Current Students

Brief Overview of Program Requirements

Required Coursework

Students must complete all of the following didactic courses during the first year

  • CONJ 650 The Practice and Ethics of Science
  • CONJ 620 Biostatistics (or other relevant statistics course)
  • BEHN 607 Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience Seminar
  • BEHN 624 Neurophysiological Basis of Behavior
  • NEUS 625 Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • BEHN 640 Behavioral Systems Neuroscience
  • An additional 9 hours of elective credits are required, but do not need to be completed in the first year.

    Research Rotations

     New graduate students participate in 2-4 research rotations during their first year. The objective of rotations are to (a) match the interests of the student with available research opportunities and (b) assign faculty who are willing and have the resources needed to serve as the student's faculty mentor after the first year.

    Reprint Examination

    During the first year of graduate training, students are expected to obtain experience in the critical evaluation of original research reports. This training is provided in part by the core courses and is typically supplemented by a program of supervised reading with their research advisors.

    The preliminary or "reprint" exam serves to set a standard of competency in the critical evaluation of research articles and in oral expression, a standard which students are expected to attain early in their graduate career. In addition, it helps faculty to identify areas of weakness in this skill.  

    Qualifying Examination

    All students must pass a written qualifying examination to advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. 

    The qualifying exam follow the format of a formal NIH-NRSA proposal and including three parts:

    1. Written proposal
    2. Oral presentation
    3. Oral examination.

    Ph.D. Research Proposal

     A written Ph.D. Research Proposal must be submitted by the student and approved by the departmental Dissertation Advisory Committee by the end of the 3rd year.

    Ph.D. Dissertation and Oral Examination

    All students must complete a Ph.D. dissertation and pass the Graduate Council Oral Examination. It is generally expected that students will complete this requirement during 5th year of training.


    Please note that the above is a brief overview and does not include all detailed program requirements.


    Follow link for course descriptions and complete list of curriculum.


    Up to date list of publications from current and past graduate students.