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Neuroscience Ph.D

All students must meet the Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree


The Neuroscience Graduate Program is a university-wide, multidisciplinary, Ph.D. granting program that has more than 50 faculty mentors across 13 departments and 5 colleges. This program emphasizes rigorous training in neuroscience-related research, educates students about human health, and encourages interdisciplinary research projects.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Incoming students should have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a biological science, neuroscience, chemistry, physics, engineering, psychology, mathematics, communication sciences or computer science. Research experience is not required, but is strongly recommended.

GRE General Test scores and scores on the Subject Test in Biology, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, or Psychology are not required but are recommended. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Three letters of reference are required. Letters from research advisors or supervisors are highly desirable attesting to applicant's abilities to work independently in an academic setting.

Minimum Degree Requirements

BIOL 261Neurobiology (for students who have not taken any neurobiology classes)3
PSYS 315Biobehavioral Proseminar3
GRMD 354Medical Human Struc & Fnction4-8
(When offered together, students may take MPBP 301 and NSCI 395 section on gross and histologic anatomy of the peripheral nervous system in place of GRMD 354)
GRMD 357Medical Neural Science6
PSYS 304Adv Statistical Methods I3
NSCI 327Resp Conduct in Biomed Rsch1
NSCI 381Seminar in Neuroscience (Must be taken twice)1
NSCI 382Seminar in Neuroscience (Must be taken twice)1
CLBI 301Cell Biology3
NSCI 491Doctoral Dissertation Research (Minimum of 20 required total)1-18
Advanced Neuroscience Selectives 6

Approved Courses for Graduate Credit

Below is a list of approved selectives. A student, in conjunction with their advisor, may request another course to fulfill the selective requirement. The request will need to be approved by the NGP Director. The curriculum committee will be consulted if content is questioned.

Courses eligible for Advanced Neuroscience Selectives:

NSCI 320Developmental Neurobiology3
NSCI 323Neurochemistry3
NSCI 326Basic Sci-Neurologic Disease3
NSCI 328Techniques in Microscopy3
NSCI 329Topics in Excitable Membranes2
NSCI 330Comparative Neurobiology3
BIOL 262Neurobiology Techniques4
CSD 353Adult Neuropathologies3
MPBP 301Human Physiology & Pharm I4
MPBP 310Molecular Control of the Cell3
PHRM 272Toxicology3
PHRM 290Topics Molecular&Cell Pharm3
PSYS 311Seminar in Learning Theory3
PSYS 320Animal Minds3
PSYS 319Neurobio of Learning & Memory3
PSYS 316Neuropsychopharmacology3
PSYS 390Contemporary Topics3
PSYS 395Advanced Readings/Research1-6
BIOC 301General Biochemistry0 or 3

Comprehensive Examination

The qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy for a Ph.D. in Neuroscience must be taken prior to the end of the first semester of the third year. The exam will consist of two portions, a research proposal and an oral defense of the research proposal. The review of the written proposal will be done by a committee of three faculty members representing three different sub-specialties of neuroscience. The same committee will evaluate the student's performance in an oral examination. Should the student fail the examination, only one re-examination is allowed. All examinations are taken on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, VT.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Satisfactory completion of required courses and research rotations. Approval of the written and oral portions of the qualifying comprehensive examination.