Overview of Graduate Programs in Neuroscience

Objectives: The major objective of the MS/PhD Program in Neuroscience is to provide students with the requisite academic background, technical skills, and hands-on research experience that will allow them to successfully compete for neuroscience-related jobs in the private and public sectors.

Description: The program follows a mentorship model, whereby each student will work closely with his or her mentor. Students will design a program of study which best fits their interests and needs, selecting most of their courses in close consultation with their mentor. Most of the coursework will be taken in the first two years, with minimal requirements of two courses in statistics/research methods, a year-long core course in neuroscience, and a neuroscience seminar each semester. In addition, all students will do a practicum or internship that associates their bench research with clinical applications. The predominant philosophy of the program will be its emphasis on applied research, which will be conducted each year, but with a special emphasis on the third and fourth year when students prepare a publishable major paper and dissertation, respectively.

Entrance Requirements: Applicants need to provide GRE scores and should have a 3.00 GPA in neuroscience, psychology, chemistry, or one of the bioscience disciplines. Applicants with previous research experience in neuroscience-related areas will be heavily favored, and applicants should have an expressed research interest which matches that of at least one of our program mentors.

Student Support: Graduate students accepted into the neuroscience program will have four year support which includes a stipend plus remission of fees and tuition.

Unique Qualities of the Program: Although the proposed program will share the critical requirements and expectations of many Ph.D. programs in neuroscience, there are a few areas of emphasis which make this program relatively unique, including:

  1. Applied focus. Although our required core course ensure a fundamental understanding of neuroscience principles and an appreciation for basic research, our primary focus is on training students who have interests in applied research which match those of our program mentors.
  2. Mentorship model. Students in our program are involved in research with their mentors from start to finish. The program is designed for students who already know what area of neuroscience they want to pursue and who have a desire to focus their efforts refining their knowledge and research skills in this area. In fact, students have a great deal of latitude in tailoring their academic program in consultation with their mentor to target specific needs.
  3. Clinical relevance. Translational research, or the ability to bring research from the bench to the bedside, is an area which will be emphasized strongly in this program. As part of an applied focus, our students will have first-hand experience with clinical populations through practicum or internships. This will help students devise new research protocols which may more accurately address the needs of the targeted clinical population.

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