All incoming neuroscience graduate students participate in Boot Camp, which is designed to:
This course, based on summer courses at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woodshole, MA, is a series of intensive lab exercises that runs for two week from morning until midnight. At lunchtime you give short talks about research you have done. The course is held in September just before Fall Quarter begins.
Research rotations let you obtain hands-on research experience in three or more laboratories. Through the rotations you find a faculty member to sponsor your dissertation research. You must arrange your own rotations, but during Boot Camp you will be exposed to many faculty looking for students.
MSTP Students: You are expected to have completed at least two rotations before joining the program. At least two of the three rotations must be in labs associated with the Neurosciences Graduate Program.
All students are required to be a teaching assistant (TA) for at least one quarter during their graduate career to develop their talents and gain experience as teachers. Opportunities to lecture and to assist in laboratory exercises and demonstrations are available through many departments, including Neurosciences, Biology, and Cognitive Science.
For more information see the UCSD Course Catalog.
Students take around 3 elective courses to expand their knowledge in specific areas. The courses may be taken in almost any department including neurosciences, biology, cognitive science, and psychology, medicine, mathematics, or engineering.
Examples of elective courses:
Course offerings are always changing. See the UCSD Course Catalog for descriptions of these and other courses.
Research Rounds is a weekly seminar course where graduate students beyond their second year present their current research. Besides asking the presenter scientific questions about the research, constructive criticism is given on the presentation itself so that both audience and presenter can improve their presentation skills.
Minor Proposition Exam
The exam is designed to:
The Minor Prop exam requires you to select a research problem and propose an experimental approach for solving it. The selected problem should require experimental approaches from more than one discipline and should be outside the area of your anticipated dissertation research.
You will be eligible to receive a master’s degree upon passing the Minor Proposition Exam.
Advancement to Candidacy Examination
This exam is used to evaluate the quality of the dissertation work completed as well as the proposed additional experiments with your Doctoral Committee. It emphasizes the conceptual rationale of the dissertation proposal. Passing the qualifying exam advances the student to candidacy, effectively changing your status from doctoral student to doctoral candidate.
Defense of Dissertation
The final examination consists of two parts: