Neuroscience Program

PhD in Neuroscience

Students must satisfy all requirements for doctoral degrees expressed in the Academic Policies section of the University Catalog.

The curriculum for the Neuroscience PhD consists of 72 credits: 48 credits of course work and 24 credits of dissertation research. The 48-credit requirement may be reduced by up to 30 credits for a qualified student holding a previous relevant master’s degree. Alternatively, up to 24 credits of previous, relevant graduate course work may be transferred into the program provided those credits have not been applied toward a previous degree. Additional requirements for graduation include a dissertation and at least one publication (in print or in press) in a refereed journal.

Two areas of emphasis are included in the program: behavioral, anatomical, and molecular neuroscience; and theoretical, computational, and physiological neuroscience (TCP). All students will follow almost the same curriculum for the first two years, although emphasis prerequisites may vary slightly. For example, students in the TCP emphasis must have basic knowledge of integral calculus. It is expected that the selection of elective thesis topics will vary widely between the two areas of emphasis; however, students will be allowed to mix and match electives from both areas, with guidance and consent from the advisor or program director.

Degree  Requirements

Core Science (9 credits):

  • Graduate level course in statistics
  • NEUR 702 - Research Methods Credits: 3

Core Neuroscience (12 credits):

  • NEUR 601 - Developmental Neuroscience Credits: 3
  • NEUR 602 - Cellular Neuroscience Credits: 3
  • NEUR 603 - Mammalian Neurobiology Credits: 3
  • NEUR 701 - Neurophysiology Laboratory Credits: 3

Rotations and Readings (9 credits):

  • NEUR 703 - Laboratory Rotation and Readings Credits: 3 (take three times)

Required (Doesn't Count for Credit):

  • NEUR 709 - Neuroscience Seminars: 1

Electives (21 credits):

  • 21 credits of electives

Dissertation Research (24 credits):

Note: No more than 24 combined credits from NEUR 998 and NEUR 999 may be applied toward satisfying doctoral degree requirements, with no more than 12 credits of NEUR 998.

  • NEUR 998 - Dissertation Proposal Credits: 6-12
  • NEUR 999 - Doctoral Dissertation Credits: 12-18

Advancement to Candidacy

When course work is nearing completion, the student should form a doctoral committee and start preparing their advancement to candidacy.

Doctoral Dissertation

After advancing to candidacy, the student works on his or her doctoral dissertation while enrolled in NEUR 999. The student is expected to make an original and significant contribution to the field worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The doctoral committee reviews the dissertation and examines the student in a public oral thesis defense. The degree will be awarded upon completion of the required course work and successful defense of the thesis.

Total: 72 credits

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