Electives & Seminars


Elective courses should be tailored to the subspecialty and research needs of the student as determined by the student. Students are required to take at least 12 credits of advanced electives. Download a list of electives that identifies of some of the more popular courses.

Advanced Electives

A total of four elective courses (2 credits or more each; total elective credits should be at least 12) are required to be eligible for the degree (beginning with students entering after 2004).  Journal Clubs will qualify for one of the four electives if taken for a minimum of three terms (three terms of JC equals one elective credit).  The electives should be consistent with the program of training for the student. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one elective course during fall term of their second year.  List of current NGP JC's.

Courses available are listed in the course catalog and graduate students are encouraged to speak to the Program Director or mentor when considering taking other courses. Some of the elective courses are offered every other year. To determine availability (if not listed) check with the NGP office. If an appropriate course is available at another institution such as Portland State, this possibility can be discussed with the Program Director.


Seminar Series

An impressive variety of seminar series are offered for neuroscience students. The key one is the Vollum Seminar Series, which brings in an outstanding outside scientist weekly during fall, winter, and spring. In addition, the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, and the Neurological Sciences Institute all have seminar series that largely focus on neuroscience issues. Finally, each student who has reached candidacy must present a yearly seminar, and attendance at this seminar is expected of all students.

All NGP students are required to attend the Vollum seminar series throughout their tenure. An accompanying seminar course is offered and is required for first year students. Every week, students read a paper from an upcoming seminar speaker and then meet to hear a student-led background presentation and roundtable discussion of the paper. Students later meet over lunch with the speaker immediately after the seminar. This provides a weekly opportunity to converse with an outstanding outside scientist in an informed manner and informal setting. Material gleaned from this seminar course and the assigned seminars is considered appropriate for inclusion on the written qualifying exam.

In addition to the NGP/Vollum Institute Seminar Series, there are many other neuroscience seminars at OHSU. These are hosted by the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, and the Behavioral Neuroscience Department.