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Behavioral Neuroscience - Program Training

Graduate training in Behavioral Neuroscience consists of course work, some of which is required; research experience; and teaching experience. Formal supervision is provided by the student's major professor, the student's advisory committee, and the entire Brain and Behavioral Neuroscience faculty.

Required Courses

A core curriculum of required courses is designed to provide students with a background in the fundamental neurosciences and experimental design and analysis. Most of these required courses are normally taken in the first two years, but at least within the first three. Students who feel they have sufficient background in a particular area may elect to test out of a required course.

The required experimental design courses are:

  • PSY 600 Statistical Inference
  • PSY 601 Correlation and Experimental Design

The required basic neurosciences courses are:

  • BIOL 595N Introduction to Neurobiology
  • BIOL 594A Neural Systems

Two methods courses from among the following (subject to change as course offerings change):

  • BTNY 502 Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • EE 522 Measurement of Physiological Events
  • HSCI 514 Bionucleonics Laboratory
  • VAN 620 Electron Microscopy
  • VCS 631 Experimental Surgery

In addition, all students in the Behavioral Neuroscience program are required to present an annual oral report on their research to the weekly general meeting of students and faculty in the program. In addition, students are expected to participate in two more specialized seminars in psychobiology during the course of their graduate careers.

The major professor and advisory committee of each student will recommend additional courses that offer instruction closely related to the student's specific research goals. Each student is expected to participate actively in research. New students begin research projects under the close supervision of the major professors and become more independent as their graduate careers progress. Students receive course credit for research by enrolling in individual research courses (PSY 690) and dissertation research courses (PSY 698 and 699).

Teaching

All students are encouraged to participate in undergraduate instruction during their graduate careers. Students are advised to obtain at least two semesters of such teaching experience.

Major Advisor and Committee

Each student will be assigned a major advisor or major professor upon arriving at Purdue. Each student should also become acquainted with all members of the Behavioral Neuroscience faculty. Changes in the major adviser are always possible by mutual consent. In cooperation with the major advisor, the student selects an advisory committee that supervises the work towards the master's and doctorate. The master's committee consists of at least three members, two of whom must be Behavioral Neuroscience faculty members. The doctoral committee consists of at least four members (including the major advisor). At least three members of the student's doctoral committee must be faculty members from the Behavioral Neuroscience program. Members from other departments or academic areas are usually invited to serve on the student's committee.