Neuroscience Minor for Graduate Studies

The doctoral program requires one neuroscience course for experimental students (PY 629) and an additional course for clinical students (PY 630).

The neuroscience minor creates an opportunity for students to acquire advanced skills that may enhance future research efforts and expand job opportunities for the student. The minor is based on a 2 + 3 model. The 2 refers to 2 full neuroscience courses regularly offered by the department (6 credits): PY 629 Biological Bases of Behavior and PY 630 Affective Neurophysiology

How to Satisfy the +3 Requirement

The +3 can be satisfied by combining two of several routes:

  • A neuroscience method course. Methods courses that have been approved are PY 654 Brain Imaging, PY 654 Pediatric Cognitive Neuroscience Techniques, BEP 670 Methods and Trends in Educational Neuroscience, BEP 571 Computational Methods in Educational Neuroscience.
  • A neuroscience specialty course. Specialty courses that have been approved are PY 670 Perception and Action, PY 655 Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging, PY 655 Cognitive Neuroscience of Episodic Memory, PY 656 Neuroscience of Emotion and Regulation, PY 654 Neuroscience of Autism, BEP 570 Foundations of Educational Neuroscience
  • Teaching or co-teaching an undergraduate neuroscience course (PY 381 or PY 413). Students must have already taken all 4 required neuroscience classes and previously been a GTA for the course they want to teach.
  • Two semester sequence of graduate readings. Two semesters of PY 681. The first semester consists of a list of readings and annotated bibliography with the readings approved by a supervising faculty member and the neuroscience committee. The second semester consists of a conceptual summary of the readings in the form of a review (narrative, systematic, or meta-analysis) with the aim of publishing in a trends, perspective, or review journal.
  • Two semester sequence of neuroscience research. Two semesters of PY 681. The first semester consists of working in a neuroscience laboratory to create a research study with the end-product of a) initial training in neuroscience methodology for the project and b) a written project proposal with the encouragement of pre-registration when appropriate. The lab can be in Psychology, Educational Neuroscience, Biology, or another field approved by the Neuroscience committee. The lab must differ from that associated with student’s primary mentor. During this period, attending lab meetings of the PI are encouraged. The second semester consists of either data collection using neuroscience methods (e.g., EEG, fMRI, tDCS, fNIRS, animal lesions) or analysis of secondary data using neuroscience methods. End-products will be reaching the agreed upon sample size collected or agreed upon data analysis. Students are encouraged to continue collaborating on the project after the course to maintain authorship on a submitted manuscript.

Other Considerations

  • A minimum grade of B is required in all courses for the minor. If a student gets a C in any course, another course must be taken.
  • The Neuroscience Committee will receive applications, consisting of a syllabus or comparable information, for approving additional courses for the minor. Approval will be conferred by a majority vote of the committee.
  • The University does not formally recognize graduate minors. Students completing the minor will receive a letter from the Director of Graduate Studies attesting to this accomplishment.

Once a student decides to complete the minor, s/he should notify the Graduate Program Assistant to add this to the student’s Plan of Study.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Methods: Students will be able to identify and understand different methods and techniques used by neuroscientists for studying the brain at different levels of analysis.
  2. Analyses: Students will be able to recognize, apply knowledge, and critique traditional as well as unconventional data analysis techniques in the field of neuroscience.
  3. Biology: Students will be able to synthesize and evaluate core cognitive neuroscience and neurobiological principles underlying various