This graduate program is administered in a cooperative, integrated fashion by faculties in animal sciences, biological sciences, neuroscience and cell biology, pharmacology, and psychology. Areas of specialization include gene action in the brain; autism; gliogenesis; neurogenesis; spinal cord injury; stem cell biology; synaptic plasticity; mechanisms and regulatory controls of learning and memory; and developmental neurobiology.
The program selects students on the basis of their academic records, Graduate Record Examination scores, and references. A student must have an undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of at least B to be considered for admission. Prerequisite courses include biology, general and organic chemistry, calculus, and physics. Applications are accepted throughout the year, but normally are completed by March 1 for admission to study for the fall term. Financial aid is provided to highly qualified students. Financial aid typically includes a stipend to cover living expenses and remission of tuition fees. Three classes of direct support are available: (1) fellowships, (2) graduate assistantships provided through research grants held by individual professors, and (3) teaching assistantships associated with individual teaching units of the program.
While doctoral requirements vary with the area of specialization, at least 28 course credits are required, of which 24 must be at the 500 level or above. Because students must pass a qualifying examination in neurobiology for acceptance into the doctoral program, they should be knowledgeable in neural anatomy, neurophysiology, neural chemistry, neuropharmacology, neuroendocrinology, neural development, and the neural bases of behavior. The program has no foreign language requirement. To meet the residence requirements in the program, a student must be registered for 24 credits of course work or research or some combination of both within one period of 12 consecutive months during his or her doctoral training.
For more information about joint Ph.D. degrees available in this program, see the beginning of this chapter.