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URMC / Department of Neuroscience / Education



An enduring role of the Department of Neuroscience continues to be its commitment to education at several levels within the University structure. This commitment includes extensive participatory and leadership roles in medical, graduate, and undergraduate curricula at the University of Rochester. Faculty in Neuroscience have received a continuous stream of awards for teaching and leadership efforts over the years, including a fifth of all Dean's Teaching Scholars Awards, and recurrent commendations and awards conveyed by students.

Ph.D. in Neuroscience (Neuroscience Graduate Program)

Photo of Liz Romanski and Maria DiehlThe Neuroscience Graduate Program is particularly well suited to Ph.D. candidates and students in the M.D./Ph.D. program who are interested in studying function and dysfunction of the nervous system. The Neuroscience Graduate Program brings Neuroscience faculty together with neuroscience-oriented faculty from other University of Rochester departments to provide students a broad and multifaceted education in the neurosciences. The program offers state-of-the-art training and fosters interactions and collaborations between faculty and students with diverse interests, facilitating projects that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. The program comprises two tracks. A Ph.D. in Neuroscience gives students maximum flexibility and broad training in the neurosciences. This track offers an extensive array of elective courses and students can chose a thesis advisor from the 60+ faculty that participate in the program. A Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Anatomy encourages a deeper exploration of the links between human disease and research, extending the core curriculum into human neurobiology and disorders of the nervous system through participation in one of two medical school courses.
The track is available to students whose thesis advisor has a primary or secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience.

Medical Education

Photo of Kerry O'Banion teaching studentsThe Department of Neuroscience is deeply committed to, and maintains extensive responsibilities in, the medical school curriculum through its participation in development and administrative functions as well as leadership roles in key courses. The double-helix curriculum has integrated basic and clinical disciplines across all four years of study. Neuroscience faculty have been instrumental in developing the new curriculum, formulating new programs and problem-based learning modules, and training of other faculty. Neuroscience faculty continue to maintain leading as well as participatory roles, and cooperate with other departments in a variety of functions related to medical education. Our faculty lead and participate extensively in two major course structures:

  • Human Structure and Function (year 1; anatomy, histology, embryology and physiology)
  • Mind/Brain/Behavior (year 2; medical neurobiology).

These courses also maintain counterparts in the later years of the curriculum. Many faculty also participate in other course offerings within the double-helix curriculum.

In addition, Neuroscience faculty participate in a variety of venues within clinical residency and fellowship programs, particularly those in Neurology, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, and Neurosurgery.

Undergraduate Education

Faculty members of the Department of Neuroscience contribute to undergraduate education at the University, particularly in the programs of Neuroscience, Brain & Cognitive Science, and Biomedical Engineering. This includes leadership roles within the latter, reflecting an important strength and joint commitment between the two departments in the area of Neuro-Engineering.