Forms, Checklists and Milestones
Below is a partial list of forms and checklists for graduate students as they move through the program. More information to come.
Area Group Checklists
Some of the area groups have created checklists to help students keep track of program and area requirements.
Checklist for Clinical Science
Checklist for Cognitive and Cognitive Neuroscience
Checklist for Neuroscience
The First Year
- International Teaching Assistant Orientation (ITAO): All first-year international graduate students who will have TA duties while at Vanderbilt should attend International Teaching Assistant Orientation (ITAO), even if they are not beginning their TA duties in the fall of their first year. ITAO consists of an orientation to teaching in the American classroom (relevant to all international TAs, even if they are fluent in English) as well as English language evaluations. International graduate students whose first language is English or who completed a baccalaureate degree at an institution where English is the principle language of instruction need not participate in the language evaluations, but they should attend the orientation portion of ITAO. Students can register for ITAO at the Center for Teaching website.
- Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO): All graduate students (both US and international) must attend Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) before they begin their TA duties. Any first-year graduate students with no TA duties (e.g., those on service-free fellowships or training grants) should attend TAO in the August before they actually begin their TA duties. Students can register for TAO at the Center for Teaching website.
- Human Subjects Training through the IRB: The Vanderbilt IRB requires all graduate students who are conducting human subjects research to complete human subjects protections training using the online CITI course. In addition, all Investigators, Key Study Personnel, Students, and Faculty Advisors conducting human subjects research, must complete continuing education annually. Continuing education requirements may be met by attending an educational session approved by the IRB (e.g., IRB Essentials, Research Matters, News You Can Use, etc.), a national conference that addresses human subjects protections in research, or completion of one additional CITI module and quiz.
- First Year Committee (Department of Psychology only): This form will allow you to declare the composition of your first-year research committee for your meeting by the end of May of your first year.
The Second Year
- Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO): Graduate students must attend Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) before they TA. Any first-year graduate students with no TA duties (e.g., those on service-free fellowships or training grants) should attend TAO in the August before they actually begin their TA duties. Students can register for TAO at the Center for Teaching website.
- Second Year Committee (Department of Psychology only): This form will allow you to declare the composition of your second-year research committee for your meeting by the end of May of your second year.
The Master's Degree: Our program is not designed for students with a primary interest in a terminal Master’s degree. Students can, however, receive a Master’s degree during their tenure at Vanderbilt. Students affiliated with the Department of Psychology can receive a Master’s of Arts degree while those affiliated with the Department of Psychology and Human Development can receive a Master’s of Science degree. Those who wish to receive a Master’s degree must fulfill the requirements as listed in the Graduate School Bulletin. To be eligible to receive a Master’s degree, the student must have completed a minimum of 24 hours of formal course work. The student must also complete a master’s thesis project. The written thesis must be approved by two faculty members in the program.
The Department of Psychology and Human Development does offer a Master's in Child Studies which is the only terminal masters program.
Master's theses must follow the same rules as the doctoral theses. See the Graduate School website for details.
Qualifying Examination / Major Area Paper (MAP)
Examples of Previous Major Area Papers (MAPs): Click here for example MAPs.
Examples of Previous Dissertation Proposals: Click here for example proposals.
Scheduling a Final Dissertation: The final oral defense of the doctoral dissertation must be recorded in the Graduate School at least two weeks before the defense meeting.
When you need to schedule a final dissertation orals defense, here are the procedures that you need to follow:
- On the Graduate School website, go to Information for Faculty.
- On the line that says Request to Schedule Final Defense, click on either the .doc or .pdf link.
- This will pull up the form that will initiate the process. It needs to be filled out and signed by DGS for your department (Geoff Woodman or David Cole) and then goes to Elaine Biddy in Kirkland Hall. NOTE: If the committee members are different than those on the qualifying committee, the committee list will need to be evaluated and approved by the graduate school; let your DGS know and he will contact Richard Hoover in the graduate school.
- Once the form is signed, it can be faxed to Elaine Biddy at 3-9936. This requires at least 2 week notice.
- After Elaine Biddy gets form and it is approved, she will generate letters for all committee members. She will send these letter to the DGS to distribute to the committee members. She will also put this information on the University calendar. Also included with the letters is the intent to graduate form
- It is the graduate student's responsibility to fill out the form and schedule a room and a time.
- As appropriate, graduate students are urged to apply for a Dissertation Enhancement Grant from the Graduate School.
- Preparing your Doctoral Thesis: Your final thesis must conform to a series of guidelines dictated by the Graduate School. There are a series of rules and regulations that must be followed ranging from formatting requirements to the kind of paper that must be used.
- Complete an Intent to Graduate Form: Please check the Graduate School website for deadlines.