May 24, 2022
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program, drawing on faculty and courses from many campus units, including the Colleges of Liberal Arts, Science, and Engineering, and the School of Medicine. Study programs lead to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The Ph.D. program provides training in the core foundations of neuroscience, ranging from cellular mechanisms to cognition and behavior, with a wide range of options for advanced training and specialization within specific subdisciplines. Graduate assistantships for the program are available on a competitive basis. Contact the program office for more information.
Michael Webster, Professor of Psychology, Co-Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Dennis Mathew, Associate Professor of Psychology, Co-Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Mack Social Science, Room 409
Graduate Handbook *
Program Objectives/Student Learning Outcomes
The program is designed to provide training in fundamental concepts and methods in modern neuroscience, and emphasize interdisciplinary and integrative approaches which are seen as central to major advances in the field. The program also emphasizes the development of research skills that will position students to be competitive in academic and research-oriented careers. Student learning outcomes include:
- comprehensive understanding and ability to critically evaluate current knowledge and theories in neuroscience;
- research skills to effectively identify, design and carry out independent research;
- professional development including communication and teaching, grant-writing, and ethics.
Applicants to the Neuroscience program must meet all requirements of the Graduate School, including the GPA and TOEFL entrance requirements of the Graduate School. The GRE is recommended but not required.
Course preparation for the program will be determined on an individual basis. However, all students will be expected to have a basic background in science including a minimum of 3 semester credits in calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology. Students lacking this background may be admitted with the provision that appropriate remedial coursework is completed.
I. Program Requirements
Doctoral students in the Neuroscience program will complete 2 semesters of research in their first year. This is designed to expose students to research methods and questions in the discipline and to aid them in selecting an advisor. Before the third semester in the program, each student must select a research/thesis advisor in consultation with the program director and the desired faculty member, who must be an affiliate member of the program. The advisor will serve as chair of the student’s advisory/examination committee.
Academic requirements as determined by the Graduate School and the Program must be met by all program students. Required and elective courses must be chosen from the program curriculum outlined below, and the plan of study requires approval of the student’s advisor/examination committee and the program director.
Doctoral students must pass a first-year examination before the beginning of their third semester. The exam includes written and oral components, both based on the student’s first-year project. Doctoral students must also pass a qualifying exam in their third or fourth year in order to advance to candidacy. The qualifying exam is based on an oral examination of the student’s dissertation proposal by the student’s dissertation committee. Students are also required to submit at least one fellowship or grant application as part of their training.
A. Neuroscience Core Courses (7 units)
B. Additional Course Requirements (8 units)
C. Computing or Bioinformatics (3 units)
D. First and Second Year Research Projects (12 units)
Complete 6 units in each of the two research project courses selected.
E. Dissertation (24 units)
Cognitive Neuroscience (PSY)
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (BIO-CMB)
II. Program Total Hours (72 units)
Students will be expected to have a basic background in science including a minimum of 3 semester units in calculus, physics, chemistry, and biology. Students lacking this background may be admitted with the provision that appropriate remedial coursework is completed during the first year of graduate study.