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All Application Materials are Due January 15
for Admission the Following Fall Semester
The doctoral program in Behavioral Neuroscience has adopted an apprenticeship model of graduate training in which each student works closely and continuously with a faculty member within the realm of the faculty member's research interests. In your personal statement, please indicate the faculty member(s) with whom you would like to work. The research interests of the core faculty may be found on the Faculty interests page. Thus, doctoral students will pursue an emphasis in the area of Behavioral Neuroscience.
Research Facilities: To support student and faculty research programs, research facilities include:
An animal facility and animal research labs for conducting animal models of learning and memory, sociosexual behaviors, neuroendocrinology, and neuropharmacology
Cognitive psychology research labs for conducting computer-assisted data collection in cognition and neuropsychology
Psychophysiology labs with equipment for measuring nervous system activity including electrocardiogram, electrodermal activity, respiration, electromyogram, and electrooculogram as well as infrared video-based equipment for tracking eye movements and pupillary response.
The degree requires a minimum of 60 semester credit hours of graduate coursework. Students with previous graduate training may have their transcript reviewed on an individual basis to determine if credits are transferable to our program. Doctoral students typically are enrolled as full-time students for the first two years and, thereafter, may work part-time off campus in a setting related to the field of study.
The following graduate seminars are currently required of all doctoral students in the Behavioral Neuroscience emphasis area:
- 5001 Seminar in Neuropsychological Assessment (3 hours)
- 5340 Human Neuroanatomy (3 hrs)
- 5400 Special topics in BN (1 hr for 4 semesters)
- 5407 Psychopharmacology (3 hrs)
- 5465 Seminar in Behavioral Neuroscience (3 hrs)
- 5468 Seminar in Cognitive Psychology (3 hrs)
- 7421 Quantitative Methods I (4 hrs)
- 7422 Quantitative Methods II (4 hrs)
- 7483 Directed Research or 7484 Directed Reading (every semester until beginning 7492 Ph.D. Thesis Research)
- 7492 Ph.D. Thesis Research (minimum of 6 hrs total)
Other Recommended Courses
- 4330 Hormones, the Brain & Behavior (3 hrs)
- 4350 Emotions and the Brain (3 hrs)
- 4374 Clinical Neuropsychology (3 hrs)
- 5372 Social Neuroscience (3 hrs)
- 7403 Psychopathology (3 hrs)
- 7423 Quantitative Methods III (3 hrs)
To qualify for the Ph.D. degree, the student must:
- complete 60 hours of coursework at the graduate level, including credits from supervised research hours, transfer hours, and a minimum of 6 hours of credit for the doctoral dissertation
- pass the Qualifying Examination (both written and oral components)
- write a research paper approved by a faculty committee that is appropriate to be submitted to a scientific journal.
- satisfy the residency requirements (see University Bulletin for details) of the Graduate School
- propose, complete, and defend an acceptable dissertation project. It should be understood that the Ph.D. degree is awarded on the basis of scholarly excellence and demonstrated research performance, rather than for the mere accumulation of course credits.
Doctoral students are required to take written and oral Qualifying (or "Comprehensive") Examination after completing two years in the program. The examination committee will consist of the student's advisor and two additional faculty members. The committee may provide a broad reading list covering the traditional and modern literature in the chosen emphasis areas on which the student will be tested.
Fulfill a research requirement:
After passing the Qualifying Examinations and the major portion of their coursework, the student is required to conduct an independent research project prior to beginning their dissertation work. The purpose of this exercise is to give students experience preparing a research manuscript for publication. This normally will begin in the student's third year with the selection of a two- person committee, including the student's advisor.
Although not required, students are encouraged to present their research at a scientific conference appropriate for their work. Conferences students might want to consider include: Society for Neuroscience, American Psychological Association, Society for Psychophysiology Research, Midwestern Psychological Association, Science, Missouri Psychological Association.
The dissertation is a major project of independent research undertaken with the supervision of the student's advisor. The advisor and a committee of at least three additional faculty, one of whom must be from outside of the Department of Psychology, first review the proposal for the dissertation research. When approval of the proposal is given by the committee and the Graduate Dean, the student may begin data collection on the project. A final paper (dissertation) must be approved by the committee and defended by the student in an oral exam. A minimum of six hours credit for Ph.D. thesis research (Psychology 7492) is to be earned for dissertation research, although the doctoral student should register for the number of credit hours commensurate with the time required of the mentor that semester.