Required Core Courses

Graduate students are required to complete 3 Neuroscience Program core courses (listed below) prior to taking the Comprehensive Examination. (On rare occasions, core courses may be completed after the Comprehensive Examination; e.g., if a course is not available in a feasible manner. The student should make such arrangements in consultation with their mentor, the Program Director, and the Student Advisory Committee.)  Graduate students must achieve a grade of “B” or better in core courses in order to satisfy this requirement.  If a student receives a grade of less than a “B” in a core course, the course may have to be repeated or a student may have to perform remedial work as specified by the Student Advisory Committee, mentor, and Program Director.  Based on courses undertaken prior to entering the Neuroscience Program, some core Neuroscience course requirements may be waived.


Core Courses

PSY:6370 / 031:278          Principles of Neuropsychology, 3 s.h.

ACB:6252 / 060:252          Functional Neuroanatomy, 4 s.h.

BIOL:5653 / 132:247         Fundamental Neurobiology, 4 s.h.


Neuroscience Seminar (NSCI:6265 / 132:265)

The Neuroscience Seminar Series provides a weekly forum for research presentations by faculty and students of the Program, and by invited guest speakers.  The Seminar is attended by all students in the Program, by Program faculty, and by faculty and guests from other Departments and Programs on campus. 


Principles of Scholarly Integrity

All students are required to take a 1 s.h. course in scholarly integrity.  In addition, students continue to participate in education in these principles throughout their graduate training. 



All students are required to take 1 semester of statistics (at least 3 s.h.) for graduation. It is strongly recommended that the statistics course be completed before the Comprehensive Examination. Students with an extensive background in statistics can petition the Program for an exemption to the statistics requirement.

To satisfy the statistics requirement, students will normally take course PSY:5050 / 031:245, “Quantitative Methods in Psychology,” taught by Professor J. Toby Mordkoff in the Department of Psychology.  Professor Mordkoff normally offers this course in the Fall semester. This is a 4 s.h. course.

“I am from Taiwan, which means in addition to learning neuroscience, I also need to learn the language and culture of the United States. Iowa, especially the neuroscience program, provides me with an extremely friendly environment in which to learn. People in the program are warm, open-minded, and very willing to help me with my language questions, culture shock, homesickness, etc. In Taiwan, we say, “When you are home, you rely on your family; when you are not home, you rely on your friends. ” I made many friends in Iowa. In school, we help each other with classes and research. After school, we go out together, play sports together, and every once in a while, travel together (to nearby big cities and to conferences). Pursuing a Ph.D. degree is a long and difficult process. I am so glad that I came to Iowa for my degree because my friends and advisers here have been the always, most immediate, and most helpful support to me.”