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Biobehavioral Health
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In addition to the departmental required courses and electives the general requirements of our program are based upon:

  1. a period of residence; within some twelve-month period during the interval between the successful completion of the qualifying exam (official entry into the BBH doctoral program) and completion of the Ph.D. The candidate must spend at least two semesters (which may include the semester in which the qualifying examination is taken) as a registered full-time student engaged in academic work on the University Park campus (half-time graduate assistants taking 9-12 credits are considered full-time students). Full-time employees must be certified by the BBH program as devoting half-time or more to graduate studies and/or thesis research to meet the degree requirements.
  2. demonstrated competence with regard to all program objectives and expectations, and maintenance of a least a 3.00 grade point average;
  3. demonstrated competence in the English language (including reading, writing, speaking and listening)
  4. demonstrated commitment to and competence in professional and scientific ethics including: (a) professional standards of professional conduct, (b) integrity in research, (c) protection of human subjects and animals in research, and (d) responsibilities of scientists to the larger society.
  5. completion of a minimum of two semesters of a teaching assistantship prior to graduation

And success with the following milestones in the BBH PhD program

  1. passing the First Year Review, which involves the formation of a committee who will review the student's CV, statement of interests, and a document summarizing the first year progress (in coursework, research, teaching, etc.)
  2. passing a Qualifying Examination (formally called “candidacy"), which typically occurs near the end of the 3rd semester). The qualifying examination includes independently writing an original empirical manuscript or review paper. The student’s committee reviews this paper, the student’s CV, statement of interests, and a document summarizing the student's progress to-date as well as plans. The committee then makes a recommendation to the BBH faculty, who vote on passing the qualifying examination.
  3. the passing of the Comprehensive Examination; this involves a written and an oral component. The written component is comprised of two parts: an independently written review paper or NSRA-style grant proposal, and written answers to a comprehensive examination designed by the doctoral committee. The oral part is a defense of the written component and general progress in the graduate program.
  4. the writing of a satisfactory dissertation proposal (an independent, competent research and scholarship activity that makes a significant contribution); and
  5. satisfactory passing of the final oral dissertation examination (dissertation defense). See here for detailed requirements related to the dissertation.