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Curriculum Requirements

Year One Courses

The listed courses below are core requirements meant to be taken within the first year of the program.

NEU 801: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neuroscience I 
3 credits, Fall Semester
Genetics, molecular and cellular biology of the developing and the adult nervous system.

NEU 802: Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience I 
3 credits, Fall Semester
Nervous system specific gene transcription and translation. Maturation, degeneration, plasticity, and repair in the nervous system

NEU 803: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Neuroscience II
3 credits, Spring Semester
Electrical and intra- and extracellular signaling mechanisms of neurons and glia in health and disease in the developing and mature nervous system.

NEU 805: Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience II
3 credits, Spring Semester
Anatomy and physiology of multicellular olfactory, visual, auditory, motor, somatosensory and autonomic nervous systems.

NEU 807: Strategies in Neuroscience Research 
2 credits, Fall Semester
Methods and underlying principles of neuroscience research

PHM 830: Experimental Design and Data Analysis
3 credits, Summer Semester
Practical application of statistical principles to the design of experiments and analysis of experimental data in pharmacology, toxicology, and related biomedical sciences.

Year Two Courses

During the second year, students have a choice between taking either FOR 875 (3 credits), or both CMSE 890-001 and 002.

CMSE 890-001: Computational Image Formation and Enhancement
3 credits, Fall Semester (first half)
An introduction to the basics of various medical imaging systems including MRI, CT, PET, SPECT, and the modern methods for image formation in these systems.

CMSE 890-002: Fast and Memory Efficient Algorithms for Big Data
3 credits, Fall Semester (second half)
Techniques for efficiently computing with extremely large datasets. Specific topics to be discussed include small space algorithms for computing data statistics, and randomized numerical linear algebra for large scale calculations.

FOR 875: R Programming for Data Science
3 credits, Summer Semester
Programming in R and use of associated open source tools. Addressing practical issues in documenting workflow, data management, and scientific computing.


Students need two electives. Students should take courses related to their research and can work with their dissertation committee to choose these courses. Electives are typically taken in Year Two. 

Dissertation Research (999) Credits

NEU 999: Dissertation Research

A minimum of 24 credits total is required by MSU to earn a Ph.D. Typically, these credits are taken over multiple semesters after the comprehensive exam has been passed. No more than 36 research credits can be taken.


Other Information