Requirements and Milestones

In general, a number of requirements and milestones must be met by all students in the Biomedical Sciences Doctorate Degree Program at UConn Health. First, students must register for a minimum of six (6) credits per semester, typically accruing a total of 44-48 credits by graduation. Of these, 20-24 credits will come from courses that are taken before the end of the second year. The balance is obtained from Doctoral Research credits (GRAD 6950). Students also perform laboratory rotations during their first year of study, submit a Plan of Study listing their course work in the fall of the second year, and pass a General Examination, the format of which is determined by individual programs. Finally, all students must submit a Dissertation Proposal (i.e., Thesis Prospectus) by the end of the third year. Students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the Graduate School catalog for all details pertaining to expectations and milestones set by the Graduate School.

Within these guidelines of the Graduate School, the Neuroscience Graduate Program has specific requirements and expectations, which are detailed in the following sections. However, recognizing that students of very different backgrounds will enter the Neuroscience Graduate Program in a variety of ways, the Neuroscience Program has tried to incorporate a certain degree of flexibility, while ensuring that all students are exposed to the diverse fields that comprise modern Neuroscience research.

Timetable Overview

Courses At least 7 credits in neuroscience; typically 20-24 credits of coursework; total of 44-48 course and research credits.
Laboratory Rotations 3 required completed during the first two semesters of the first year of study.
Journal Club Participation required in all years; presentation required in years 1-4; presentation of proposed thesis research occurs in the third year.
Neuroscience Seminars Regular attendance required in all years.
Thesis Supervisor Selected by September 1 of second year.
Advisory Committee Members Selected according to each student’s thesis research by October 31 of second year.
Plan of Study Approved by advisory committee and filed by October 31 of second year.
Abstract of Research Proposal Submitted and approved by October 31 of second year.
Examination Committee Formed By December 1 of second year.
Specific Aims of Research Proposal Submitted to Examination Committee for approval by December 15.
Part One of General Examination Written Research Proposal – distributed to Examination Committee members 5 weeks after approval of Specific Aims and at least 7 days before the Oral Examination.
Part Two of General Examination Oral Examination – completed by February of the second year.
Dissertation Proposal Must be approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee and submitted to the Graduate School by June 1 of third year.
Thesis Research Annual/biannual meetings with the Thesis Advisory Committee.
Seminar on Thesis Research Part of Journal Club during third year and all subsequent years.
Approval to Write Dissertation Obtained from Thesis Advisory Committee.
Private Research Defense Submit completed dissertation to Thesis Advisory Committee 2 weeks prior; submit manuscripts to journals.
Thesis Seminar No sooner than 2 weeks following successful Private Research Defense; students typically graduate within approximately 5 years.