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Medical Neuroscience Graduate Program Curriculum

The Graduate Program leading to the PhD in Medical Neuroscience curriculum is designed with required courses and flexible electives to meet the wide-ranging interests of the diverse scientific population, while also providing a strong foundation in a number of core areas. The program consists of at least 90 credit hours. The average time to complete the degree is 5.5 years.

Traditional PhD Track

The Medical Neurosciences education program works in conjunction with the Indiana Biomedical Gateway (IBMG) program, which consists of a shared first-year experience for all biomedical science PhD students. Students enter the full Medical Neuroscience curriculum during the second year of the IBMG program. The remainder of the curriculum consists of G780 (Foundations of Neuroscience), rotations, a required minor, and electives that are relevant to the final thesis work. Each student has a mentor (Major Professor) and an Advisory Committee to help create the most personalized curriculum of coursework.

For complete program and curriculum details, see the Medical Neurosciences Graduate Program Handbook.

Dual Degree Students

Entering students from the MD/PhD program may transfer as many as 30 credit hours from the MD curriculum to the Medical Neuroscience Graduate Program. These students can select electives relevant to their thesis work in consultation with their mentor and Program Directors.

Medical Scientist Training

Required Courses


Fall—Year One (IBMG) GRDM-G505 Responsible Conduct of Research 1 credit
GRDM-G700 Translating Foundational Science to Contemporary Knowledge 1 credit
GRDM-G702 Entering Biomedical Research 1 credit
GRDM-G715 Biomedical Science I – Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes 2 credits
GRDM-G716 Biomedical Science II– Molecular Biology and Genetics 2 credits
GRDM-G717 Biomedical Science III – Cellular Basis of Systems Biology 2 credits
GRDM-G718 Research in Biomedical Science Rotation 1 2 credits
Spring – Year One GRDM-G780 Foundations of Neuroscience 6 credits
G718 Research in Biomedical Science Rotations 2 and 3 2 credits each
G655 Research Communications
Choose from list:
– COMM-C534 Distilling Your Message
– COMM-C533 Improvisation for Scientists
– ENG-W 533 Science Writing for Public Readers
1 credit each
GRDM-G507 Reagent Validation as a Mean for Enhanced Research 1 credit
Summer –Year One F850 Experimental Design & Grant Writing 1 credit
Fall – Year Two GRDM-G855 Experimental Design & Research Biostatistics 1 credit
Major and/or Minor Program Requirements
Spring – Year Two Major and/or Minor Program Requirements
Years Three+ – Students continue with coursework needed for program and minor
– Selection of research project
– Continued research activities
– Bi-yearly committee meetings
– Progression toward qualification exam leading toward dissertation/defense

Required Coursework

  • Foundations of Neuroscience G780 6 credit hours
    Lecture/discussion course covering concepts in cell and molecular neuro¬science, fundamentals of neural signal transmission and synaptic biology, principles of systems neuroscience, and fundamentals of the development of the nervous system. This course prepares students for upper level neuroscience courses and is also suitable for students in other programs who desire an understanding of neurosciences.
  • Presentation Skills Course G655 1 credit hour
    The study of the methodological and systematic treatments of scientific data required for effective communication through written primary research publications, oral presentations, abstracts, and poster presentations.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research G505 1 credit hour
    The purpose of this series is to discuss and explore RCR topics, including Mentorship, Collaborative Science, Authorship & Publications, Peer Review, Research Misconduct, and Intellectual Property.
  • Principles of Experimental Design F850 1 credit hour
    Development of grant writing skills. Structure, design, and review of biomedical research grants. Discussion of NIH regulatory processes. (3 hours/week. Summer)
  • Biostatistics G855 2 credit hours
    Introduction to Biostatistics.
  • Neuroscience Research Rotations G718 2 credit hours
    Rotation experiences designed to expand technical exposure of trainees. (8 weeks)
  • Neuroscience Seminar N801 1 credit hour
    Students attend and participate in seminars by outside speakers. (1 hour/week. Fall and Spring. Neuroscience Training Committee)
  • Research in Neuroscience N800 numerous credit hours
    Dissertation Research in laboratories of faculty mentors; variable credit.