Candidacy for the doctorate is granted following the successful completion of course requirements, and the qualifying examinations. The area has established a time-line for meeting each of these phases of graduate training: Briefly, students must finish a Masters thesis by the end of their fifth semester, pass a Qualifying Exam by the end of their seventh semester, and defend their dissertation research in year 4 or 5. Course work includes statistics and research methods, core courses in both behavioral neuroscience and conditioning and learning, and small seminars based on areas of faculty expertise. In addition to the core curriculum, students are encouraged to take courses in related areas such as Anatomy, Biochemistry, Ecology, Nutrition, Neuroscience, Physiology, Endocrinology and Pharmacology. It is expected that students will be actively involved in research throughout these years.