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Laramie, WY 82071
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A. During the first week of arriving on campus, each student will be consulted by an advisory committee. This committee will be comprised of an academic advisor and one to two additional neuroscience faculty. The role of this advisory committee is to orient the student to the university, graduate school, and specific Neuroscience and Graduate School requirements and expectations (research and academic). This group may or may not comprise the student's Masters Thesis Committee.
B. During the second semester or early in the second year of study, the student and advisor will identify a Masters Thesis Committee. This committee will consist of a major advisor, another neuroscience faculty member, and outside member identified by the Graduate School. This group will serve as the student's graduate committee, devising a set of course requirements (26 credit hour minimum) to best suit the student's educational goals and overseeing the design, execution and approval of the student's thesis research. Committee membership must be approved by the NAG and the Graduate School.
C. Specific course requirements will include 1) Introduction to Neuroscience (ZOO 5280), 2) participation in at least two semesters in the Graduate Neuroscience Seminar (ZOO 5117), and 3) thesis research. Students are also required to take a minimum of two of the following courses: Neurophysiology (ZOO 5685), Structure and Function of the Nervous System (ZOO 5100), Neural Mechanisms of Behavior (ZOO 4290), and Cell Physiology (ZOO 5670). Students are required to earn a minimum grade of B for the required courses. Additional electives include: Pharmacology I and II (PHCY 6230) and Molecular & Cellular Basis of Disease (HM6520).
D. Program of study. The proposed Program of Study should be approved by the student's Thesis committee during the second year of study and sent to the Neuroscience Program Director and Graduate School for final approval.
E. In addition to the usual Graduate School requirements for the MS Degree, a research-based final project (4 hrs thesis research) on a neuroscience problem and final oral examination will be required.
F. The benchmarks for the successful completion of the master's research will be the: 1) successful completion of the required course work; 2) presentation of the research-based project during the Neuroscience and Physiology Seminar or in a prearranged seminar, with questions.
G. Oral defense. The oral examination, administered as part of the requirements for the M.S. degree, is principally a defense of the thesis. The oral examination will be conducted by the student's graduate advisory committee and will be open to the public. The examination shall be advertised publicly for a period of at least one week in advance of the scheduled date. The thesis must be received by each member of the student's advisory committee three weeks before the final examination.
A. During the first week of arriving on campus, each student will be consulted by an advisory committee. This committee will be comprised of an academic advisor and one to two additional neuroscience faculty. The role of this advisory committee is to orient the student to UW and Neuroscience and Graduate School requirements and expectations (research and academic). This committee will serve as the mentoring committee for the student during his/her initial year of graduate training. This group may or may not comprise the student's Doctoral Thesis Committee.
B. During the first semester, students are required to take Introduction to Neuroscience (NEUR 5280), and complete by the end of the second year Structure and Function of the Nervous System (NEUR 5100) and Neurophysiology (NEUR or ZOO 5685 or 5670). A grade of B or better is required for Neuroscience course work. Classes receiving a deficient grade will be repeated or arrangements will be made with the instructor to correct the deficiency.
C. Neuroscience Seminar. Students are required to take the Seminar in Neuroscience (NEUR 5715) each semester while in residence at UW.
D. Graduate students are required to maintain a B average or better during their residency, and progress and performance will be reviewed annually.
E. During the second year, students, with the guidance of their academic advisor, will form a Doctoral Thesis Committee. The committee will consist of the advisor, three to four faculty members in the Neuroscience Program, and a Graduate School representative.
F. A formal Master's degree project is not presently required for doctoral students but a master's level neuroscience proficiency is expected to be demonstrated. This will be demonstrated by a research project that will be identified during year 1. The benchmarks for the successful completion of the master's level research will be the: 1) presentation of the research at national/international meeting; 2) presentation of the work during the Neuroscience and Physiology Seminar or in a prearranged seminar, with questions; and 3) the publication of the work in a refereed Neuroscience journal.
G. Seventy-two (72) hours of course work including 42 hours of formal coursework at the 4000 level or above from this or other accredited university graduate programs.
H. The Program of Study should be approved by the committee before the end of the second semester and approved by the Graduate Dean.
I. Research tool. It is the responsibility of the student's advisory committee to ensure appropriate breadth of coursework and knowledge of Neuroscience, as assessed by the preliminary examination. No formal certification of a "tool," as designated by some departments, will be required by the Neuroscience Program.
J. Preliminary exam. "Doctoral students are required to successfully pass a preliminary examination. The exam may not be given before the student (1) has an approved program of study on file in the Graduate School, (2) has completed at least 30 hours of coursework, and (3) has completed any research tool requirements listed on the program of study. Doctoral students are admitted to candidacy once they have successfully completed the preliminary examination. If you are a doctoral student, you have four calendar years after the successful completion of your preliminary examination to complete your degree. (taken from the Graduate School Student Handbook)
The examination is comprehensive, covering all areas of Neuroscience, but emphasizing the student's area or expertise. Questions are aimed at not only testing the student's in depth knowledge in their area of expertise, but also their ability to synthesize and generalize to a broader area or topic. The format of the preliminary exam will consist of both a written and oral portion. The format of the exam will be determined by the student's graduate committee. The written portion may take the form of literature reviews, open or closed book questions, experimental design questions, etc. Students should take the preliminary exam in their fifth semester of graduate study, after completing most of their graduate coursework and their masters level research project. The work will at least have been submitted for publication.
An examination committee will consist of the student's graduate committee and a member assigned by the Graduate Faculty. The composition of the Committee must be approved by the NAG and the Graduate School. Assessment of a student's performance will remain the responsibility of the student's graduate committee. Students who do not perform satisfactorily in regards to the research proposal and preliminary exam may be dropped from the graduate program upon the recommendation of the student's graduate committee, the NAG, and the Program Director. In such cases where the student has failed the exams and is not admitted to doctoral candidacy, but met the requirements for the MS in Neuroscience, the student may petition for a Master's degree. The committee will identify which, if any, additional requirements must be met.
K. Research Proposal. Students must have satisfactorily passed the Preliminary exams before advancing to the dissertation research. Doctoral students must write a dissertation following guidelines of the Graduate School of the University of Wyoming. The student will prepare a written proposal that will be submitted for review by the student's advisory committee. The committee will evaluate the: 1) originality; 2) quality, and 3) rigor of the dissertation research. Time schedule -- In general, it is recommended that the student present the research proposal during year 3 of his or her doctoral studies.
--l. Advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D degree. For advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D degree, students must have successfully completed the following requirements: 1) benchmarks for Master's level research proficiency (outlined in II); 2) committee-approved program of study; 3) preliminary exam; and 4) committee-approved research proposal. Advancement to candidacy allows the student to proceed, but is not a guarantee that the PhD degree will be awarded. Additional requirements must be met before the final awarding of the degree.
M. Dissertation research: Students will typically carry out the bulk of their research in their advisor's laboratory. The dissertation research reflects the individual student's contribution to the scientific field. Typically the dissertation will comprise several studies conducted during the student's graduate studies. It is expected that the studies will show a progression to greater and greater independent and critical thinking on the part of the student. Not all experiments or publications during the student's graduate studies may be suitable for a dissertation, and the student with his/her advisor and committee will identify the projects included in the final dissertation. The dissertation research is expected to culminate in a focused, high-impact monograph that results in publications in quality peer-reviewed journals.
N. The Final Examination (Defense): At least two (2) weeks prior to the final examination, all graduate candidates must notify the Graduate School by email all defense date information, e.g., student's name, degree, thesis/dissertation title, time, date, place, etc. All final examinations should be held at least 10 days prior to the Completion of Requirements form deadline date. Student should provide a copy of the thesis/dissertation to their committee members at least two (2) weeks prior to final examination.
Awarding the Ph.D. The Ph.D or Doctoral Degree is the highest degree that is awarded by universities in many fields, including Neuroscience and is the highest level of academic achievement. Successful completion of all of the requirements will lead to the doctoral degree. As per Graduate School policy, The doctor of philosophy degree does not represent a specified amount of work over a definite period of time but rather the attainment of independent and comprehensive scholarship in a particular field. Such scholarship will be manifest in a thorough acquaintance with present knowledge and a demonstrated capacity for research. The fulfilling of the following requirements suggests, therefore, only the minimum task one must undertake to earn the doctor of philosophy degree. No amount of time spent in graduate study or accumulation of credit hours entitles the student to become a candidate for this degree. Similarly, while publications are expected, the PhD is not awarded based on some arbitrary number of research publications. Only after the dissertation committee approves the dissertation research and the oral defense is the PhD awarded. An unsatisfactory final research dissertation or defense will delay or prevent awarding the PhD. In such a situation, the student will have the opportunity to meet with the committee to identify the problems. Students will be presented with options that may include, correcting the deficiency and having a re examination, opting out of the doctoral program, petitioning for a terminal MS degree.