The INP requires that students complete the following four Neuroscience courses:

  • NSCI 501a, Principles of Neuroscience
  • NSCI 510b, Structural and Functional Organization of the Human Nervous System
  • NSCI 580b, Bioethics in Neuroscience
  • NSCI 720a, Neurobiology

Students must complete three additional core Neuroscience courses, which will be chosen from the following list:

  • NSCI 502b, Cell Biology of the Nerve Cell
  • NSCI 504b, Seminar in Brain Development & Plasticity
  • NSCI 506b, Introduction to Brain and Behavior
  • NSCI 507b, Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Neurological Disease
  • NSCI 508a, Functional Properties of Cortical Neurons and Circuits.
  • NSCI 514b, Neurodevelopment and Neuropsychiatric Disorders
  • NSCI 519a/b, Tutorial
  • NSCI 521a, Neuroimaging in Neuropsychiatry I: IMAGING METHODS
  • NSCI 522b, Neuroimaging in Neuropsychiatry II: Clinical Applications
  • NSCI 535b, History of Modern Neuroscience
  • NSCI 539b, Synaptic Organization of the Nervous System
  • NSCI 540a, Introduction to Statistics
  • NSCI 571b, Neurophysiology
  • NSCI 580a, The MAP Kinase Pathway and Cognitive Disorders.
  • NSCI 585a, Stem and Progenitor Cells in the Adult Nervous System
  • NSCI 590a, Sensory Neuroethology: Bats, Owls, Electric Fish and Beyond.
  • NSCI 600a, Experimental Methods in Neuroscience
  • NSCI 605b, Pathways of Discovery in Neuroscience
  • NSCI 611a, Stem Cells and Approaches to Repair in the Nervous System
  • NSCI 612b, Molecular Transport and Intervention in the Brain.
  • NSCI 614b, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory.
  • NSCI 645a, Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience
  • NSCI 646, Advances in Cognitive Neuroscience: Prefrontal Cortex and Memory


At the completion of a course, students are normally assigned a grade of Honors, High Pass, Pass or Fail. Seminar or research courses are usually graded either Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The Graduate School requires that Ph.D. students obtain a minimum of two grades of Honors in regular term courses by the end of the second year of study. Tutorials, informal seminars, research courses and term courses having fewer than 3 credit hours cannot be used to fulfill the Honors requirement.

Laboratory Rotations

Laboratory rotations are considered an essential component to interdisciplinary training, and each student is required to complete two rotations by the end of his/her third semester. The rotations should be in different laboratories and, preferably, in different areas of Neuroscience from at least two departments. At least one of these must be in the lab of an INP faculty member. The minimum duration of a rotation is one semester or a full summer. Each rotation should be long enough to allow the student to gain technical expertise and an appreciation of the practical aspects of an area of Neuroscience. The laboratory rotations can serve the dual functions of broadening a student's background and helping in the choice of a future thesis advisor. Should a particular laboratory not meet the needs of a student, he/she is encouraged to consider moving to another lab.

The Qualifying Examination

A primary objective of an interdisciplinary program is training well-rounded students. The qualifying examination is viewed as one means of obtaining that goal. The Graduate School requires that "A general oral or written qualifying examination, separate from course examinations must be passed by the student in the major subject offered and such subordinate subjects as may be required by the department concerned." The INP qualifying examination involves both a written and an oral component.

Thesis Prospectus

The Graduate School requires that all students submit a brief outline of proposed thesis work before beginning the seventh semester. Students will not be allowed to register for the fourth year of study without an approved prospectus. This prospectus should consist of a written summary of research accomplished and planned, together with a tentative title for the thesis. This must be approved by the Directors in consultation with the thesis advisor.

Admission to Candidacy

Students who have satisfied the INP course requirements and the Graduate School Honors requirement and have successfully completed the qualifying exam, will be formally admitted to Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The Graduate School requires that this be completed before the beginning of the seventh semester.

Thesis Defense

All INP students are required to present a public seminar of their thesis research. This seminar is to be immediately followed by a closed oral defense of the student's thesis research.

Residence Requirement

The minimal residence requirement for the graduate school is three years; the maximum period of enrollment for the Ph.D. degree is normally six years. Maximum time may be extended by a special petition, but only if all requirements for the Ph.D. except for the completion of research and submission of the dissertation have been fulfilled.

Teaching Responsbilities

An important aim of the INP is to provide students with teaching experience. Students are required to complete two semesters of teaching. This requirement needs to be completed during his/her tenure during graduate school.