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courses for grad students

Rae Nishi nospamnishir at ohsu.edu
Wed Nov 19 17:48:49 EST 1997

Since you're all on the topic of learning, enthusiasm, coursework etc,
I thought I would turn your thinking from undergrads to grad students. 
I wonder what your thoughts are on requiring courses for grad students.
 I seem to be the minority of this faculty in thinking that a
<<minimum>> number of courses should be required but that many should
be offered.  My feeling is that the good students will take the courses
because they're interested and enthusiastic about learning the material
and that students who choose to take a course will be more enthusiastic
than those who are forced to take it.  I think that by the time you get
to a postgraduate education (especially training for a PhD) that you
ought to be mature enough to figure out how to get what you need and
that we should foster an environment of multidisciplinary training. 
Unfortunately, most of the faculty don't trust students to get the
training.  We have even gone to the extreme of requiring two terms of
journal club.  The faculty seem to want to require more and more course
work to be completed. I think that this turns off good students instead
of getting them interested ('course, I was a student that hated being
told what to take so much that I went to a grad program that had no
required courses). What do you think?

reply to nishir at ohsu.edu
Rae Nishi, PhD
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 

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