Years One through Five: Complete Coursework

Year One By Semester

Courses

Fall • 1 Laboratory rotation: minimum duration of 9 weeks
• MPBP 301: Human Physiology & Pharmacology (6 cr)
• NSCI 395: Human Structure and Function (3 cr)
• NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club
Spring • 2 Laboratory rotations: minimum duration of 7 weeks each
• GRMD 357: Neural Science (6 credits)
• NCSI 491: Research Credits (2 cr)
• NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club (1 Cr)

Year Two By Semester

Courses

Summer • 3rd rotation (optional) or join thesis lab (must join thesis lab by August 31st)
• NSCI 491: Research Credits (5 cr)
Fall • PSYS 304: Biostatistics or STAT 211: Statistical Methods (3 cr)
• PSYS 315: Biobehavioral Proseminar (3 cr)
• Advanced Neuroscience Selective (3 cr)
• NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club
Spring • Advanced Neuroscience Selective (3 cr)
• NSCI 327: Responsible Conduct in Research (1 cr)
• NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club (1 cr)
• NSCI 491: Research Credits (4 cr)

Year Three By Semester

Courses

Summer • NSCI 491: Research Credits (5 cr)
Fall • NSCI 491: Research Credits (8 cr)
• NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club (1 cr)
Spring • NSCI 491: Research Credits (8 cr)
• NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club (1 cr)

Year Four By Semester

Courses

Summer • NSCI 491: Research Credits (5 cr)
Fall • NSCI 491: Research Credits (9 cr)
• NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club
Spring • NSCI 491: Research Credits (2 cr)
• GRAD 902: Continuing Registration (7 cr)
• NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club

Year Five By Semester

Courses

Summer • GRAD 902: Continuing Registration (5 cr)
Fall • GRAD: 903: Continuing Registration (9 cr)
• NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club
Spring • GRAD 903: Continuing Registration (9 cr)
• NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club

 

Information on Required Courses

Course Description Semester Offered Alternative Course
MPBP 301: Human Physiology & Pharmacology (6 Credits) - An integrated examination of the physiology and pharmacology of the peripheral nervous, muscle, the endocrine, digestive, renal, respiratory systems and cardiovascular systems in the human body. Fall NA
NSCI 395- Human Structure and Function (3 credits) - A dissection and lecture based anatomy course that combines gross anatomy, histology, and embryology, to present an integrated overview of the human body with an emphasis on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Pre/co-requisites: graduate standing; permission of instructor; 6 credits coursework plus 2 credits lab in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics; graduate coursework in cell biology or biochemistry. Fall NA
PSYS 315: Biobehavioral Proseminar (3 credits) -
Advanced survey and analysis of behavioral and biological psychology, with special emphasis on learning theory and behavioral neuroscience.
Fall NA
PSYS 304: Advanced Statistical Methods I (3 credits) -
Statistical methods for evaluating psychological data. Emphasizes exploring data with respect to research hypotheses. Critical study of hypothesis tests on means, chi-square, and correlational techniques.
Fall STAT 211: Statistical Methods I (3 credits) -
(Cross listed with Biostatistics 211.) Fundamental concepts for data analysis and experimental design. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including classical and nonparametric methods, regression, correlation, and analysis of variance. Statistical software. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club (must participate each semester after the first; 1 credit) -
Research presentations and critical review of the literature in various areas of anatomical and neurobiological sciences.
Fall NA
GRMD 357: Neural Science (6 credits) -
Organized study of the human nervous and behavioral system through lessons that integrate cell metabolism, endocrinology, normal and pathologic anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, pathophysiology and psychopathology. Pre/co-requisites: graduate standing; permission of instructor; 6 credits coursework plus 2 credits lab in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics; graduate coursework in cell biology or biochemistry, human anatomy and physiology, and an introduction to immunology, microbiology, toxicology, pathology and pharmacology.
Spring NA
NSCI 327: Responsible Conduct in Research (1 credit) -
Topics in Scientific Integrity surrounding responsible conduct and practices in biomedical research. Prerequisites: Advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors in the biological or biomedical sciences.
Spring  
NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club (must participate each semester after the first; 1 credit) - Research presentations and critical review of the literature in various areas of anatomical and neurobiological sciences. Spring NA

 

Selectives

Below is a list of approved selectives. A student, in conjunction with their advisor, may request another course to fulfill the selective requirement. The request will need to be approved by the NGP Director. The curriculum committee will be consulted if content is questioned.
Please Note: Students must take at least 6 credit hours of selective credit.

  • ANNB 201: Human Gross Anatomy (6 credits) - Lectures and detailed regional cadaver dissections emphasize functional anatomy of major systems (e.g. musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, nervous). 
  • NSCI 320: Developmental Neurobiology (3 credits) - Provides fundamental knowledge of cell-to-cell interactions necessary for proper development and organization of the nervous system. Topics include pattern formation, neuronal differentiation, axon guidance, and target interactions. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Alternate years.
  • NSCI 323: Neurochemistry (3 credits) -Neurons have a special cellular chemistry related to their ability to send and receive chemical signals. This course is designed to acquaint you with these properties, which are often the targets of over-the-counter and prescription drugs (as well as drugs of abuse). This is an advanced level graduate course that assumes basic knowledge of neurobiology, molecular biology, and cell biology. Student-led discussions will be held every week on original research papers related to topics raised by the lecture. Your grade will be based upon your presentations (40%), participation in discussion (20%) and your final paper (40%), which will be a “News and Views” type article based upon a research paper that has been published within the past two years. Alternate years.
  • NSCI 326: Basic Science of Neurological Disease (1 credit) -In-depth examination of basic mechanisms and clinical aspects of one neurological disease per year. Disease examined changes every year. Prerequisites: Advanced Graduate Students, Neuroscience Faculty and Residents in Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychology. Others contact Dr. Eckenstein at 656-4536.
  • NSCI 328: Techniques in Optical Microscopy (3 credits) - Topics shall include practical background in microscopy, including brightfield, epifluorescence, confocal, multi-photon, deconvolution, atomic force and electron microscopy. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.
  • NSCI 329: Excitable Membranes (2 credits) - This course is a graduate course designed to introduce the fundamentals of cellular electrophysiology through independent student reading and faculty-led group discussions of journal articles. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.
  • NSCI 330: Comparative Neurobiology (2 credits) - This course is designed to introduce students to the cellular mechanisms that underlie selective motor and sensory abilities that have evolved in various species. Pre/co-requisites: Permission of Instructor.
  • BIOC 301: General Biochemistry (3 credits) - Survey for science majors. Chemistry, structure, metabolism, and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids; enzymes, bioenergetics and respiratory processes. Prerequisites: CHEM 141, 142 or 143, 144, and Departmental permission.
  • BIOL 262: Neurobiology Techniques (4 credits) - Extensive study of laboratory methods used in modern research on the function of the nervous system. Techniques from electrophysiology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. Pre/co-requisites: BCOR 103, BIOL 261
  • CLBI 301: Cell Biology (3 Credits) -Advanced survey of cell organelles, their composition, origin, and the relationship between their structure and function. Emphasis on recent literature and current controversies. Prerequisite: CHEM 142; Graduate standing in Biology or Instructor permission. Cross-listed with: BIOL 301, PBIO 301.
  • CLBI 394: Science Communication (3 credits) - Develop effective oral and written communication skills for a range of audiences from academia to industry, organizations, news, policymakers, and the general public.
  • CSD 353: Adult Neuropathologies (3 credits) - Etiology, pathology, diagnosis, and principles of rehabilitation of CNS pathologies affecting communication. Emphasis on motor speech disorders and cognitive consequences of traumatic brain injury. Prerequisites: Graduate standing or permission.
  • MPBP 310: Molecular Basis of Biological Motility (3 Credits) - This course will examine the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying dynamic cellular processes. Advanced topics in biological motility (e.g. cell locomotion, DNA segregation, cytokinesis, organelle transport, muscle contraction, etc.) will be explored from the single molecule to the whole tissue level with an emphasis on understanding how complex molecular systems are coordinated for biological function. Critical evaluation and interpretation of primary data will be a focus of the course and   active participation will be encouraged.
  • PHRM 272: Toxicology (3 credits) - The biology of environmental intoxicants and of drug abuse. Ecologic and physiologic consequences of the dissemination of agricultural, industrial, and medicinal chemicals. Prerequisites: Organic chemistry, background in biology.
  • PHRM 290: Topics in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (3 credits) - Focuses on basic principles, drug interactions with receptors, membranes, synapses, neurotransmitters, macromoles, cytoskeleton, ion channels and pumps, and mechanisms of drug resistance. Prerequisites: Introductory course in organic chemistry, background in physiology or health sciences.
  • PSYS 311: Seminar in Learning Theory (3 Credits) - Review and analysis of contemporary theories of associative learning.
  • PSYS 312: Cognitive Neuroscience (3 Credits) - Exploration of the neural bases of complex cognitive functions in humans, including memory, attention, executive functions, and consciousness, through a survey of recent journal articles.
  • PSYS 313: Emotion (3 Credits) - Analysis of research and theory on emotion from biological, psychological, cognitive, and psychosocial perspectives. Research literature considering clinical disorders of emotion will also be considered.
  • PSYS 316: Neuropsychopharmacology (3 Credits) - Explores the foundations of behavior by examining the role of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and drugs in the production of normal and abnormal behavior.
  • PSYS 319: Neurobio of Learning & Memory (3 Credits) - Exploration of the neural bases of learning and memory, using a brain systems approach, through a survey of recent journal articles.
  • PSYS 320: Animal Minds (3 Credits) - Examination of historical and modern scientific research literature on cognition as it is represented in the behavior of animals. Considers evolutionary, behavioristic, and cognitive perspectives.
  • PSYC 385: Introduction to Functional Neuroimaging

Qualifying Exam

The qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy for the PhD must be taken during the third year of study. This exam will consist of two portions, a research proposal and an oral defense of the research proposal to a committee of three faculty members representing three different sub-specialties of neuroscience (chosen from the following areas: Molecular & Cellular; Developmental, Plasticity & Repair; Behavioral, Cognitive & Systems; Human Neurobiology).

Student Guidelines for Qualifying Exam

Teaching

No teaching is required the first year. All students must complete teaching assignments in both their second and third years in the program. Teaching develops student knowledge of neuroscience and is required regardless of source of stipend support. Students must serve as a teaching assistant in one of the following neuroscience-related courses in the second year: NSCI 225, NSCI 301, or GRMD 357. Students in the third year teach in NSCI 225, NSCI 301, GRMD 357, or NSCI 110, or in other related courses including ANNB 201, BIOL 261 or 262, GRMD 354 and PSYC 221 or 222 (or any approved by the steering committee and home department).

Rotations

Laboratory rotations occur in the first year of the program, and involve a student spending full time undertaking a research project in the laboratory of a neuroscientist. First year students can complete a 7-week rotation upon arriving in July. There is a 14 week window in the spring, prior to the start of GRMD 357, during which a student may choose to do one 14 week rotation or two 7 week rotations. Students who did not do a rotation the summer prior to their first year may undertake a final 7 week rotation following the Neural Science course, but must join a dissertation lab by August 1st.