PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Georgia offers unique multidisciplinary opportunities and innovative research approaches in broad areas of neuroscience and model systems that extend from yeast to primates. Our training model provides rigorous theoretical and methodological training in neuroscience utilizing the latest in related technologies. Students work with faculty to become independent thinkers, researchers, and decision-makers.

Due to the inherent interdisciplinary of the discipline, our program is designed to be flexible to complement the student’s background and emphasize their career objectives in neuroscience. Major emphasis is on course work related to dissertation research, but students are expected to develop a broad background in neuroscience. Therefore, many of the relevant coursework is offered through other departments (especially Psychology, Statistics, Cellular Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology & Pharmacology).

Research Network

The Neuroscience research network stretches across multiple units on campus. For a detailed list of the participating labs, please see here.

Professional Outcomes

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia as well as the public and private sectors. Our alumni are employed in a variety of positions, including as university faculty, policy analysts, communication directors of nonprofit organizations, attorneys, and officers in government agencies. For more information regarding our alumni, please see our analytics page.

Program of Study

The Neuroscience PhD program is a participating member of the Integrated Life Sciences Program (ILS). Therefore, the first year curriculum is specifically designed to facilitate the transition to graduate research and education. The first semester is structured to engage students in meaningful research experiences and instill good research practices. The hallmark of the ILS curriculum is GRSC 8000: Lab Rotations. This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the breadth and depth of life science research available at UGA through the ILS program before formally committing to a thesis project and advisor.

First Fall Term

  • GRSC 8000. Rotations – Three 6-week rotations. Students can request a rotation with ANY of the 200+ ILS-affiliated faculty members that are drawn from 14 departments / institutes. Students can expect to have 30+ hours of time per week for research-related activities.
  • GRSC 8010. Professional Development for ILS Students– This 7-week discussion-based class provides guidance on all the activities needed to become a successful professional scientist. Taught in the 1st half of Fall semester.
  • GRSC 8550. Responsible Conduct of Research – This 7-week discussion-based class delves into the impact of science on society, the importance of ethics in science, proper data management, and the value of proper mentoring, among other topics. Taught in the 2nd half of Fall semester.
  • GRSC 8020. Critical Reading of the Primary Scientific Literature – This semester-long class teaches you how to deconstruct and understand primary literature at a level needed for becoming a successful graduate student. Topics emphasize both foundation and emerging topics.

Elective Courses (choose one)

  • GRSC 8015. Biological Data Management – This semester-long class teaches you how to solve non-trivial challenges frequently encountered when managing complex and heterogeneous biological data sets. Topics include standard operating procedures for collecting and managing data including metadata, quality control of data capture and annotation, and covers both digital and non-digital types of data.
  • Grant Writing (various course numbers) – These semester-long classes teach grant-writing skills with the goal of preparing a fellowship or other grant proposal for submission to an external agency as part of the class.
  • LLED 7768 / LLED 7769. These language development seminars are designed to improve the language skills of an international student that might seek future stipend support through a Teaching assistantship. Performance on the IELTS or Speak test section of the TOEFL is used to gauge whether any of these courses are required (see here).

First Spring Term

The second semester marks the start of thesis research. After deciding upon a thesis advisor, a student can officially matriculate into the neuroscience program.

Required Neuroscience Coursework

1. Neurophysiology (3 hrs):

  • VPHY 8400 Neurophysiology

2. Neuroanatomy (3 hrs):

  • VPHY 8020 Neuroanatomy
  • PSYC 8300 Neuroanatomy for Behavioral Scientists

3. Ethics (1 hr):

  • GRSC 8550 Responsible Conduct of Research

4. Research Skills (6 hrs):

  • STAT 6210 and STAT 6220 Statistical Methods I & II
  • PSYC 6410 Statistics in Psychological Research and PSYC 6430 Applied Regression Methods in Psychology or PSYC 6440 Experimental Design in Psychology.)
  • VPHY 6930 Research Methods
  • PSYC 8330 Laboratory Apprenticeship in Biopsychology
  • CBIO 8920L Cellular Biology Research Techniques (not for students who matriculated through ILS)
  • BIOL (CBIO) (VPAT) 5040/7040 Electron Microscopy
  • CBIO 8050-8050L Techniques in Modern Microscopy

Elective Courses Organized by Content Area

Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology:

  • BCMB 6000 General Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • BCMB 6010 and BCMB 6020 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I & II
  • BCMB 8010 and BCMB 8020 Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I & II
  • CBIO 8300 Advanced Developmental Biology
  • CBIO 8400 Advanced Cellular Biology
  • GENE 8140 Functional Genomics
  • BCMB(CBIO)(GENE) 8112 Advanced Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I
  • BCMB(CBIO)(GENE) 8212 Advanced Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II

Physiology & Pharmacology:

  • VPHY 6090 and VPHY 6100 Comparative Mammalian Physiology
  • VPHY 8460 Molecular Pharmacology
  • PHRM 6400 Human Physiology I
  • PHRM 6410 and PHRM 6420 Pharmacology I & II
  • PHRM 8430 Advanced Neuropharmacology
  • CBIO 6730 Endocrinology

Behavioral/Systems Neuroscience:

  • PSYC 6130 Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • PSYC 6160 Sensory Psychology
  • PSYC 8900 Psychopharmacology Seminar
  • CMSD 6800 Neural Bases of Speech, Language, and Hearing

Cognitive/Clinical Neuroscience:

  • PSYC 7780 Animal Cognition
  • PSYC 8550 Neuropsychological Assessment
  • PSYC 6110 Basic Learning Processes
  • EPSY 8340 Child Neuropsychology

Taken over the course of residency at the University of Georgia:

  • BHSI 9000 Research (10-30h)
  • BHSI 9330 Dissertation (6h)