Qualifying Exam

Effective grant writing is required for a successful career in research. The grant component of the graduate program is both a training exercise to help develop grantsmanship and a qualifying exam. Learning how to compose a defensible hypothesis is an essential component of the training of a graduate student. Students should be able to develop a line of research, propose a hypothesis, and develop a series of experiments to test this hypothesis. A student should be able to defend the proposal orally at a "site-visit." At the same time, the student should also demonstrate knowledge of the larger field of the research reflected in the general area of the grant proposal. The process to evaluate the ability of a student to accomplish this endeavor will be accomplished through the qualifying exam, which has written and oral components.