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PhD Curriculum


Students are required to do three laboratory rotations: two rotations of 8 weeks each during the Fall semester, and a third during the first 8 weeks of the Spring semester. Student’s generally choose a thesis advisor at the end of the third rotation. Thesis research begins at this time or after the written qualifying exam at the end of the Spring term. A fourth rotation may be taken by students who have not found a permanent lab after the first three rotations. Financial aid is terminated after the fourth rotation if a match with a Research Advisor cannot be found. A document describing the rotation process in detail can be found here

Rotation Credits and Requirements:
Each rotation counts as 2 credits with a maximum of 6 credits allowed towards the PhD. The fourth rotation provides no credit. These credits cannot be used to satisfy either the minimum course or research credit requirements.

Several forms must be filled out to track student progress through the rotations.

1) A rotation form must be submitted by the student to the GSBS office at the beginning of the rotation.

2) A rotation evaluation must be submitted to the GSBS office at the end of the rotation by the research advisor with whom the work was done.

3) Students must prepare a one page summary of the work done in each rotation. Copies of the report are submitted to the research advisor and to the GSBS office. This summary should include the name of the lab, the dates of the rotation, the objectives of the work, the nature of the student's participation, and the results.

Setting up Rotations:
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange rotations. The Laboratory Rotation Committee can provide guidance. Generally the choice of the next rotation should be made about two weeks before the present one ends. A student may not rotate in the same lab twice.