Senior Comprehensives

For both semesters, senior majors must reserve Thursdays after 4:30 PM for Neuroscience seminars.

Neuroscience seminar periods are used for presentations from visiting neuroscientists and for senior comprehensive presentations/examinations (see below) that are presented by senior Neuroscience majors. Sophomores and junior neuroscience majors are encouraged to attend the seminars and comprehensive exams.

Requirements for Senior Comprehensives

  1. Attendance at all Neuroscience seminars and comprehensive presentations (click links for schedules)
  2. For the classes of 2015 and 2016: EITHER A) a comprehensive presentation (an oral presentation of a recent neuroscience article) followed by a comprehensive examination (answering questions that address material taught in prior neuroscience courses following the comprehensive presentation) OR  B) a written examination. For the Classes of 2017 and beyond: a written examination.
  • See the Instructions for the senior comprehensive presentation and examination

Passing Senior Comprehensives

The senior neuroscience comprehensive requirements are as follows. You must attend all seminars given by outside speakers and all comprehensive presentations of fellow senior majors.  You must also either: (#1 above), give your own seminar presentation, and subsequently defend this oral presentation OR (#2 above) pass the written examination.

Missing a seminar without proper excluding documentation or authorization will result in the student failing to satisfy the attendance component of the examination. A student can take a makeup examination for one (1) missed event by writing a paper related to the topic of the seminar that was missed, to be formulated more specifically by the neuroscience faculty.

An inadequate oral presentation/examination or an inadequate performance on the written exam may result in the student not satisfying the second components of their comprehensive examination. If the student exhibits unsatisfactory performance for this portion of the examination, the faculty will request the student to take a makeup comprehensive examination in the form of a written paper that addresses deficiencies encountered in either the oral presentation or question/answer portion of the comprehensive examination. 

By college rules, a student may take a makeup test (for each component of the comprehensive requirement) only once prior to the end of classes in the Spring semester. If a makeup exam is not passed, then the student may not take another makeup examination until the Fall of the following year. In this case the student would not be able to graduate with a major in Neuroscience in the Spring of their senior year.


Neuroscience Senior Comprehensives (more detail)

In addition to the mandatory seminar attendance requirement, students in the classes of 2015 and 2016 will have two options for satisfying their comprehensive examination.  Students will either A) present a paper from the recent Neuroscience literature to the faculty and other senior majors and answer questions from that faculty OR B) take a written exam on paper(s) from the recent Neuroscience literature.  Students will be asked which option they prefer during the add/drop period of the Fall semester.  The presentations will occur during January and early Spring semester and the written exam will take place during the Thursday 4:30-6 seminar slot during early Spring semester.

Students in the classes of 2017 and beyond will complete a written exam on paper(s) from the recent Neuroscience literature during the Thursday 4:30-6 seminar slot at the beginning of Spring semester.