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Ph.D. Dissertation and Final Exam

After completing the Qualifying Exam, the official Thesis Advisory Committee is formed and the remaining years of study are spent working on developing the research project that will form the Ph.D. dissertation.  The Thesis Advisory Committee must consist of a minimum of 4 tenured/tenure-track faculty assistant professor or higher. One of these is the thesis advisor. While the Thesis Advisory Committee is distinct from and need not overlap with the Qualifying Exam Committee, often two to three of the members come from the student’s Qualifying Exam Committee.

For Neuroscience Students

Two of the remaining three members, MUST be from the NGP faculty list and one must be from outside of the primary department of the advisor and co-advisor. Please notice that NGP faculty members can serve as external committee members for NGP students.

For NBA Students

At least two of the four members MUST have their primary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience while the external member must be from outside the Department of Neuroscience primary faculty. The thesis advisor (who must have a primary or secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience) is the fourth member of the Advisory Thesis Committee.

It is required that prior to the thesis defense, all students will have published or submitted for publication at least one first-author manuscript in a peer-reviewed journal describing their research findings.  Review articles or published meeting presentations are NOT sufficient to fulfill this requirement.  After the advisor and Thesis Committee approve the completion of the thesis research, the student submits a dissertation of his or her findings.  In the form of an open lecture, the student publicly presents his or her thesis research and in a closed exam defends those findings to the Thesis Committee.  See the Guidelines for preparation and registration of the Ph.D. thesis defense (section 10 in this handbook).