In their first year, 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 addition, students take the Qualifying Exam after the spring semester of their first year. In the second year students generally complete their course work and by the end of year 2 students are expected to form their thesis committee and develop a thesis proposal. It is expected that students will enter into PhD candidacy early in year 3. Upper level students also gain teaching experience by participating as a teaching assistant. In addition students are expected to gain grant writing experience by submitting a pre-doctoral fellowship NSF or NRSA (or other relevant fellowship).
Completion of the neuroscience PhD program is expected to take an average of 5 years and beginning Fall 2017 students admitted to the Neuroscience Graduate Program are guaranteed stipend support at the level of $32,500 for five years.