Degree information and requirements

Neuroscience Coursework

Below are a group of core courses for Neuroscience students that provide a foundation in the neurosciences  and data analysis.

  • Introduction to Neuroscience broadly covers many aspects of neuroscience and the research that laid the foundation for our current understandings. This course is taken in the first semester of enrollment in the program. 
  • Structure & Function of the Nervous System introduces students in their first year to the basic anatomy and physiology of the human nervous system. Students have the opportunity to view discussed structures in human tissues. 
  • Neuroscience Seminar The weekly Neuroscience Seminar provides an opportunity for intellectual and social exchange among the students and faculty. The topic and the faculty member directing the Seminar changes each semester. Past topics include neural epigenetics, neuropathies, olfaction, reward processing and neural regeneration.
  • Bio-statistics is taken by all students to support rigorous data analysis and evaluation of results in scientific research articles as well as their own research.

The Neuroscience Program is a research-oriented program and students are expected to take a minimum of 2-3 credit hours of research per semester.

The remaining coursework is tailored to fit the student. Beyond the foundational courses, the student and faculty advisor identify elective courses that best meet the educational and research needs of the student.  Additional courses in  cell physiology, neurodegeneration, pathophysiology, molecular biology, pharmacology, electron and confocal microscopy are available to Neuroscience students. Additionally, Neuroscience students attend a weekly Neurophysiology seminar series in which invited speakers give a research presentation and meet with graduate students.

PhD Degree Requirements 

Program Specific Degree Requirements

All doctoral Neuroscience students are required to complete a program of core classwork that must include the required courses Introduction to Neuroscience (NEUR 5280) and Structure and Function of the Nervous System (NEUR 5100). Students are required to take one course in Statistics (e.g. STAT 5050, STAT 5210) and the course that meets this requirement will be arranged with the student’s committee. The statistics requirement must be met by the end of the second year. The Neuroscience Program is a research-oriented program and students are expected to take a minimum of 2 to 3 credit hours of research per semester. Students are also expected to enroll in an on-going Seminar in Neuroscience. The Neuroscience Seminar, which meets weekly and is attended by students and faculty members, provides an opportunity for intellectual and social exchange, as well as for the development of professional skills in critical thinking. The topic for seminar and the faculty member directing the seminar changes each semester. The remainder of the coursework for the doctor of philosophy degree is selected from designated courses in Neuroscience, physiology, pharmacology, and molecular biology. A grade of B or better is required for all Neuroscience courses.

A student is expected to have a graduate adviser at all times. The faculty adviser must be a participating member of the Neuroscience faculty. The adviser is responsible for directing the student’s research and academic coursework. During the second year, the student will have an advisory committee. The advisory committee will consist of at least three neuroscience faculty members and an outside member. Normally, the student’s adviser will chair the committee and help identify members of the committee who best match the student’s area of interest. The role of the advisory committee is to oversee all aspects of the student’s education after the first year.

In the student’s second or third year, the advisory committee will set and evaluate the student’s qualifying examination. After successful completion of the preliminary examination the student will profess to Ph.D. candidate status.

The dissertation is the single most important component of the graduate program. It reports the results and significance of the student’s research. In addition to the written dissertation, the doctoral candidate will deliver a formal seminar based on their research. The seminar will be followed by an examination by the student’s advisory committee.

Contact Us

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Debbie Swierczek, Program Coordinator

School of Graduate Education
Knight Hall 247

Phone: 307-766-4128


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