Curriculum & Timeline – Second Year

Developing a Thesis Project

At the beginning of the second year of training, students choose a research advisor. Most of the second year is spent developing a research project. A Thesis Advisory Committee is chosen by each student in consultation with his or her mentor and the GGSB Student Advisory Committee. A written research proposal is presented to the Thesis Advisory Committee in advance of the first meeting during which the student presents and defends their proposal. This first meeting constitutes the Qualifying Exam for Ph.D. candidacy. Following the initial meeting, the Thesis Advisory Committee meets on a regular basis throughout the remainder of the student’s training to provide advice.

Teaching Assistantships

The ability to communicate verbally and teach is an important skill for a successful research career. For this reason, all students in the Biological Sciences Division are required to serve as teaching assistants (TAs) for two quarters. This usually occurs during the second and third years. Students must have the TA requirement fulfilled prior to entering their fourth year. A course designed to train graduate students to be effective TAs can be taken in lieu of the first TAship.

Click below for a list of GGSB course descriptions, elective and student tracks: