Students must complete at least 3 laboratory rotations, each one academic quarter in length, a process that culminates in the identification of a lab in which to conduct thesis research.
NUIN students must take 9 Units of graded coursework. These include 4 Units of required courses (NUIN 401-1,2,3 and NUIN 403) taken during the first year. The balance are electives. Electives must be relevant to a student’s research, but otherwise may be chosen from among courses offered by NUIN as well as other Northwestern departments and programs. One stipulation is that at least one elective must be a “Great Experiments” course.
During the fall, winter, and spring quarters of the first year, each student must attend at least 6 seminars presented by non-Northwestern faculty. These are documented using the NUIN Seminar Attendance form.
First Author Publication
Each student must have published or in press as a condition of graduation, at least one first author, peer reviewed article. (A co-first author publication satisfies this requirement.)
All students are expected to serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for two courses, usually during the second or third years.
The NUIN Qualifying exam is taken at the very end of the second year. It is an entirely oral exam, assessing a student’s mastery of fundamental neuroscience knowledge and skills required to be a successful researcher.
Students are expected to have their Thesis Committee established by the end of winter quarter of the third year. The committee is formulated in consultation with the student’s advisor.
Students must complete a written Thesis Proposal and present it to their Thesis Committee for approval by the end of the third year. Students are required to meet with the Thesis Committee, as a group or individually, at least once before the meeting at which the Thesis Proposal is presented.
Annual Meetings of the Thesis Committee
Students are required to hold formal thesis committee meetings at least once every twelve months. These events are documented by the Thesis Committee Status Report, which must be completed, signed, and submitted to the NUIN office following each meeting.
4th Year Seminar
Sometime during the fourth year, NUIN students are expected to give a public seminar. There are numerous forums on campus where this requirement can be fulfilled.
The NUIN Thesis Defense has two components. A student must first defend his or her written thesis document before the Thesis Committee. If the student passes the private defense, the student presents a public seminar on the thesis research.