Neuroscience Senior Comprehensives Instructions

In addition to the mandatory seminar attendance requirement, students must also pass a comprehensive examination:

A) Oral Presentation. Present a paper from the recent Neuroscience literature to the faculty and other senior majors and answer questions from that faculty. 


B) Written Examination. Take a written exam on paper(s) from the recent Neuroscience literature. (this is the standard option)

Important points for both forms of exam:
  • Students will be asked which option they prefer during the add/drop period of the Fall semester.
  • The exams will occur early Spring semester and date & time will be announced during interterm.
  • The Schedule page will list the date & time and the papers that the exams will be based upon.



Oral Presentation Details

Email your top three paper choices to the Neuro Chair by the due date. Be sure to rank your choices in order of preference!

  1. Select your preferred paper choices for your presentation*
  2. See the comprehensives schedule for the date of your presentation
  3. See the Presentation Guidelines webpage for further details on your oral presentation and exam

*Students will be selected randomly and given their top choice of paper and DATE based on availability. In the case of ties, all candidates will be rechosen randomly.



Written Exam Details

The exam date will be in early spring semester and will be announced during January interterm.

During January interterm, you will be notified of one or more papers (see Schedule) to read ahead of time:

  • The written exam questions will be based upon these papers.
  • Questions are based on your prior coursework in Neuroscience.
  • Questions may be directly related to the paper or they may ask you to consider some aspect of the paper in the context of something else in your neuroscience knowledge.
  • The exam will consist of questions relating to all papers. 
  • We will provide clean paper copies of the papers for the exam (you will not bring your own copy). 
  • You are free to use any sources you wish in reading the papers; however, professors will not be answering questions regarding the papers prior to the exam.  


Note: Attendance by senior Neuroscience majors is required for all seminars and oral presentations.