There are four junctures where student progress is evaluated:
- At the end of the first year, students must have maintained a B average in all courses, received a B or better in each neuroscience core course, and performed satisfactorily in research rotations.
- Also at the end of the first year, students must pass the written qualifying exam, which covers material in the neuroscience core courses.
- In the Spring of the second year, students submit an NRSA-style written document -- a thesis proposal -- to their oral exam committee; each committee examines each student in an oral exam, testing the student's grasp of the literature, methods, and concepts involved in the project.
- Following the oral exam, students identify their Thesis Advisory Committee and are required to have TAC meetings every six months.
- The final step is defense of a thesis and graduation.