Coursework Requirements

Students are required to take a total of nine 300- or 400-level course units for a letter grade. (No more than two 300-level courses may be included.) Of the nine required courses, four are core requirements and five are electives. The coursework requirement must be completed within 12 quarters.

Students may take more than nine courses, including beyond quarter twelve, as long as the advisor approves.

Consult course descriptions and schedules in selecting courses.

Core course requirements:

The following are taken during the first year:
NUIN 401-1,2,3 – Fundamentals of Neuroscience ( 3 units total)
NUIN 403 – Fundamental Molecular and Cell Biology for Neuroscience (1 unit)

A student earning a grade below B- in one of these courses must retake the course,

Elective course requirements:


A biostatistics course is required of all students, to be selected in consultation with student’s advising committee and with consideration of prior knowledge and thesis research. At the discretion of the Advising Committee, this requirement may be waived in cases that a student has extensive prior knowledge that is more than sufficient for the anticipated thesis research. Courses in a variety of departments may satisfy that biostatistics requirement:

Department of Public Health courses   (Registration for the Public Health stats courses requires a permission number.  For more information, please visit the Program in Public Health’s registration page. )
      • PH 302 – Introduction to Biostatistics
      • EPI BIO 302 – Introduction to Biostatistics
      • EPI BIO 402 – Intermediate Biostatistics
      • PH 421 – Intermediate Biostastisitics
Psychology Department courses:
      • Psych 351 – Advanced Statistics and Experimental Design
      • Psych 450 – Fundamentals of Statistics
      • Psych 451-1,2 – Statistics in Experimental Design

A number of Statistics Department courses may also satisfy the requirement

Great Experiments Course

 At least one elective must be a Great Experiments course:
      • NUIN 411-1 – Great experiments in Molecular and Developmental Neuroscienc
      • NUIN 411-2 – Great experiments in Cellular Neurophysiology
      • NUIN 411-3 – Great Experiments in Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience

The Great Experiments courses are intended to provide students with a scholarly experiment-based historical perspective of the concentration area. Via an in-depth reading of primary literature, students learn about the major ideas, findings, technical advances, and paradigm shifts that propelled the field forward. Students are expected to take their Great Experiments elective during their 2nd year. Students may take more than one Great Experiments course, but are required to take the one in their chosen area of concentration.

Selecting other electives:

In addition to the Biostatistics and Great Experiments courses, students take three true electives. These may be chosen from among courses offered through NUIN, the department of the student’s advisor, DGP, IBiS, or other departments. Electives should be chosen in consultation with the advisor and/or the Student Advising Committee, but most importantly, should be chosen because they are relevant to the student’s thesis research.

Note that a grade of B- or above is required for an elective course to count toward the coursework  degree requirement; more than one grade of C+ or below may result in dismissal from the program. A student earning a grade below B- in an elective may retake that elective or choose another.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course requirement:

NUIN 490 – Responsible Conduct of Neuroscience Research (0 unit)

Research registration:

During the first 8 quarters in NUIN, students register for NUIN 590 – Research. The number of units is selectable, and must be chosen to bring the total units taken to three or four (the criterion for full time student status). (MSTPs register for NUIN 590 during each of their first eight quarters in the graduate school phase. If graduate courses were taken during any Summer quarters during the M1-2 phase, they count toward the total of eight required 590 quarters.)

Beginning with the 9th quarter of study, students register for TGS 500–Advanced Doctoral Study, and possibly elective courses. (TGS 500 has no units value.) Elective requirements must be completed within twelve quarters.