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Program & Curriculum for the Neurosciences Program

To complete a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, 90 semester hours are required, with a dissertation. Students in the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience currently enter the program through either:

(1) the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS), which serves as a gateway into the basic science graduate programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; 

or

(2) directly into the neuroscience program;.

Typical Plan of Study for Ph.D. students  that enter the program through GPiBS or direct admit

or

(3) through the M.D./Ph.D. program.

All first year graduate students complete interdisciplinary coursework emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with three required research rotations with an optional fourth rotation. Once students commit to obtaining a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, specialized courses in neuroscience are taken and research leading to the dissertation is conducted. The following courses are required of all neuroscience graduate students: Neurobiology of Disease, Neuroscience Methods, and Current Topics in Neuroscience. Students entering through the GPiBS track must also take Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology. Additional electives in specialty areas are also encouraged during the latter years of the program, under the advisement of each student's dissertation mentor. A sample curriculum of a typical program of study is provided for students entering through the GPiBS track and the M.D./Ph.D. program.
Sample Curriculum through M.D./Ph.D. track

  • First year: All students complete interdisciplinary coursework emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with three required rotations and a fourth optional rotation.
  • Second year and beyond: Students take advanced classes relevant to neuroscience and focus on their research.
  • General exam: A general exam is administered in the Spring Semester of Year 2. Students must pass this examination to advance into candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The general exam is a comprehensive exam that consists of both an in-house and take-home written portion as well as an oral question and answer session by a panel of Neuroscience faculty members.

 

Curriculum

 

Curriculum Summary 

 

REQUIRED COURSES

 

 

First Year Curriculum

 

Course Number

Course Name

Credit Hours

BMSC 5001

Integrity in Scientific Research

1

BMSC 5221

GPiBS journal club

1

BMSC 5300

Interdisciplinary Special Topics (Research Methods)

1

BMSC 5300

Interdisciplinary Special Topics (Experimental Design and Applied Statistics)

1

BMSC 6102

Cell Systems I

2

BMSC 6023

Cell Systems II

3

BMSC 6052

Molecular Systems I

2

BMSC 6053

Molecular Systems II

3

 

 

 

 

Selective Courses (9 credit hours required. Recommended courses include the following:)

 

OCNS 6101

Neurobiology

1

OCNS 6201

Behavioral Neuroscience

1

OCNS 6311

Neuroinflammation and Neuroimmunology

1

OCNS 6321/ CELL 6321

Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Vision

1

OCNS 5571/ PHSC 5571

Neuropharmacology

1

------

4 additional credit hours of selective courses according to student preference

4

 

 

 

OCNS 6990

Special Studies (typically used for research rotation)

6

 

Total Credit hours in First Year of Curriculum

29

 

 

 

 

Second Year Curriculum

 

OCNS 6001

Neuroscience Journal Club

2

OCNS 5401

Current Topics in Neuroscience  (seminar course)

1

OCNS 5411

Survey of Neuroscience Methods

1

OCNS 5406

Neurophysiology (a sub section of the medical neuroscience course)

2

OCNS 6503

Neurobiology of Disease

3

OCNS 6512

Neuroanatomy

2

OCNS 6980

Research for Doctoral Dissertation

3

 

Written and Oral Qualifying Examination

-

 

Total Credit hours in Second Year of Curriculum

14

 

 

 

 

Curriculum After Second Year

 

OCNS 6001

Neuroscience Journal Club

2

OCNS 5401

Current Topics in Neuroscience

1

OCNS 5960

Directed Readings

5

 

Total Credit hours each year after Second Year of Curriculum

8

 

 

 

 

Supervised Research for Dissertation or Thesis

 

*OCNS 5980

Research for Masters Thesis

1-6

OCNS 6980

Research for Doctoral Dissertation

2-16

 

 

 

Course Number

Neuroscience Elective Courses

 

OCNS 6990

Special Studies in Neuroscience

1-3

OCNS 5960

Directed Readings (usually for qualifying exam preparation with various faculty)

1-6

*OCNS6002

Pharmacogenomics: The Foundation of Personalized Medicine

2

*OCNS 6401/

PHYO 6401

Genes to Physiology

1-5

*OCNS 6403

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

3