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Curriculum

 

GIDP in Neuroscience
Guide to Neuroscience (NRSC) Curriculum (.pdf)

NRSC Student Advisory Committee

Dr. Andrew Fuglevand (fuglevand@email.arizona.edu) 621-6983)
Dr. Erika Eggers  (eeggers@email.arizona.edu) 626-7137)

A. Overview

Year 1

  • Complete core curriculum, take some elective and minor courses.
  • Complete research rotations
  • By the end of the year:
    • Select a mentor
    • Select committee members
    • Schedule first committee meeting

Year 2

  • Complete all course work
  • Fulfill teaching requirement
  • Select comprehensive exam committee members
  • By the end of year 2, initiate comprehensive exam to achieve “Advanced Candidacy” (passed both exams) before fall of year 3

Years 3-5

  • Meet at least annually with thesis committee
  • Complete dissertation proposal in year 3, the latest
  • Complete dissertation work in subsequent years 3-5
  • Write dissertation and defend thesis no later than by the end of year 5

 

B. Required credits

The Graduate College requires at least 63 units of graduate work, including major and minor coursework, rotation research (NRSC 700) and dissertation research (NRSC 920). The combination of major and minor coursework must total a minimum of 36 units; at least half of these units must be taken for letter grades.

  • 36 units are required to become eligible for taking the comprehensive exam

8 units

Neuroscience core courses (NRSC 560 and 588)

5-6

Statistics and Communication/Ethics courses

2

Neuroscience Colloquium (NRSC 695F)

4-6

Research rotations (NRSC 700)

3-6

Neuroscience elective courses (see Table 3)

9

Minor courses

≥ 36 units

(at least half of the units must be taken for a letter grade)

  • Another ~36 additional units are typically required to graduate (after reaching Advanced Candidacy). These can be derived from:
    • NRSC 900 Research (additional research rotation)
    • NRSC 920 Dissertation research
    • NRSC 599/699 Independent study
  • A total of 72 units is required for graduation
  • Students must take a minimum of 12 units per semester in their first year.  After their first year, students must be enrolled in 6 units each semester to meet minimum enrollment requirements.

NRSC students are expected to maintain an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 (B) and to have no more than a total of 2 grades of C; failure to achieve such a record can result in conversion to non-degree status and dismissal from the program at any time.

 

C. Required courses (Table 1)

Students must achieve a grade of B or better in each of the core courses; failure to achieve a grade of B or better will result in probation, and possible dismissal from the Program and conversion to non-degree status.

Core curriculum courses are NRSC 560, NRSC 588, two semesters of NRSC 695F, one Statistics course, one Communications & Ethics course, and two research rotations (see below).

At least two research rotations (NRSC 700) must be completed in two different laboratories. One unit of credit represents three hours of work per week (48 hours/semester per unit). A total of 4-6 units is recommended (as full semesters, half semesters, or a combination).

TABLE 1: Core Coursework

Semester

Course

Units

Faculty coordinator

Fall core

*NRSC 588 Principles of Cell & Mol Neurobiology

4

Zinsmaier

*NRSC 700 Research rotation

2-4

NRSC faculty

*NRSC 695F Neuroscience Colloquium

2

Zinsmaier

(NRSC elective or minor course to reach total ≥ 12 units per semester)

varies

Faculty

Spring core

*NRSC 560 Systems Neuroscience

4

Fuglevand

*NRSC 700 Research rotation

2-4

NRSC faculty

*NRSC 695F Neuroscience Colloquium

2

Zinsmaier

(NRSC elective or minor course to reach total ≥ 12 units per semester)

varies

Faculty

Ethics –

OR

 

 

SLHS 649 – Survival Skills and Ethics

3

Hoit (spring)

IMB 521 – Scientific Grantsmanship

2

Koshy (fall)

PCHL 595B – Scientific Writing, Presentation and Bioethics

2

Delamere (spring)

Statistics

See Table 2 below for options

3-4

-----

* indicates required core courses;
 

Statistics courses

At least two units of statistics are required. Students may choose from the list below, or request the NRSC Graduate Advisory Committee to have an equivalent course considered for meeting the requirement.

TABLE 2: Statistic Courses

Courses in statistics

 

Faculty

Units, semester offered

EPID 576A*

Biostatistics for Public Health

Kumar, Roe

3 units, fall

EPID 576B*

Biostatistics for Research

Roe

3 units, spring

PSY 507A *

Statistical Methods in Psychological Research

Staff

3 units, fall

PSY 507B *

Statistical Methods in Psychological Research

Staff

3 units, spring

PSY 510*

Statistics Fundamentals

Cowen

3 units, fall

EIS 513*

Applied Biostatistics

 

4 units, fall

other stats course

by approval of the NRSC Program Graduate Advisor

 

3-4 units

* request instructor approval for enrollment

Teaching

Because teaching is an important element in academic careers in Neuroscience, supervised experience in university-level teaching is considered essential. Each student is therefore required to serve as a Teaching Assistant for at least one semester during the first 2 years.

Registration information

Schedule of classes: see, UAccess website

On-line course registration: see, UAccess website

 

D. Neuroscience elective courses

Elective and required courses (Table 3) must add up to a minimum of 36 units (not including dissertation research and independent study). At least half of the 36 units must be taken for a letter grade (not pass/fail). Additional courses of interest that are not listed in Table 3 can be accepted after confirmation with the student's Advisory Committee or the Graduate Advisor. The U of A Graduate College discourages cross-listing of classes, hence some of the courses listed in the table below do not carry the 'NRSC' prefix. Irrespective of the prefix, all these courses will be accepted as Neuroscience electives.

TABLE 3:  Coursework for the Neuroscience electives. Specific courses selected to fulfill the core requirements cannot also be counted as electives.

Sem.

Course #

Title

Units

Instructor

spring

CMM565A

Fundamentals of Light Microscope and Electronic Imaging

3

Elliott

fall

CMM577

Principles of Cell Biology

4

Vercelli

spring

CMM595H

Problems in the Biology of Complex

2

Vercelli

spring

ECOL573

Topics Behavioral Ecology

3

Papaj

fall

ECOL587L

Animal Behavior Lab

1

Papaj

fall

ECOL587R

Animal Behavior

3

Papaj

fall

GENE539

Methods Cell Biol. & Genomics

3

 

fall

GENE670

Recent Advances in Genetics

2

 

fall

IMB521

Scientific Grantsmanship

2

Koshy

fall

INFO521

Intro to Machine learning

3

 

spring

MCB546

Genetics & Molecular Networks

4

Yao, Lancey, Buchan

spring

MCB582

Frontiers in Biomedical Research

3

Zarnescu

fall

NRSC695D

Human Genetic Disease Colloq.

3

Restifo

fall

PHCL 624

Pain

2

Vanderah

fall

PHCL601A

Pharmacology: General Principles

2

Porreca

fall

PSIO503

Cellular & Molecular Physiol

6

Eggers

fall

PSIO572

Quant. Modeling of Biol. Systems

3

Secomb

fall/spr

PSIO603A

Human Physiology

6

Bao, Fregosi

fall/spr

PSY501A

Princip. Psychophysiology

3

Allen

fall/spr

PSY501B

Psychophysiology Laboratory

3

Allen

fall/spr

PSY503C

Intro to Computational Neuro

3

 

fall

PSY506A

Neural Encoding, Memory & Comprehension of Mam Brain

3

Cowen

fall

PSY524

Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

3

Barnes

fall/spr

SLHS696A

Topics in Speech Language Science

1-3

Story, Lotto, Musiek

 

Students and faculty are welcome to consult with the Graduate Student Advisor to determine whether neuroscience-related courses that are not listed might be acceptable as electives.

 

E. Minor coursework for Neuroscience students (at least 9 units are required).

Predoctoral students can pursue a minor in any established program, as determined by the guidelines of the respective program. Alternatively, the student may choose a minor in Neuroscience option that offers a flexible curriculum tailored to the student’s interests.

The minor should be selected in consultation with the dissertation advisor and must be approved by the NRSC Graduate Advisory Committee. Contact the NRSC Program Coordinator for a “Statement of Minor” form to submit for review and approval.

Examples of established programs for consideration include: Biochemistry, Cell Biology & Anatomy, Entomology and Insect Science, Genetics, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Medical Pharmacology, Physiological Sciences, Psychology, Speech & Hearing Sciences, and others.

 

F. Minor in Neuroscience for graduate students in other programs (at least 9 units are required)

The minor in Neuroscience requires:

  • passing one of the core course NRSC 560 OR 588 (4 units)
  • and 5 additional units in courses that are cross-listed in NRSC. The NRSC Colloquium course NRSC 695f is valid for the minor.

 

The provided information may be subject to change with reasonable advance notice, as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee of the Neuroscience GIDP.

 

 

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