During the first week prior to the beginning of the fall semester, all entering graduate students will participate in a week-long orientation. This orientation will include instruction for teaching assistantships, Graduate School orientation, departmental orientation and a radiation safety course. During this orientation week and the first week of school, students are encouraged to meet with each faculty member in the department to discuss research interests and identify possible thesis projects.

Each new student is required to participate in a minimum of 2 non-overlapping six-week or eight-week research rotations during the first semester. Students who are interested in only two rotations should do two 8-week rotations, whereas students who are interested in three should do three six-week rotations. These rotations should be completed prior to the beginning of the second semester of study. During the period of research rotations, neither faculty nor students should make any formal commitment regarding thesis projects. At the end of the research rotation period, each student must meet with the faculty member in whose laboratory he/she wishes to conduct research. The student's final choice of thesis advisor is made in consultation with the selected faculty member and recommended to the entire faculty. The Biochemistry faculty will meet during the first week of the second semester for final approval of thesis projects.