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Program of Study

The program of study is tailored to meet each student's research interests and career goals. Incoming students are assigned an Advisory Committee which assists the student in designing their individual program of study by guiding the student as they select and pursue appropriate laboratory rotations and elective courses.

For more information, view the PIN Handbook 2023-2024

Lab Rotations

  • Laboratory rotations in three different laboratories stress hands-on experience in a wide variety of state-of-the-art approaches and techniques, and exposure to various scientific environments.
  • Rotations are arranged individually by the student in consultation with the faculty member and the student’s Advisory Committee.
  • To better inform rotation-level students about the research opportunities available in the PIN labs, there are a series of informal Professor’s Rounds in the first semester of the program.


  • The graduate curriculum gives Program in Neuroscience students a broad knowledge base and is also tailored to meet students' research interests and career goals.
  • Every student is assigned an Advisory Committee which assists the student in choosing electives in addition to the required courses to help design their individual curriculum.
  • The first semester core course “Mechanisms in Biomedical Sciences: From Genes to Disease” provides a comprehensive overview of current knowledge in cellular, molecular, and structural biology.
  • The content of  the first semester core course is supplemented with additional material in “Current Topics and Techniques in Neuroscience.”
  • “Advanced Neuroscience Investigation” is taken in the first spring semester.
  • “Biostatistics” and the “Proseminar in Experimental Design” courses are taken in the second fall semester. Students may also enroll in elective courses this semester.
  • Attendance is required at the Program’s “Neuroscience Journal Club.” Students must present at Journal Club during each semester of their second year and one more time afterwards.

Academic Milestones

  • Laboratory rotation and required coursework are completed by the end of the third semester in the program, at which time the student will have selected a faculty mentor and thesis laboratory.
  • Students are required to pass a written and oral Qualifying Exam, which begins at the end of the third semester.
  • The Doctoral Dissertation Thesis Proposal is given approximately a year after beginning thesis research.
  • The Doctoral Thesis Defense is the culmination of the student’s dissertation research.

Disclaimer: This website is not a contract and all information is subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the Program.