Upon admission, students are assigned a graduate advisor who guides them through the program's formal requirements. The student also chooses a major professor who serves as a mentor and later supervises the dissertation research. Students work with their major professor and graduate adviser to design a course of study that may include courses offered by other graduate programs or departments.

Neuroscience Graduate Courses
Quarters offered:

     F - Fall quarter (September to December)

     W - Winter quarter (January to March)

     S - Spring quarter (April to June)

First Year Required Courses:

NSC 200LB – Laboratory Methods in Neurobiology: (3 units) Laboratory – 9 hours. Individual research in the laboratory of a faculty member. Research problems emphasize the use of contemporary methods and good experimental design. May be repeated three times for credit.  Instructors: Current Master Advisor (F, W, S)

NSC 201 - Neuroanatomy Lecture - 2 hours, Lab/Discussion - 1 hour. Lectures, demonstrations, and dissections emphasizing functional significance of neuroanatomy from a biological perspective, with comparisons between human and non-human brains. Emphasis placed on functional anatomy of the nervous system, integrated with cellular, molecular, cognitive and developmental concepts. (W) . 

NSC 221 - Cellular Neurophysiology Lecture - 3 hours, Discussion - 1 hour. Physiological aspects of cellular and subcellular organization of the nervous system. Neuronal cell biology, the structure and function of ion channels, electrical excitability, signaling cascades, sensory transduction and mechanisms of synaptic transmission, and the cellular basis of learning and memory. (F) 

NSC 222 - Systems Neuroscience Lecture - 4 hours, Discussion - 1 hour. Advanced course covering the integrative and information-processing aspects of nervous system organization. Topics include sensory systems, motor function, sensorimotor integration, the limbic system, and the neurobiology of learning and memory. (W) 

NSC 223 - Cognitive Neuroscience Lecture - 3 hours, Discussion - 1 hour. Neurobiological bases of higher mental function including attention, memory, language. (S) 

NSC 226 - Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology: (4 units) Lecture/discussion – 4 hours. Introduction to molecular and developmental neurobiology. Topics range from neurolation to development of sensory systems and include modern molecular methods and their application in developmental neuroscience. (F). 

NSC 298 - Responsible Conduct of Research Ethical Lecture Series Seminar - 2 hours/week. Advanced seminar composed of a short series of lectures and discussions focusing on key topics on ethics and responsible research. Each year dynamic speakers are invited to cover topics that are particularly relevant and current to the ethical conduct of research. All students, faculty, and postdoctoral fellows are expected to participate, to learn, and to provide insight into the impact of these issues on their own careers. (F, W, S)


Second Year Required Courses:

NSC 219—Design to Data: Statistics for Modern Neuroscience (4 units ) Lecture—4 hour(s). Prerequisite(s): graduate student standing in neuroscience or related discipline or consent of instructor. Statistical methods and applications for neuroscience. Quantitative foundations covering key concepts, methods, and applications, from descriptive analysis through data science. Statistical considerations in experimental design, analysis and statistical testing in hypothesis and data-driven contexts, and responsible conduct of research in the acquisition, storage, analysis, and presentation of scientific data (W). 

Elective Courses:

You are not expected to enroll in these courses until the completion of your core courses or after your first year of graduate study.  Additionally students may enroll in other graduate group courses. 

NSC/NPB/PSC 211 – Advanced Topics in Neuroimaging: (3 units) Lecture - 3 hoursCritical presentation and discussion of the most influential advanced issues in neuroimaging, emphasizing fMRI design/analysis and the integration of fMRI with EEG/MEG. (W)  

NSC 220 – How to Give a Scientific Seminar: (3 units) Lecture/ Presentations - 3 hours. Student presentations of selected neuroscience topics in seminar format. Must be taken in two consecutive quarters. Offered Winter and Spring quarters (alternate years). .

NSC 261A – Topics in Vision: Eyes and Retinal Mechanisms: (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. Structure and function of the visual system, with emphasis on the eye and retina, including optics, anatomy, transduction, retinal synapses, adaptation, and parallel processing.  Offered in Fall quarter (alternate years).  

NSC 261B – Topics in Vision: Systems, Psychophysics, Computational Models: (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. Functions of the central visual pathways and their underlying mechanisms. Recent research on aspects of anatomy, biochemistry, electrophysiology, and psychophysics, development, and genetics of the visual system. Offered in Winter quarter (alternate years). 

NSC 267 – Computational Neuroscience: (5 units) Lecture/discussion – 4 hours. Mathematical models and data analysis techniques used to describe computations performed by nervous systems. Lecture topics include single neuron biophysics, neural coding, network dynamics, memory, plasticity, and learning. Lab topics include programming mathematical models and data analysis techniques in MATLAB. (F).

NPB 270 – How to Write a Fundable Grant: (3 units) Lecture/discussion – 3 hours. Familiarization with the skills required to craft a successful grant proposal submitted to extramural agencies such as NIH and NSF. (S). 

NSC 271A – Core Concepts & Methods in Learning, Memory, and Plasticity, Part I : (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. The course will introduce students to the core concepts and methods used in studies of learning, memory and plasticity. This is the first quarter of a three-course sequence. It includes an overview of the behavioral paradigms and measurement approaches in human and animal studies of learning and plasticity, as well as a consideration of the functional, anatomical and neuronal mechanisms underlying brain plasticity. (F) 

NSC 271B – Core Concepts & Methods in Learning, Memory, and Plasticity, Part II: (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. The course will introduce students to the core concepts and methods used in studies of learning, memory and plasticity. This is the 2nd quarter of a three-course sequence. The 1st half will involve a detailed survey of methods to study learning, memory and plasticity, from the cellular and molecular level to the level of neural circuits. The 2nd half will describe areas of learning, memory, and plasticity research where recent progress has been made in linking across these levels of analysis. (W) 

NSC 271C – Translational Approaches to Learning, Memory, and Plasticity Disorders: (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. This course will introduce students to a range of neurological disorders, the effect of these disorders on learning, memory and plasticity, approved therapeutic options and current research designed to improve our understanding and treatment of these diseases: (i) the clinical presentation, diagnostic criteria, and existing therapies, (ii) mechanistic studies in humans and animal models, and (iii) molecular pathways involved in the disease and approaches for drug discovery. (S)

NSC 290C – Research Conference in Neurobiology: (1 unit) Discussion – 1 hour. Presentation and discussion of faculty and graduate student research in neurobiology. (F, W, S) Instructors: Principal Investigator.

NSC 292 – Cortical Plasticity and Perception: (2 units) Lecture/discussion – 2 hours. Examination of articles on cortical plasticity and changes in perception. Examples drawn from studies of the somatosensory, visual, auditory, and motor cortex. Offered Winter quarter (alternate years).  

NSC 298 – Group Study: (1-5 units) Variable. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring quarters. Instructors: Graduate Group Faculty.

NSC 299 – Research: (1-12 units) Variable. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring quarters. Instructors: Principal Investigator.

Specialty Courses:

Students are also encouraged to take specialty courses offered during the summers at a number of sites across the country. These courses are often specialized and expose students to experts in a particular field of research. 

Links to Specialty Courses:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole
Friday Harbor Laboratory
Bodega Marine Laboratory
Transylvania Experimental Neuroscience Summer School