Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Degree Programs

Graduate Study
Neuroscience - Doctor of Philosophy

The program provides an opportunity for doctoral students to acquire both a broad and in-depth knowledge of the function of the nervous system.  The program is designed to:

  1. Make it possible for a doctoral student to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of neuroscience.
  2. Prepare students for their future professional obligations and responsibilities as scholars.
  3. Develop an intellectual environment that will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of neuroscience.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience, an applicant should have:

  1. Completed a broad spectrum of basic science courses.
  2. A grade-point average of at least 3.0 in science and mathematics courses.
  3. Experience in laboratory research.

To be eligible for regular admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience, an applicant must have:

  1. Completed an undergraduate degree in a biological, psychological, or physical science or in a related discipline.
  2. An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0.
  3. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test as judged by the faculty.

Admission decisions are made by the Neuroscience Program Admissions Committee. Applicants with deficiencies in academic preparation may be admitted provisionally, with the requirement that they complete collateral science courses during the first year of study; these collateral courses will not count toward the degree.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Neuroscience

The student must:

               
1. Complete all of the following courses:  
  NEU 800 Neuroscience Research Forum 4
  NEU 804 Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology 3
  NEU 806 Advanced Neuroscience Techniques Laboratory 3
  NEU 839 Systems Neuroscience 4
  NEU 890 Independent Study in Neuroscience 4
  NEU 999 Doctoral Dissertation Research 24
  PHM 827 Advanced Neurobiology 4
  PSY 811 Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience 3
2. Complete one of the following courses (3 credits):  
  PHM 830 Experimental Design and Data Analysis 3
  PSY  815 Quantitative Research Design and Analysis in Psychology 3
3. Complete in the first year of enrollment in the program a one-semester laboratory rotation (NEU 890) with each of two members of the faculty.  Each rotation is established by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the student.  
4. Pass the written comprehensive examination given at the end of the second year of enrollment in the program.  
5. Complete and orally defend a dissertation research proposal.  
6. Complete and defend a dissertation based on original research on an important problem in neuroscience.  
7. All students must complete Responsible Conduct of Research Training.  

The colleges and departments that are listed below cooperate in offering the interdepartmental Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience:

Colleges
    Human Medicine
    Osteopathic Medicine
    Social Science
    Veterinary Medicine
Departments
    Anatomy (Division of)
    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation
    Pharmacology and Toxicology
    Physiology
    Psychology
    Zoology

A detailed description of the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience and of the research interests of participating faculty may be obtained upon request from the Neuroscience Program Administrative Office, Giltner Hall, 293 Farm Lane, Room 108, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1317, or by visiting the Web site at  http://www.neuroscience.msu.edu.