Although there is a core curriculum that all students fulfill, the program is flexible. The program is designed to meet individual needs and is usually completed within 4-5 years. During the first year students take Proseminar, which is taught by the entire faculty. This seminar explores the diverse areas of psychological and brain sciences represented in the department. First-year students also begin to take a series of Core Courses and conduct supervised research. Second-year students receive training in statistics, enroll in focused seminars, carry out independent research and complete a Specialist Examination in their area before proceeding to their dissertation research in subsequent years of the program. Four Teaching-Assistantships are also required. The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences maintains close ties and affiliations with a number of other departments and programs, including the Dartmouth Medical School and the Neuroscience Center at Dartmouth. Course work and research is often conducted in conjunction with these other programs.