PhD in Neuroscience

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Neuroscience Course Descriptions

  • NSCI 701. Foundations in Neuroscience. This course provides a thorough overview of neuroscience over two semesters. It systematically covers neuroscience in an integrated fashion covering the following main topics: 1) the cell and molecular biology of neurons; 2) principles of synaptic transmission; 3) neurobiological basis of cognition and cortical function; 4) sensory perceptions; 5) movement; 6) CNS pharmacology; 7) neural information processing; 8) developmental neuroscience and; 9) behavioral neuroscience. The course includes both didactic and primary literature-based content and is the first required course in the Program in Neuroscience.
  • NSCI 708. Special Topics in Neuroscience. A small group faculty-led discussion course on selected topics in neuroscience. Course topics are offered each Summer semester by groups of faculty and students and faculty will discuss primary literature.
  • NSCI 710. Experimental Design and Biostatistics.Tutorials cover specialized topics in neuroscience in depth, in a small group setting. Courses consist of intensive, directed reading and discussion and is intended to provide students with the opportunity to study specialized topics in neuroscience with faculty experts in that area. The objective for this course in this academic year is to study experimental design, scientific rigor, and use of biostatistical methods in neuroscience.
  • NSCI 720. Neuroscience Journal Club. A review of significant issues in neuroscience including literature review and discussion of recent data and news.
  • NSCI 721. Scientific Writing in Neuroscience.An introduction to scientific writing that includes preparation of abstracts for scientific meetings, presentations at meetings, preparation of a scientific manuscript for publication and, finally, preparing a grant proposal for extramural funding in the NIH style.
  • NSCI 790. Neuroscience Laboratory Rotation Surveys.A survey of up to six active research laboratories in the Program in Neuroscience. Weekly meetings in NSCI 790 discuss and compare different laboratory environments and experience and help students prepare Individual Development Plans to guide their training as scientist.
  • NSCI 791. Senior Laboratory Rotations.These are intensive laboratory rotations for second year students in the Program in Neuroscience. They are intended for students to begin research in their planned dissertation laboratories. Thus, all three rotations can be within the same laboratory. However, they may also be conducted in up to three different laboratories, depending on the student's training needs and interests.
  • NSCI 798. Dissertation Research in Neuroscience.

Other required coursework

  • CMB 704. Fundamental Biochemistry. The course presents a broad survey of biochemistry that is suitable for students whose major area of study is outside the discipline. Topics include the chemistry of amino acids and proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids; enzymology; metabolism and metabolic regulation; membrane structure and function; oxidative phosphorylation; hormonal control mechanisms; molecular biology and protein synthesis. 
  • ID 709. Responsible Conduct in Research. An interactive team-based-learning course designed to provide an understanding of responsible conduct in scientific research. The format, duration, and content follow the guidelines as outlined by funding agencies, including the NIH.
  • ID 714. Professional Skills. A course designed for early graduate students to acquire skills needed to be successful in a scientific work environment, with special emphasis on oral and written communication skills, grantsmanship, career choices, laboratory management, and academic teaching skills.

Elective coursework

  • ID 715. Teaching in Higher Education. A course designed to provide practical and theoretical foundations for teaching in higher education. The course offers experiences to explore and develop skills that promote learning, as well as apply strategies for effective course design and assessment. The intended audience is graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • ID 716. Teaching Practicum. The practicum enables student teachers to acquire beginning competencies for teaching in higher education in a classroom setting.
Students also may consider taking additional elective coursework outside of program offerings with the approval of their Advisory Committee.