Jun 22, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Developmental and Brain Sciences (PhD)

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Program Requirements

Complete 60 credits from twelve courses including seven required core courses, one concentration core course, two electives, one mentored research course, and 24 credits of dissertation research.

Doctoral candidacy: Passage of a take-home exam, based on questions that require the student to engage critically with the literature. Typically, students will select questions from a set developed by program faculty. Students are required to take the qualifying exam by the end of their 5th semester.
Dissertation: Completion of a dissertation representing an original and thorough body of research. Multiple formats for the dissertation may be acceptable, at the agreement of the student and the dissertation committee. For instance, a dissertation that encompasses three independent projects each with the scope (and expectation of submission) of a journal article may be acceptable instead of one large-scope project with multiple related experiments. Students are expected to complete their dissertation by the end of the 4th year.
First-year report: Completion of an oral presentation to the student’s advisory committee. It should contain both a review of the student’s research accomplishments during his/her first year (including background, results, and significance) and a proposal for the work that will comprise the mentored research project (see below). Students are required to complete this milestone by the end of the second semester (late May).  There is no written component for the first year report; however, students will be required to apply for a grant of relevance to their research, such as an NRSA (http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm) or GRFP (http://www.nsfgrfp.org).
Mentored research project: Completion of a research project culminating the student’s first two years of research. The MRP requires both an oral defense as well as a written component that should follow the format of an NRSA proposal. It is understood that elements of the student’s grant proposal and first-year report research will be incorporated into the MRP.  Students are required to complete their mentored research project by the end of the 4th semester.

Statute of limitations: Eight years.

Course Requirements

Concentration Core Course (3 Credits)

Complete one from below.

Electives (6 Credits)

Complete two from below.

Students may also elect to take an independent study course or a course offered by another UMass Boston PhD program.  In all cases, independent studies must first be approved by the DBS graduate program director and the student’s advisory committee.

Mentored Research Course (6 Credits)

Dissertation Research Course (24 Credits)

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