The nature of the curriculum for each student is given below. At the time a student enters the program the Graduate Committee provides advice and guidance on the selection of laboratory rotations and courses. This graduate committee continues to follow the student through the first two-year period of courses, lab rotations, seminars, journal clubs etc., and helps the student choose a mentor and laboratory in which to perform dissertation research. During this period, students must maintain an overall 3.0 average. Student performance during rotations, seminars, and journal clubs is also evaluated annually by the faculty.
In the spring of the second year students take a qualifying examination. Students prepare and submit a research proposal on a topic different from their intended dissertation research. Students then defend the research proposal before a committee of faculty members. A student who passes the exam and has fulfilled all course requirements is admitted formally to the doctoral program by the faculty. At the discretion of the faculty, a student whose performance is less than satisfactory may by permitted to retake the exam within three months.
At the time a student is admitted formally into the doctoral program, a Supervisory Committee of at least four members is appointed by the Graduate Committee, in consultation with the student and mentor. This committee will include the mentor and at least two members of the departmental graduate faculty. They guide the student in the preparation of a dissertation proposal, evaluate the suitability and significance of the proposed research, and preside over the formal defense of the proposal. After the proposal has been defended satisfactorily, a Dissertation Committee will be formed, which may include members of the Supervisory Committee. The Dissertation Committee is appointed by the Chairman of the Department and consists of at least five faculty members: the student's mentor, at least two faculty members from within the Department and one or more members from outside the Department. The Dissertation Committee is approved and formally appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, and is chaired by a member other than the student's mentor. This committee consults with and advises the student during his or her research, meets at least yearly to review progress, reads and comments on the draft dissertation, conducts the final oral defense of the thesis, and generally satisfies itself that the dissertation is an original piece of work and a significant contribution to knowledge in pharmacology. Whenever possible, an outside examiner will be sought to join the Dissertation Committee for the defense.