The NGP program itself is rigorous, thorough, but also a lot of fun. The first year, although not necessarily the busiest, is probably the most challenging as incoming students adjust to the graduate-level coursework, search for a compatible thesis project through various laboratory rotations, and prepare for the written qualifying exam at the end of the year. During the second year students begin their thesis work and finish up a few remaining class requirements. The remaining years students are focused on completing their oral qualifying exam, dissertation, presenting data, attending meetings, writing grants, and making the gradual transition from “student” to “scientist”.
Other unique, albeit less scientific bonuses OHSU offers its students is the opportunity to commute to campus via bicycle for a monetary reward, via the Portland Streetcar , or via the Portland Aerial Tram. Furthermore, NGP students can hammer out that doctorate among vistas of Portland and the Cascade Mountains, the companionship of docile wildlife, the quiescence of neighboring forests, and the kindred of the relaxed, approachable West Coast culture.