University of Wisconsin–Madison

Time to Degree

The average time to degree for NTP Ph.D. candidates is approximately 4.9 years. It is expected you will complete the Dissertation by the end of the sixth academic year. If this is not accomplished by the end of the summer following the sixth academic year, your major professor and one member of your Advisory Committee must meet with the Steering Committee to present a written statement that explains why the Dissertation has not been finished, and describes plans that you and the Committee have agreed upon to ensure completion. You may attend this meeting if you wish. Continuation in the Program beyond the fall semester of the seventh year will be at the discretion of the Steering Committee. N&PP students will be given an additional year and Neuro/Law students an additional two years to finish the Ph.D. degree.

To help keep you on track for your time to degree please see below for a simplified sample timeline for your tenure in the NTP. To view a more detailed timetable for student progress please see the version in the student handbook here.

First Year

  1. First Semester
    1. Register for required fall courses and choose elective(s) after meeting with the First Year Advisory Committee.
    2. Attend Neuroscience Research Symposium or Neuroscience Poster Session
    3. Attend Chalk Talks.
    4. If rotating, plan laboratory rotations and complete 1-2 of these rotations. Turn in report(s) on completed rotation(s).
  2. Second Semester
    1. Register for required spring courses and choose elective(s) after meeting with First Year Advisory Committee.
    2. If rotating, complete laboratory rotations.  Turn in report(s) on completed rotation(s).
    3. Select your major professor and other members of your Advisory Committee by March 30.
    4. Have Advisory Committee members approved by the First Year Advisory Committee.
    5. Schedule an Advisory Committee meeting for no later than the third week of the fall semester.
    6. Fulfill program ethics requirements.
  3. Summer
    1. Register for NTP 990, Research and Thesis credits with your advisor.

Second Year

  1. First Semester
    1. Work toward completing Mid-Level Course Requirement and any other courses suggested by your Advisory Committee.
    2. Meet with Advisory Committee and submit summary report and Certification Form Part I to the Program Office no later than the end of the third week of the fall semester.
  2. Second Semester
    1. Meet with Advisory Committee and submit summary report to the Program Office no later than the end of the third week of the semester.
    2. Complete all course requirements.
    3. Fulfill program ethics requirements.
  3. Summer
    1. Plan to complete Preliminary Examination by the end of the summer.  Submit Request for Preliminary Warrant form to Graduate School.
    2. Complete 32 UW-Madison credits. (Completion of the credits and the Preliminary Examination permits registration for 3 credits at the dissertator rate for all subsequent sessions.)
    3. Submit Part II of the Certification Form after the Preliminary Examination is completed.

Third Year

  1. First Semester
    1. Meet with Advisory Committee and submit summary report to the Program Office no later than the end of the third week of the semester.  (This meeting can be omitted if the Preliminary Examination is completed after the spring Advisory Committee meeting and before the beginning of the fall semester.)
    2. Present thesis research proposal in Neuroscience Seminar.
    3. Conduct thesis research.
  2. Spring Semester
    1. Complete teaching requirement.
    2. Conduct thesis research.
    3. Fulfill program ethics requirement.
  3. Summer
    1. Register for NTP 990, Research and Thesis credits with your advisor.

Fourth Year

  1. First Semester
    1. Conduct thesis research.
    2. Meet with Advisory Committee and submit summary report to the Program Office no later than the end of the third week of the semester.
  2. Second Semester
    1. Conduct thesis research.
    2. Attend Ethics presentation.
    3. Fulfill program ethics requirements.
  3. Summer
    1. Register for NTP 990, Research and Thesis credits with your advisor.

Fifth Year

  1. First Semester
    1. Meet with Advisory Committee to decide format and content of Dissertation and submit summary report to the Program office no later than the end of the third week of the semester.
    2. Submit Part III of the Certification Form.
    3. Conduct thesis research.
  2. Second Semester
    1. Submit Ph.D. Final Oral Committee form to Graduate School.
    2. Complete Dissertation and Oral Defense.
    3. Submit one copy of your thesis to Graduate School online and three hard copies to the Neuroscience Training Program to be bound.
    4. Fulfill program ethics requirements.