University of Vermont

Neuroscience Graduate Program

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NGP Program of Study

programofstudy

Years One through Three: Complete Coursework

Curricular Requirements:

  • NSCI 306: Techniques in Neurobiology (3 cr)
  • GRMD 354: Human Structure and Function (6 cr)
  • GRMD 357: Neural Science (6 cr)
  • PSYC 303: Biobehavioral Proseminar (3 cr)
  • NSCI 327: Responsible Conduct Research (1 cr)
  • PSYC 340: Adv Stat Methods I (3 cr) OR STAT 211: Statistical Methods 1(3 cr)
  • NSCI 381/382: Grad Student Journal Club (participate each sem after first; 1 cr)  
  • NSCI 491: Neuroscience Grad Research (min 20 credits)
  • 6 cr of Neuroscience Selectives (see list of approved selectives below)
  • Completion of 75 total credits and ongoing maintenance of 3.0 average.

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Years Two through Five: Research

Research will involve work in the dissertation advisor's lab, attending lab meetings as well as reading relevant original research articles. Additional responsibilities will typically involve reviewing recently published literature; attending local and national scientific meetings; attending Graduate Student Journal Club and the Neuroscience Seminar Series; and meeting with the student's dissertation advisory committee twice annually.

Qualifying Exam

Qualifying Exam Guidelines

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).

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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).

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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.

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Time Distribution

Download NGP Graduate Program Timelines.

YEAR ONE
Fall
  • NSCI 306: Techniques in Neurobiology (3 cr)
  • GRMD 354: Human Structure and Function

Spring
  • Laboratory rotations: minimum duration of 7 weeks

  • GRMD 357: Neural Science

  • NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club

Summer
  • 3rd rotation (optional) or join thesis lab; must join thesis lab by end of summer
YEAR TWO
Fall
  • PSYC 340: Biostatistics or STAT 211: Statistical Methods
  • PSYC 303: Biobehavioral Proseminar
  • Advanced Neuroscience Selective (see list below)
  • NSCI 381: Graduate Student Journal Club
Spring
  • Advanced Neuroscience Selective (see list below)
  • NSCI/PATH 327: Responsible Conduct in Research or BIOL 381a: Integrity in Science
  • NSCI 382: Graduate Student Journal Club

Required Courses

Please see the Schedule of Courses for the most recent information regarding the courses below.

Course Description Semester Offered
Alternative Course
GRMD 354: Human Structure and Function (6 credits) -
Combination of gross anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology and medical imaging to present an integrated overview of the human body. Pre/co-requisites: graduate standing; permission of instructor; 6 credits coursework plus 2 credits lab in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics; graduate cousework in cell biology or biochemistry.
Fall 2014 NA
PSYC 303: Biobehavioral Proseminar (3 credits) -
Advanced survey and analysis of behavioral and biological psychology, with special emphasis on learning theory and behavioral neuroscience.
Fall 2014 NA
NSCI 306: Techniques in Neurobiology (3 credits)-
This course reviews basic principles of molecular and cell biology of the nervous system and covers genetics, gene transcription and translation, posttranslational modifications, intracellular signaling, protein trafficking and cell physiology. These principles serve as the basis for extensive coverage of techniques used in experimental neuroscience: immunotechniques (immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, western blotting, immunoprecipitation); molecular cloning and gene expression; production of transgenic animals; electrophysiology; microscopy (confocal, calcium imaging, multiphoton, transmission electron microscopy, and super resolution microscopy; laser microdissection); and MRI (including fMRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and structural MRI).
Fall 2014 NA
PSYC 340: 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 2014 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 2014  
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 2014  
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 2014 BIOL 371: Scientific Integrity
Topics of current faculty and graduate student interest presented in a seminar-discussion format. Specific titles for colloquia will be listed in the course schedule.
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 2014  

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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.

Please see the Schedule of Courses for the most recent information regarding the courses below. *Tentative as Fall 2014 Schedule of Courses are not available at this time. Semester information was selected based on History of Enrollment reports.

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.
Fall 2015*
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.
Fall 2014
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.
Fall 2015*
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.
Spring 2015*
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.
Spring 2015*
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.
Spring 2014
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.
Fall 2014*
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
Spring 2014
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. Prerequisites: Chemistry 142, graduate standing in biology or permission. Cross-listing: Biology 301.
Fall 2014
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.
Spring 2015*
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.
Fall 2014*
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.
Spring 2014
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.
Spring 2014
PSYC 305: Learning Theory (3 credits) Spring 2014
PSYC 320: Animal Minds (3 credits)
Selected topics in depth, emphasis on critical analysis of original literature. Recent topics: anxiety, behavioral pharmacology, biological bases of memory, depression, organizational behavior, psychotherapy research, primate behavior, skilled performance.
TBA
PSYC 322: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (3 credits)
Selected topics in depth, emphasis on critical analysis of original literature. Recent topics: anxiety, behavioral pharmacology, biological bases of memory, depression, organizational behavior, psychotherapy research, primate behavior, skilled performance.
Spring 2016
PSYC 323: Neuropsychopharmacology (3 credits)
Selected topics in depth, emphasis on critical analysis of original literature. Recent topics: anxiety, behavioral pharmacology, biological bases of memory, depression, organizational behavior, psychotherapy research, primate behavior, skilled performance.
Spring 2015
PSYC 380: Behavior/Neurobiolo and Health (3 credits) -
Selected topics in depth, emphasis on critical analysis of original literature. Recent topics: anxiety, behavioral pharmacology, biological bases of memory, depression, organizational behavior, psychotherapy research, primate behavior, skilled performance.
TBA
PSYC 385: Introduction to Functional Neuroimaging Spring 2014

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DPT/NGP Program

Avenues for combining a Doctorate of Physical Therapy with a PhD in Neuroscience at UVM.

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Last modified May 30 2014 01:37 PM