Neuroscience

About the Programs

MS without Thesis: 36.0 semester credits
MS with thesis: 48.0 semester credits
PhD: 96.0 semester credits

To meet the need for research scientists with broad backgrounds in neuroscience, the University offers an interdepartmental neuroscience program leading to MS and PhD degrees. The program provides a core curriculum of integrated courses related to the neurosciences. In addition, elective courses are aimed at helping students amplify and add specialization to their educational experience. Upon completing these programs, students pursue careers in academic, governmental, or industrial settings.

The MS in Neuroscience Program

The MS program gives students a broad background in neuroscience and the techniques used in neuroscience research. A master’s thesis based on a laboratory research project is a requirement for the degree. Students who wish to continue their graduate training after completing the MS degree requirements may apply to the PhD program, and their credits may be applied to the doctoral program.

The PhD in Neuroscience Program

The PhD program trains individuals to conduct independent research and to teach in the neurosciences. The program includes two years of coursework followed by original research leading to a thesis. Laboratory rotations begin in the fall of the first year.

For more information, visit the College of Medicine's Neuroscience Program web site.

Admission Requirements

Students will be selected on the basis of adequate educational background and medical experience. A Bachelor’s Degree in the Health Sciences or related field, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, is the minimum requirement for acceptance into the Master’s Degree Program. Prerequisite course work should include microbiology, anatomy, physiology, mathematics, English composition, general chemistry, organic and/or biochemistry and biological science.

All candidates will be required to have a formal interview with the Selection Committee prior to final acceptance. Deadline for submission of the application is April 15 of the year in which the students plan to enroll. The applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision on a rolling basis.
Candidates for admission must provide the following credentials:

  • Completed application form
  • Transcript of college academic record
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Self-assessment essays:
    • A. Discuss personal goals, conditions, or career aspirations that motivate you to pursue graduate study at Drexel University.
    • B. What are your most important accomplishments?
    • C. What do you expect to achieve through this program?

The application form is available at the Biomedical Graduate Applications site.

About the Curriculum

 Students in both the PhD and MS programs begin their coursework with a core curriculum. The curriculum consists of a series of core courses that are shared by all of the biomedical graduate programs in the medical school, and a series of programmatic courses. All students in the Neuroscience Program must take the core curriculum, although the possibility exists for students to be excused from a particular course if they are able to prove that they already have the necessary knowledge required of the particular course.

During the second year, students select elective courses and begin their thesis research in consultation with the Advisory-Examination Committee. At the end of the second year, students take a comprehensive examination to qualify for PhD candidacy.

There are three rotations in the curriculum for which the student will be assigned a grade. The purpose of these rotations is enable the student to select the most appropriate Graduate Advisor to supervise the research project for the student. The Neuroscience Program Director and Steering Committee will advise each student on the selection of rotations, as well as on the progress and outcome of rotations. Flexibility will be afforded in certain situations in which the student may be able to select an advisor before completing all three rotations, or in situations wherein it is advisable to terminate a particular rotation early in favor of another choice.

Courses Repeatable for Credit

As well as taking all required courses, MS and PhD students may re-enroll in courses having the status “repeatable for credit”  (such as journal club, seminar and research courses) for the duration of their program in order to meet the total number of credits required for graduation.

MS Degree Requirements: Non-Thesis Option

MS without Thesis: 36.0 semester credits

Required Courses
ANAT 501SNEUROBIOLOGY TOPICS I1.0-2.0
or PHRM 502S CURRENT TOPICS IN PHARM & PHYS
ANAT 602SMEDICAL NEUROSCIENCE6.0
IDPT 500SScientific Integrity & Ethics2.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5.0
or IDPT 550S Biochemistry and Biophysics
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5.0
IDPT 850SLiterature Review Non-Thesis MS4.0
NEUR 500SStatistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2
NEUR 508SGraduate Neuroscience I2
NEUR 609SGraduate Neuroscience II4
Advanced Neuroscience Course
Select at least one of the following:6.0
Advanced Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
Advanced Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
MOTOR SYSTEMS
Suggested Electives *
ADVANCED CELL BIOLOGY
GRADUATE PHARMACOLOGY
GRADUATE PHYSIOLOGY
Total Credits37.0-38.0

*

Additional courses from the Biograduate Medical programs may be taken as electives. Students should check with the College of Medicine's Biomedical Graduate Studies programs.


MS Degree Requirements: Thesis Option

MS with thesis: 48.0 semester credits

Required Courses
ANAT 501SNEUROBIOLOGY TOPICS I2
or PHRM 502S CURRENT TOPICS IN PHARM & PHYS
ANAT 602SMEDICAL NEUROSCIENCE6
IDPT 500SScientific Integrity & Ethics2
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5
or IDPT 550S Biochemistry and Biophysics
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5
IDPT 600STHESIS DEFENSE9
NEUR 500SStatistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2
NEUR 501SNEUROSCIENCE 1ST LAB ROTATION4
NEUR 502SNEUROSCIENCE 2ND LAB ROTATION4
NEUR 503SNEUROSCIENCE 3RD LAB ROTATION4
NEUR 508SGraduate Neuroscience I2.5
NEUR 600SNEUROSCIENCE THESIS RESEARCH9
NEUR 609SGraduate Neuroscience II4
Advanced Neuroscience Course
Select at least one of the following:
Advanced Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
Advanced Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
MOTOR SYSTEMS
Suggested Electives *
ADVANCED CELL BIOLOGY
GRADUATE PHARMACOLOGY
GRADUATE PHYSIOLOGY
Total Credits48.0

*

Additional courses from the Biograduate Medical programs may be taken as electives. Students should check with the College of Medicine's Biomedical Graduate Studies programs.

PhD Degree Requirements

96.0 semester credits

During the third year, students develop a plan for their doctoral research in conjunction with their thesis advisor. A formal, written thesis proposal is then presented to the student’s Thesis Advisory Committee. Acceptance of this proposal after oral examination by the Committee leads to the final stage of doctoral training. PhD candidates then spend the majority of their time on thesis research. After concluding their research, they must submit and publicly defend their thesis before the Thesis-Examination Committee.

PhD students may enroll in courses having the status “repeatable for credit”  (such as journal club, seminar and research courses) for the duration of their program in order to meet the degree completion requirement of 96.0 credits.

Required Courses
ANAT 501SNEUROBIOLOGY TOPICS I2.0
ANAT 602SMEDICAL NEUROSCIENCE6
IDPT 500SScientific Integrity & Ethics2.0
IDPT 521SMolecular Structure and Metabolism5
or IDPT 550S Biochemistry and Biophysics
IDPT 526SCells to Systems5
IDPT 600STHESIS DEFENSE9.0
NEUR 500SStatistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2
NEUR 508SGraduate Neuroscience I2.5
NEUR 600SNEUROSCIENCE THESIS RESEARCH (three terms)27
NEUR 609SGraduate Neuroscience II4
Advanced Neuroscience Course
Select at least one of the following:1.0-4.0
Advanced Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
Advanced Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
MOTOR SYSTEMS
Required Electives *
ADVANCED CELL BIOLOGY
GRADUATE PHARMACOLOGY
GRADUATE PHYSIOLOGY
Total Credits65.5-68.5

*

Additional courses from the Biomedical Graduate programs may be taken as electives. Students should check with the College of Medicine's Biomedical Graduate Studies programs.

Courses

NEUR 410 Neuroscience4.0 Credits

This course is designed to provide the student with a strong foundation in the structure and function of the nervous system. Clinical correlations are provided throughout the course to underscore the necessity for understanding the material for effective clinical practice and to provide a neurophysiological basis for various pathological conditions commonly encountered in the practice.

College/Department: Nursing & Health Professions/Health Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: ANAT 103 [Min Grade: D]

NEUR 500S Statistics for Neuro/Pharm Research2.0 Credits

This course will provide hands on instruction in how research data are managed and analyzed in neurobiological research. Studies will acquire a basic statistical knowledge with emphasis on application to data sets similar to what they can expect to encounter in their thesis research. Instruction in the use of statistical programs will be included.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 501S NEUROSCIENCE 1ST LAB ROTATION4.0 Credits

First laboratory rotation. Guided research is conducted on a part-time basis for two or three 10-16 week periods. Rotations are generally conducted during fall, spring and summer of the first and second years. An oral presentation highlighting the background, rationale, methods, results and discussion of the research activity is required at the end of each rotation.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 502S NEUROSCIENCE 2ND LAB ROTATION4.0 Credits

Second laboratory rotation. Guided research is conducted on a part-time basis for two or three 10-16 week periods. Rotations are generally conducted during fall, spring and summer of the first and second years. An oral presentation highlighting the background, rationale, methods, results and discussion of the research activity is required at the end of each rotation.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 503S NEUROSCIENCE 3RD LAB ROTATION4.0 Credits

Third laboratory rotation. Guided research is conducted on a part-time basis for two or three 10-16 week periods. Rotations are generally conducted during fall, spring and summer of the first and second years. An oral presentation highlighting the background, rationale, methods, results and discussion of the research activity is required at the end of each rotation.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 505S ADVANCED MOLECULAR NERUBIOL.1.0 Credit

This is a graduate course aimed to discuss basic concepts and state-of-the-art techniques in molecular neurobiology. The course also serves as a form for all members of the Graduate Program in Neurobiology, including faculty, graduate and post-doctoral students, and technical staff, to discuss recent developments in molecular neurobiology. The class meets once a month. Some meetings focus on basic concepts and recent findings in the field, whereas others examine novel biotechniques. The discussion is led by a speaker, who in most cases is a faculty member from the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. Occasionally, specialists from other institutions are invited to speak on a particular subject. Students taking the course for credits will be asked to lead one section in a related subject of their choice. Full attendance is required.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 506S NEUROSCIENCE 2ND ROTATION RES.4.0 Credits

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 507 Neuroscience I3.0 Credits

NEUR 507 is the first of two courses that provide a foundation in the structure and function of the nervous system. Clinical correlations relate the material to effective clinical practice and provide a neurophysiological basis for pathological entities described in the student's clinical neurology courses and commonly encountered in the clinic.

College/Department: Nursing & Health Professions/CNHP - Rehabilitation Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PT or major is RHAB.

NEUR 508 Neuroscience II2.0 Credits

NEUR 508 is the second of two courses that provide a foundation in the structure and function of the nervous system. Clinical correlations relate the material to effective clinical practice and provide a neurophysiological basis for pathological entities described in the student’s clinical neurology courses and commonly encountered in the clinic.

College/Department: Nursing & Health Professions/CNHP - Rehabilitation Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is PT or major is RHAB.

NEUR 508S Graduate Neuroscience I2.5 Credits

This course is offered to incoming first year Neuroscience graduate students and covers the basic tenets of Developmental Neuroscience as well as providing a historical context to the progression of Neuroscience as a field of study.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 511S Advanced Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience1.0 Credit

This course provides didactic teaching and in-depth discussion of topics in cellular and developmental neuroscience. Topics will emphasize the most recent and contemporary issues in the field.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 512S Advanced Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience1.5 Credit

This course provides an in-depth understanding of cellular and systems neurophysiology. Topics include: basic mechanisms, emergent network activities, sensory processing, and models of learning and memory. May be repeated once for credit.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 1 times for 3 credits

NEUR 534 Neuroscience3.0 Credits

This course describes: structure and functions of the human central nervous system; neurons; basic topography of the spinal cord and brain; major sensory and motor pathways; higher cortical functions. Neurological deficits resulting from stroke, brain trauma and other neuropathological processes; as well as implications for rehabilitation and psychotherapy are presented.

College/Department: Nursing & Health Professions/Health Sciences
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is CATX.

NEUR 600S NEUROSCIENCE THESIS RESEARCH9.0 Credits

Research toward the fulfillment of the dissertation is conducted beginning after successful completion of the qualifying examination. Progress is monitored by the student's advisor and department, Advisory Committee or Thesis Committee.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

NEUR 605S NEUROSCIENCE THESIS RESEARCH8.0 Credits

Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 607S INTEGRATED NEUROSCIENCE4.0 Credits

This is a core course required of all graduate students in the Neuroscience Program. The prerequisite is completion of Medical Neuroscience. The course meets twice weekly during the fall semester for 2 hour sessions, which include a mix of lecture and discussion. The course emphasizes critical evaluation of experimental methods used for investigation problems in the organization and function of the central nervous system. One major goal of the course is to teach the students a system approach to analyzing the CNS control of behavior and physiology. The topics that are chosen to illustrate these principles of organization include sensorimotor integration; CNS development; neurochemical anatomy: sites and mechanism underlying regulation if ingestion, responses to stress and sexual behavior: central mechanisms of award, learning and memory: and recovery of function after CNS damage. An important second goal is to relate activity at the systems level to underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. These strategies discussed throughout the course but especially in development; genetic basis of psychopathology: CNS injury and recovery; and use of molecular techniques for modulating behavior. The students are required to write four papers covering information from four separate blocks of the course and one final paper comparing the uses of transgenic knockouts, inducible knockouts and antisense approaches for studying a system of the student's choice. These papers are read by the faculty and defended by the students.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 0 times for 0 credits

NEUR 609S Graduate Neuroscience II4.0 Credits

Graduate Neuroscience II is didactic in nature with neurological disease as the basis for understanding concepts in Cellular Neuroscience (module I), Systems Neuroscience (module II) and Behavioral Neuroscience (module III).

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 615S ADVANCED SPEC. TOPICS IN NEURO1.0-3.0 Credit

Graduate students present current research papers in the general areas of systems and behavioral neurobiology.

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 634S MOTOR SYSTEMS4.0 Credits

College/Department: Biomedical Graduate Studies_COM/Biomedical Science
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 8214S NEUROSCIENCE SENIOR ELECTIVE0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 900S NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 901S NEUROSCIENCE SENIOR ELECTIVE0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 0 times for 0 credits

NEUR 9096S ELECTIVE - NEUROSCIENCE 6WKS0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 9750S RESEARCH - NEUROSCIENCE0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

NEUR 9754S RESEARCH - NEUROSCIENCE0.0 Credits

College/Department: Medicine
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

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