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.

See the current course list here

First-year students:

  • Responsible Conduct of Neuroscience Research/Policy (G6001)
  • Survey of Neuroscience I: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience (G4340)
  • Survey Neuroscience II: Developmental and Systems Neuroscience (GR6055)
  • Analysis for Neuroscientists (GR6030, 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 or, broadly relevant courses offered by any Columbia department, with Co-Director approval.
  • Journal Club - Two semesters (Fall and Spring, G4990)
  • Writing Skills for Neuroscientists I: Crafting a Research Proposal (GR7010, section 1)
  • Writing Skills for Neuroscientists II: Building a Specific Aims Page (GR7010, section 2)

Third-year students 

  • Writing Skills for Neuroscientists III - Components of an advanced research proposal (GR7010 section 3)
  • Management & Leadership Skills for Scientists (GR7070). Not required but strongly encouraged

Fourth-year students and beyond

Fourth-year students:

  • Presentation Skills for Neuroscientists (GR7020), required to present one Research in Progress talk
  • Professional Skills for Neuroscientists (GR7030 sections 1-3)

Fifth-year students

  • Responsible Conduct of Research: 5th year follow up (G9050)



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 have slightly different requirements, including taking the Medical School neuroscience course instead of the Survey I & II courses. They can participate in, but are not required, to take Responsible Conduct as this topic is covered in their Medical School courses.