The three summer laboratory rotations prior to graduate school offer students an opportunity to build their research skills and knowledge in laboratories of interest. These rotations are crucial for identifying a suitable thesis laboratory, and also provide exposure to the graduate program(s) of interest.
Each matriculating student is matched with a career advisor who is an expert in the student's chosen field of interest. A Career Advisor is assigned when the student accepts a position in the MSTP to assist with choosing a rotation laboratory, and to address any questions about the MSTP, Graduate Programs, and transitions. The Career Advisor meets with the student upon matriculation into the MSTP and then meets with the advisee at least biannually to discuss student progress, plans, and any concerns. These meetings provide an opportunity to review and discuss students' academic performance, achievement milestones (medical or graduate program, papers, grants or presentations, other accomplishments), anticipated obstacles and resources for overcoming them. Assistance is provided for developing a biosketch and an Individual Development Plan (IDP), and these are reviewed at each meeting. The Career Advisor is different from a thesis mentor, and serves as an advocate for the student, helping with decisions about laboratory choices, mentor-mentee matching, and clinical path. The Career Advisor serves as a link between the student and the MSTP administration.