Program Curriculum

Overview of Program Requirements

Students are required to earn a minimum of 135 graduate-level term-hour credits. At least 100 hours must represent credit hours earned in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience (hours labeled BEHN). These credit hours may be Research courses (BEHN 601, 602 or 603), didactic courses, journal clubs, nano courses, or seminars. 

Required courses: 

  • CONJ 620 Biostatistics or other relevant Statistics course 
  • CONJ 650 The Practice and Ethics of Science 
  • BEHN 607 Issues in Behavioral Neuroscience Seminar 
  • BEHN 624 Neurophysiological Basis of Behavior or NEUS 624 Cellular Neurophysiology
  • NEUS 625 Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • BEHN 640 Behavioral Systems Neuroscience 

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 a er the first year.

During the first year of graduate training, students are expected to obtain experience in the critical evaluation of original research reports. The 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.

ll 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

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.

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 this is a brief overview and does not include all detailed program requirements.