Research and teaching in the neurosciences at Iowa are consolidated in two partially overlapping research tracks:
- Molecular / Cellular Research
- Cognitive / Behavioral Research
A set of core courses is required of all all students. Additional coursework is selected based upon the student's background and chosen area of expertise.
The curriculum is designed to provide a multidisciplinary foundation in the conceptual and methodological approaches to study of the nervous system, emphasizing original, independent student research. It is anticipated that most students will complete the program in four to five years (in fact, the average time to degree currently is right at 4.5 years). The first two years emphasize formal instruction, laboratory rotations, and directed research. The final two to three years emphasize research and the writing of the Ph.D. dissertation.
The comprehensive examination is typically taken in the summer of the second year.