Students begin their graduate career by taking required and elective coursework and research rotations in two or three different labs of their choice. These requirements ensure that each student gains a strong foundation in basic concepts of neuroscience and experimental approaches. By the end of the first year students focus their research interest through selection of their graduate research advisor and lab. In the second year students generally complete their elective course work and take the qualifying exam. In addition, students gain grant writing experience by submitting a pre-doctoral fellowship (NRSA or NSF). After passing the qualifying exam students spend the next 2-3 years completing their dissertation research. Upper level students also gain teaching experience by participating as a teaching assistant.
Completion of the neuroscience PhD program takes an average of 5 years and beginning Fall 2016 students admitted to the Neuroscience Graduate Program are guaranteed stipend support at the level of $30,000 for five years.