Course Requirements and Schedule

Students typically complete their course requirements during the first two years in the program. The NB&B Program offers semester long academic courses and shorter "nanocourses" aimed at professional development. Two advanced, semester-long electives are required for the PhD.

First year graduate students in the Program typically take:

  • Responsible Conduct of Neuroscience Research/Policy (G6001).
  • Survey of Neuroscience (G4340).
  • Survey Neuroscience II: Systems & Behavior – GR6055
  • Analysis for Neuroscientists (or equivalent training in Rigor and Reproducibility).
  • In addition, students do three research rotations during their first year, which are a major part of the first-year curriculum

Second year students

  • Two elective courses relevant to the student's research. These could be chosen from among Program course offerings (go to list of courses ) or, broadly, relevant courses offered by any Columbia department.
  • Second and Third year students - Participation in Student-run Journal Club (one mandatory presentation per year) (Fall, Spring semesters, G4990).
  • Writing Skills for Neuroscientists I & II - Crafting a research proposal (GR7010 section 1); Building a specific aims page (GR7010 section 2).

Third year students 

  • Professional Skills for Neuroscientists (GR7030 sections 1-3).
  • Writing Skills for Neuroscientists III - Components of an advanced research proposal (GR7010 section 3).

Fourth year students and beyond

Fourth year students present research in progress talks: Presentation Skills for Neuroscientists (GR7020) 

GR7000 series courses are short nanocourses. While elective course work is typically completed by the end of the second year, as many graduate courses are offered in alternate years, the final course for some students may be in their third year. The curriculum is tailored to the students and requirements are flexible.

Note that MD/PhDs take the Medical School neuroscience course instead of the survey course, they can participate but are not required to take Crafting a Research Proposal or Responsible Conduct.

During their PhD years, MD/PhD students should register to take courses for a letter grade.