All students will be required to take the 700 level Neuroscience course The Nervous System (full course). This course will cover the breadth of the field of Neuroscience in a series of modules, different instructors will contribute to teaching the modules and the course will be directed by a course coordinator.
Neuroscience is a very broad discipline covering topics from molecular mechanisms to the development of neuroprosthetics to new treatments for neurologic and psychiatric disease and this course will provide an introduction to the field. It will cover the structure and function of the nervous system from the properties of neuronal mechanism to the organization of higher level function. The goal of this course is to present current theories and research from the different areas of Neuroscience research that will prepare students for more advanced studies in Neuroscience.
Most students will transfer to the Ph.D. program without completing the Master’s degree. The transfer will occur within the first year of Master’s study generally after 10 to 12 months in the program. Transfer requires a written report and oral presentation of the report describing the student’s Master’s research.
Students who choose to finish with a Masters degree will complete a research project. A written thesis and oral presentation describing the student’s Masters research will be made to a committee of 3 faculty members appointed by the Director. The committee will examine the student on the Masters thesis and general knowledge of Neuroscience from the course taken in the first year.
A minimum of 1 (3 Unit) course beyond the Masters Degree requirements that must be from the list of Neuroscience courses and at the 700 level.
The list of Neuroscience courses covers the 5 areas represented in the graduate program: Clinical & Health Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience, Systems & Behavioural Neuroscience; as well as Statistics and Quantitative Methods for research.
Students will complete an original research project and this will form the basis of the Ph.D. thesis that will be presented following the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations.
PhD Comprehensive Requirement
The Ph.D. comprehensive requirement must be completed within 20 months of entering the Ph.D. program and is designed to examine the student’s ability to define a major question in Neuroscience research, to evaluate the research literature critically, and to design experiments to address the research question.
The student, in consultation with their committee, will select a topic that both meets the requirement for being conceptually and methodologically distinct from the thesis work and also informs the thesis work. The comprehensive will take the form of a grant-style research report focused on the student’s area of concentration. The student will submit the written proposal and be examined orally on the proposal as well as knowledge of the area of concentration. The committee will include the student’s thesis supervisor (non-voting member), one member from their Supervisory committee, and two additional members from the Neuroscience faculty.
The student’s performance will be judged as Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail. Students who fail will have a second opportunity to take the comprehensive exam. More information about the Comprehensive Requirement is available here.
The Comprehensives Evaluation Form can be found here.
All students enrolled in the Neuroscience program are required to have a supervisory committee that will help to direct the student’s research. The committee will consist of the student’s research Supervisor and 2-3 additional faculty members from the Neuroscience program. The committee will meet at least once per year to review the student’s progress and objectives for the next year.
All students will attend the seminars in the Neuroscience Program.
Seminars include weekly journal club, seminars presented by students and faculty, and regular colloquia presented by invited speakers. Master’s and PhD students are required to present one seminar in the weekly series describing their research.
Each year students enrolled in the Neuroscience program will submit a progress report to their supervisory committee detailing their achievements for the current year and goals for the next year.