Graduate education at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences adheres to an adaptive and multidisciplinary learning plan, an important component of which is an assessment of student learning.
It is expected that students who have successfully completed one of the School's seven programs of study will have:
- Demonstrated a coherent understanding of the biomedical sciences (or 'sciences fundamental to medicine') and a proficiency in the current experimental and theoretical aspects of their chosen program of study;
- Demonstrated the ability to evaluate and discuss primary literature in a critical manner;
- Demonstrated the ability to independently conduct original and significant research with the potential to advance the biomedical sciences, and to document and defend such contributions;
- Demonstrated the ability to communicate scientific knowledge and ideas effectively through both oral and written communications;
- Exhibited and maintained complete integrity throughout their tenure, expressing the discipline’s best values, practices and ethical standards.
In addition, each academic program has its own learning goals that complement the overarching outcomes. At both the School and program-level, academic leadership and program faculty assess on an annual basis whether learning goals are being met. They also review whether any changes need to be made to the overall learning assessment approach. Student performance is assessed through a variety of direct and indirect measures, which include:
- Didactic and experiential coursework;
- Official milestones, such as the admission to candidacy exam (ACE exam), which assess breadth and depth in the discipline;
- Public presentations of scholarly work at program retreats, school-wide symposia, and national and international meetings;
- Annual thesis committee (Special Committee) meetings;
- The final exam and thesis defense.
Through this comprehensive approach to student learning assessment, the Graduate School aims to offer extraordinary research and training for the future leaders in basic and translational science.