In addition to the formal academic training acquired in the process of coursework, students have many opportunities to develop their research capabilities.
For many students research activity begins in the first semester, through participation in an on-going project of their adviser or a research team.
The ideas generated from this initial involvement often result in the development of a project which could become the student's first-year research project or master's thesis. Normally, students continue in the same area of research through their doctoral dissertation.
Much of the research activity occurs through teams which faculty members lead. Collaborative research activities among students and faculty occur frequently.
Because these teams are most often composed of individuals at various levels of training and competencies, students are able to learn from each other, seeing what is ahead of them and, as they become more advanced, supervising and assisting those behind them. In addition to the developmental faculty, faculty in related programs in the department frequently serve as committee members on the teams, and on occasion have served as primary research supervisors.
In sum, both formal instruction and the informal collaborative relationships between faculty and students facilitate an easy entry into and continuation of the process of doing research.