The Neuroscience Graduate Program is designed to give you a well-rounded educational experience. The curriculum includes courses, directed by neuroscience faculty, that are designed to provide you a strong background in all facets of neuroscience. Our curriculum builds competency in both practical and theoretical aspects of neuroscience, including modern laboratory techniques, genetics, cell biology, developmental neuroscience, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, systems and computational neuroscience, and neurological disease. Courses are also available from the core curriculum of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
In addition to the coursework, during your first year, you will familiarize yourself with the different approaches to neuroscience research by embarking on a series of rotations in the laboratories of Neuroscience faculty. The purposes of the laboratory rotations are to provide a way for you to get to know the faculty and the focus of their research and to gain experience in a variety of experimental techniques. Research rotations are expected to lead to the selection of a thesis research project.
At the end of the first year, you will choose an advisor. Your advisor and the Thesis Advisory Committee will guide you in developing a suitable thesis research project. You will then take a qualifying exam, which is administered by members of your Thesis Advisory Committee. This exam is designed to test your ability to synthesize, write up, and defend a scientific research project. The research proposal may cover any area of neuroscience research and typically (but not necessarily) represents a project being conducted or contemplated your thesis project. Upon the successful completion of the qualifying exam and satisfying the necessary course requirements, you will be formally admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D.