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Neuroscience Second Year Curriculum

YEAR 2 and Beyond: Coursework, Pre-Thesis Research and the Comprehensive Examination. 

Courses with an asterisk are optional are not required every semester. 

One Elective or Advanced Topics Course per year is recommended in year two through the completion of the Ph.D. (These are in addition to the required thesis hours) 


PHCL 7605 Ethics in Research, 1 unit (Required)

Course Director: Dr. Paula Hoffmann. 

Course is designed to introduce issues around ethics of research, publication, and reviewing of manuscripts and grants. 

N​RSC 7650 section OV3 Research in Neuroscience (Pre-comps), 1-5 units  (Required)

Course Director: Dr. Sukumar Vijayaraghavan

Laboratory research with Neuroscience Training Program faculty. 

NRSC 7674 Quantitative Neuroscience, 1 unit. (Required, option to take this course in year 2 or 3)

Course Director: Drs. Achim Klug and Tim Leti 

BIOS 6606 Statistics for Basic Scientists, 3 units. (Required, option to take this course in year 2 or 3, can be waived with Program Director or GTC Chair approval)

Course Director Kathleen Torkko.

This course provides an overview of applied statistics, probability, hypothesis testing, bootstrap methods, permutation tests, nonparametric methods, regression analyses and analysis of variance​


NRSC 7650 section OV3 Research in Neuroscience (Pre-comps), 1-5 units Required)

Course Director: Dr. Sukumar Vijayaraghavan


NRSC: 7657- MATLAB for Neuroscientists , 1 unit. (Required option to take at the end of year 1 or 2)

Course Directors: Dr. John Thompson and Prof. Diego Restrepo

The course is a hands-on programming course that takes students through various aspects of MatLab programming.

Graduate Teaching

All graduate students are strongly encouraged to be a Teaching Assistant for one semester during their graduate training. This assistantship may be in the Medical Neurobiology class or arranged with the Course Director in the Neuroscience Core courses.

Grant Writing

An important part of graduate education is to learn the skills necessary to write effective grant proposals. During the spring neuroscience course students write a proposal in the format of an NIH grant application. Two neuroscience faculty mentors, experienced in grant writing and reviewing, direct the the grant writing exercise. Strategies for grant writing are discussed in a class setting and potential specific aims are discussed with the faculty mentors prior to writing the proposal. At the end of the course, students form mock study sections where they evaluate (confidentially) the proposals written by their peers.