Curriculum

To complete a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, 90 semester hours are required, with a dissertation. Students in the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience currently enter the program through either:

(1) the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS), which serves as a gateway into the basic science graduate programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; 

or

(2) directly into the neuroscience program;.

Typical Plan of Study for Ph.D. students  that enter the program through GPiBS or direct admit

or

(3)through the M.D./Ph.D. program.

All first year graduate students complete interdisciplinary coursework emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with three required research rotations with an optional fourth rotation. Once students commit to obtaining a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, specialized courses in neuroscience are taken and research leading to the dissertation is conducted. The following courses are required of all neuroscience graduate students: Neurobiology of Disease, Neuroscience Methods, and Current Topics in Neuroscience. Students entering through the GPiBS track must also take Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology. Additional electives in specialty areas are also encouraged during the latter years of the program, under the advisement of each student's dissertation mentor. A sample curriculum of a typical program of study is provided for students entering through the GPiBS track and the M.D./Ph.D. program.
Sample Curriculum through M.D./Ph.D. track

  • First year: All students complete interdisciplinary coursework emphasizing molecular aspects of cell and organismal biology, along with three required rotations and a fourth optional rotation.
  • Second year and beyond: Students take advanced classes relevant to neuroscience and focus on their research.
  • General exam: A general exam is administered in the Spring Semester of Year 2. Students must pass this examination to advance into candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. The general exam is a comprehensive exam that consists of both an in-house and take-home written portion as well as an oral question and answer session by a panel of OCNS faculty members.