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).

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.

NEUROSCIENCE PH.D. PROGRAM OF STUDY (64 credits)

Core Coursework (19 credit hours)

  • VPHY 8400: Neurophysiology (3 credit hours)
  • VPHY 8020: Neuroanatomy (3 credit hours) OR PSYC 8300: Neuroanatomy for Behavioral Scientists (3 credit hours)
  • NEUR 8030: Current Literature in Neuroscience (4 semesters, 4 credit hours) *
  • NEUR 8040: Laboratory Group Meeting (4 semesters, 4 credit hours) **
  • NEUR 8900: Seminar in Neuroscience (4 semesters, 4 credit hours) ***
  • GRSC 8550: Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit hour)

* ** Only 4 hours of Current Literature in Neuroscience and Laboratory Group Meeting may apply on the Final Program of Study. Nevertheless, students are strongly encouraged to continue regular attendance of both these courses as they are instrumental to a student’s research and skills development.

*** Only 3 hours of Seminar in Neuroscience may apply on the Program of Study. Nevertheless, students are strongly encouraged to continue regular attendance of speaker series presentations even if not formally registered in the seminar.

Research Skills (6 credit hours)

  • STAT 6315: Statistical Methods for Researchers (4 credit hours)
  • STAT 6210: Statistical Methods I (3 credit hours) AND STAT 6220: Statistical Methods II (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6430: Applied Regression Methods in Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6440: Experimental Design in Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • VPHY 6930: Research Methods (1-3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 8330: Laboratory Apprenticeship in Biopsychology (3 credit hours)
  • CBIO 8920L: Cellular Biology Research Techniques (1-2 credit hours)
  • BIOL (CBIO) (VPAT) 7040: Electron Microscopy (3 credit hours)
  • CBIO 8050-8050L: Techniques in Modern Microscopy (4 credit hours)

Content Area Electives (9 credit hours)

9 hours of course work to be chosen (any combination) from the four research areas below.

Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology

  • BCMB 6000: General Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • BCMB 6010 and BCMB 6020: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I & II (4 credit hours)
  • BCMB 8010 and BCMB 8020: Advanced Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I & II (4 credit hours)
  • CBIO 8300: Advanced Developmental Biology (3 credit hours)
  • CBIO 8400: Advanced Cell Biology (3 credit hours)
  • GENE 8140: Functional Genomics (3 credit hours)
  • BCMB(CBIO)(GENE) 8114: Advanced Genetics, Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1b) (2 credit hours)

Physiology & Pharmacology

  • VPHY 6090: Comparative Mammalian Physiology (3 credit hours)
  • VPHY 8460: Molecular Pharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • CBIO 6730: Endocrinology (3 credit hours)
  • PHRM 6400: Human Physiology I (4 credit hours)
  • PHRM 6410 and PHRM 6420: Pharmacology I & II (4 credit hours)
  • CBIO 6730: Endocrinology (3 credit hours)
  • VPHY 8600: Current Topics in Synaptic Physiology (3 credit hours)

Behavioral/Systems Neuroscience

  • PSYC 6130: Biological Foundations of Behavior (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6160: Sensory Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 8900: Psychopharmacology Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • CMSD 6800: Neural Bases of Speech, Language, and Hearing (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 8380: Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (3 credit hours)

Cognitive/Clinical Neuroscience

  • PSYC 7780: Animal Cognition (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 8550: Neuropsychological Assessment (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6110: Basic Learning Processes (3 credit hours)
  • EPSY 8610: Fundamentals of Behavioral Neuroscience (3 credit hours)

Research and Dissertation (30 credit hours)

  • A minimum of 27 hours of doctoral research (9000). Typically, students complete more than 27 credit hours with the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.
  • 3 hours of Ph.D. Dissertation (9300) is required on the Plan of Study.

Coursework Substitution

If your committee determines that a course other than those listed above would best suit your research training, a substitution can be petitioned. Please contact Abigail Butcher, abutcher@uga.edu and provide the course ID and a general description. Those can be found using the UGA Bulletin

Program Benchmarks

Year One

  • Rotations –> Identify a major professor
  • Form your dissertation committee
  • Neuro core coursework
  • Complete a Preliminary Program of Study with your committee
  • Apply for any applicable grants or fellowships
  • Meet annually with your committee

Year Two

  • Determine your research project
  • Complete a Final Program of Study Plan with your committee
  • Pass your Comprehensive Exams
  • Be admitted to candidacy
  • Take Neuro course electives
  • Apply for any applicable grants or fellowships
  • Meet annually with your committee

Year Three

  • Continue with your dissertation research
  • Complete your Neuro coursework
  • Apply for any applicable grants or fellowships
  • Meet annually with your committee

Year Four

  • Continue with your dissertation research
  • Apply for any applicable grants or fellowships
  • Meet annually with your committee

Year Five

  • Apply for graduation
  • Complete your dissertation research
  • Meet with your committee
  • Defend your dissertation