Curriculum Overview

Core Curriculum

  • Cellular Neuroscience (NSC 512)
  • Integrative Neuroscience (NSC 531)
  • Ethics & Prof Integrity in Research (IND 501)
    • Introduction to Biostatistics (BST 463)
    • Data Analysis I (BCS 510)

Laboratory Rotations

A series of 3-4 laboratory rotations (each lasting about 10 weeks) provides 1st-year students with an insider's view, through active participation in a research project, of the research interests, lab environment, and mentoring style of potential thesis advisors. Students have the option of completing their first rotation during July and August the summer before their first semester of graduate school.

Neuroscience Journal Club

Neuroscience Journal Club (NSC 592) provides first and second year students with experience in critical thinking and experimental design through the analysis of historic and important recent findings in the neuroscience literature. The selection of journal articles is typically coordinated with topics being taught concurrently in the Cellular and Systems Neuroscience courses.

Student Seminar

Seminar (NSC 503) provides a friendly forum for students to develop and refine their presentation skills and to practice fielding questions concerning their research. Students deliver an oral presentation on their research each year they are in the program. Faculty and students in the audience evaluate the talks and provide written feedback to the presenter.

Teaching Tutorial

Students serve as a teaching assistant for one semester (usually in year 2 or 3) for either an undergraduate neurobiology course or an anatomy or neuroscience course in the Medical School for one semester. Additional opportunities to gain teaching experience are available to interested students.

Neuroscience Track

The Neuroscience track attracts students from diverse backgrounds in the biological and physical sciences, psychology, and engineering. The hallmark of the track is its flexibility, allowing students students to design a curriculum that will augment their unique research experience or broaden their perspective of neuroscience. Starting in the first year, students personalize their training with advanced coursework chosen from a rich variety of electives offered in the School of Medicine or the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. In addition, students frequently collaborate with faculty to design their own interest-specific tutorials. Students in the Neuroscience track may select a thesis advisor from more than 60 faculty representing 17 departments and 6 interdisciplinary research centers. Successful completion of the track culminates with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Neurobiology and Anatomy Track

The Neurobiology and Anatomy track is particularly well-suited to students in the joint M.D./Ph.D. program and to Ph.D. candidates interested in studying the function and dysfunction of the nervous system on a broader scale. The program of study extends the core curriculum into human anatomy, neurobiology, and disorders of the nervous system through participation in one of two medical school courses. The program is specifically directed towards preparing students for academic careers within a medical school setting, where teaching comprises an important component of the faculty mission, and where research interests include systems, integrative, and translational/clinical aspects of neural science. The track is available to students whose thesis advisor has a primary or secondary appointment in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Students completing the track are awarded a Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Anatomy.