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Technical Standards

A candidate for the MS or PhD degree must possess abilities and skills that include: observational, communicational, motor, intellectual-conceptual (integrative and quantitative) and behavioral and social. The use of a trained intermediary is not acceptable in laboratory situations; it implies that a candidate’s judgment must be mediated by someone else’s skill.

  • Observation: The candidate must be able to acquire information as presented through demonstration and experiences in the basic sciences. This includes information conveyed through physiological and pharmacological demonstrations in animals, microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal and pathological states. Furthermore, a candidate must be able to:
    • Observe experimental results or subjects accurately, acquire information from written documents and visualize information as presented in images from paper, films, slides, video or other forms of modern electronic media.
    • Interpret graphic images and other forms of data readout (such as oscilloscopes, computer screens, gels,) with or without the use of assistive devices.
  • In any case, where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information is compromised, the candidate must utilize alternate means to collect and convey the essential Obtaining and using such alternate means shall be the responsibility of the student. Costs should be reasonable and will be properly borne by the university if not otherwise funded.
  • Communication: The candidate must be able to communicate effectively, efficiently and sensitively with research subjects, faculty, staff and colleagues.
  • Motor: The candidate must possess the motor skills necessary to design and perform laboratory experiments and statistical analysis of collected data.
  • Intellectual-Conceptual (Integrative and Quantitative) Abilities: The candidate must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate and synthesize data, knowledge and  concepts. The candidate must be able to perform these problem-solving skills in a timely fashion.
  • Behavioral and Social Attributes: The candidate must work to their fullest potential while exercising good judgement. They must be able to function effectively in stressful situations and adapt to changing environments. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, motivation and work ethic are all personal qualities required for a successful scientific career, and are assessed during the admissions and educational process.

The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies recognizes the responsibility to provide educational training for the student’s development as a responsible scientist. The faculty holds the responsibility for approving graduates who have achieved such development. In each case, the students will be judged on their achievements and behaviors, regardless of a disability. The faculty of the student’s department will determine whether they have met the specified criteria.

If you have any questions about these standards or other policies as they pertain to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the ADA Coordinator at 847-578-8354 or