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College of Graduate Studies

From the Interim Dean

Together with the participating faculty and current students, I welcome you to the College of Graduate Studies First Year Curriculum (FYC).

Our interdisciplinary curriculum reveals the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of biomedical science through a combined exposure to current molecular-cellular knowledge, a wide array of research programs, as well as instruction and guidance from a broad spectrum of the faculty.

The FYC curriculum, now in its fourteenth year, is comprehensive, challenging, and provides many novel educational and research experiences. As a student, you will interact formally and informally with the faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and senior students who are involved in the classroom and laboratories. Our curriculum also prepares you to be successful for competitive extramural fellowships and scholarships via our Essentials of Scientific Practice and Responsible Conduct of Research courses. You will also learn about translational research through the Important Unanswered Questions in the Biomedical Sciences Seminar series.

The FYC is responsive through yearly upgrades reflecting important new discoveries. Changes are dictated by at least two major criteria: 1) are the topics being well presented? 2) what is the latest cutting-edge science? Thus, a critical aspect of the curriculum is your evaluation of the course content and its presentation by the faculty. You have two avenues to provide input: formal evaluations and comments forwarded to your FYC Steering Committee representatives. Thus, we ask you to complete E*value evaluations for the Foundations of Biomedical Sciences courses and online evaluations for each of your lab rotations. The results of these evaluations are used to improve the curriculum and also to select the finalists for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. As a result of the constant re-evaluation of the curriculum and an all-day FYC Steering Committee retreat last year, the entire structure of the curriculum has been improved and streamlined.

As both faculty and mentors, we are excited about providing you with an outstanding research training experience. Before you know it, we will be calling you colleagues.

Finally, as the Interim Dean, I want you to know that I have an open door policy and welcome your thoughts and suggestions on how to create for you the best possible educational experience.

Jacqueline F. McGinty, Ph.D.
Professor of Neuroscience
Interim Dean, College of Graduate Studies


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