculum course work, ALL PhD students will take a written Preliminary Exam to assess their comprehension of the concepts covered during their training thus far. HSR students (only) will be required to take a written Part 2 of the Preliminary Exam at the end of the second year of didactic course work to assess HSR-specific content.
Also at the end of the first year, the student should form his/her Comprehensive Exam and Thesis Committee. After all required didactic course work, the students must then pass a Graduate School Comprehensive Exam that will admit them to candidacy for the PhD degree. After successful completion of required coursework and a passing grade on the Comprehensive Exam, the student will focus extensively on completing the Thesis Process.
Normally before completing the course work, each student will have chosen a research mentor (thesis advisor) and a research problem on which to focus the thesis work. The Comprehensive Exam and Thesis Committee will meet at least once per year with the student and the student's advisor to monitor the student's progress. This committee will make suggestions regarding the student's research findings, current direction, and overall progress of the research.
We expect students in their second to fourth year to give major seminars each year, present their work at national meetings, and publish their work in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Students will present their thesis research as a major seminar to faculty and students.