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Qualifying Examination for the PhD Degree

The Graduate Program in which the student is enrolled shall schedule the examination for the end of the student's second year (or soon thereafter); exceptions require approval by the Dean. This examination is intended to determine whether the student has the creative and critical intellectual skills and a sufficient information base to create new scientific knowledge.

The Qualifying Examination Committee consists of six persons appointed by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, on recommendation by the student's thesis advisor. Faculty from three or more departments of this or other qualified institutions are represented on the committee, and not more than half of the committee may have an appointment (whether principal, adjunct, or joint) in the same department. The Dean may waive this restriction in the case of adjunct or joint appointments. The chair of the Qualifying Examination Committee can not be a member of the Department of Pharmacology, but must be a member of the Graduate Faculty Organization.

The examination format will consist of both written and oral sections. The student will write a research proposal detailing his/her intended thesis project, using the format of an NIH R01 grant application. Following the submission of the written proposal, the student's committee will conduct an oral examination which will cover the research proposal and any additional material the committee feels is appropriate.