Timeline

In general, overall progress toward the degree is accomplished with completion of the written qualifying examination by the beginning of the second year. It is recommended that students complete the University Oral Qualifying Examination by the end of Spring Quarter of the second year, and the examination must be completed no later than Spring Quarter of the third year. Students must hold doctoral committee meetings each year after the University Oral Qualifying Examination and before the Final Oral Examination (defense of the dissertation). The approved normative time-to-degree is 18 quarters.


Year 1
Perform 2-3 laboratory rotations
Choose a laboratory mentor who you work well with and will support you
Take Core Courses (see Coursework Requirements)
Apply for fellowships (ex. NSF GRFP)
Prepare Individual Development Plan (IDP)
Complete your written exams at the end of the year (see Written Qualifying Exam)
 
Year 2
Join a lab and make yourself at home
Complete elective courses (see Coursework Requirements)
Form your thesis committee with your mentor (see Committee and Oral Exams)
Perform your oral examinations (see Committee and Oral Exams)
Apply for fellowships (ex. NRSA, Training Grants)
 
Year 3+4
Work hard in lab
Meet with your thesis committee yearly to assess progress
Apply for fellowships (ex. NRSA, Training Grants, Whitcomb Fellowship)
Think about your career after graduation
Complete the 1 quarter TA requirement
Write papers!
 
Year 5+
Finish up your lab work
Write papers!
Meet with your thesis committee yearly to assess progress
Apply for fellowships (ex. Dissertation year fellowships, training grants, K grants)
Defend your thesis and graduate!