Program of Study

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The INP offers separate graduate programs leading to M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in neuroscience.  If you are interested in the Ph.D. degree, you should apply to enter that program initially.  We do not require completion of an M.A. to enter the Ph.D. program.


The following are typical target deadlines for Ph.D. candidates:

  • Coursework:  years 1-2
  • Lab rotations:  year 1
  • Qualifying Exam:  year 1
  • Comprehensive Exam:  year 2
  • Dissertation Research and Committee Meetings:  years 1-5
  • Dissertation Defense:  year 5


The Graduate School requires a minimum of 72 credit hours for completion of the Doctoral degree.  The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program requires a certain number of these courses to be at the 8000 level or above (excluding research problems and thesis research).

(1) Required core courses
BioSci 8440 and BioSci 8442 – Integrative Neuroscience I and II (3 credit hr each; cross listed as Neurosci 8440 and 8442). All new incoming students will take these two courses.  Because different institutions may offer similar Neuroscience courses, students who have taken a comparable course may request a waiver of this requirement, contingent on approval by INP and their thesis committee.
(b) BioSci 8050 – Professional Survival Skills (2 credit hr).  All incoming students will take this course or an equivalent course in other departments.
(c) Scientific ethics (1 course, approved by thesis committee): possibilities include, but are not necessarily limited to, Biochem 8060, BioSci 8060, Psych 8910 (or 7820), MPP 8415, VetMed 8641, Grad 9001.

(2) Selection of core courses – Core courses are broadly divided into two groups:  cellular/molecular and system/behavior.  Ph.D. students will select one from each group and M.S. student will select one from either group.

  • Cellular/Molecular courses:
    • BE 7070 – Bioelectricity (3 credit hrs)
    • BioSci 7002 – Neurobiology of Disease (3 credit hrs)
    • BioSci 8450 – Developmental Neurobiology (3 credit hrs)
    • MPP 9421 – Neural Pharmacology (3 credit hrs)
    • MPP 9424 – Principles of Drug Action (4 credit hrs)
    • MPP 9426 – Transmembrane Signaling (4 credit hrs)
    • MPP 9432 – Mammalian Membrane Physiology (1-3 credit hrs)
  • System/Behavior courses: 
    • BioSci 7560 – Sensory Physiology and Behavior (3 credit hrs)
    • BioSci 7590 – Computational Neuroscience (4 credit hrs)
    • ECE 8570 – Theoretical Neuroscience I (3 credit hrs)
    • ECE 8580 – Theoretical Neuroscience II (3 credit hrs)
    • Psych 7240 – Cognitive Neurosciences (3 credit hrs)
    • Psych 8210 – Functional Neuroscience (3 credit hrs)
    • Psych 9210 – Psychopharmacology for Psychologists (3 credit hrs)
    • Psych 9001.5 – Advanced Neural Systems (3 credit hrs)
    • VBmS 8100 – Veterinary Neuroscience (2 credit hrs)
    • VBmS 9467/MPP 9437 – Neural Control of the Circulation (1-3 credit hrs)
    • BE 7001-04 – Brain Signals and Brain Machine Interfaces (3 credit hrs)

Note:  Other neuroscience courses may be offered from time-to-time and, if appropriate, may be substituted for the above courses upon approval by the INP

(3) Other required courses:
(a)   Statistic course – Students will select one statistics course on campus that best meets the needs of their program of study and that has been approved by their thesis committee.  Possibilities include, but are not necessarily limited to, Stat 7020, Stat 7070, Stat 7410, Stat 7540, Psych 3010.
(b)   Seminars
* Ph.D. students need to take at least 2 credit hours of a neuroscience seminar course (several are offered on campus) as well as 2 credits of a neuroscience journal club (e.g. BioSci 8187, Neurosci 8187, PAS 8500).
* Master students need to take at least 1 credit hour of a neuroscience journal club (e.g. BioSci 8187, Neurosci 8187, PAS 8500).
* All students are encouraged to attend neuroscience journal clubs and neuroscience seminars across campus.

Download a PDF of the course requirements:   INP_Curriculum-revised 7-2016

(4) Rotation and thesis research credits:
New students who have not yet selected mentors are encouraged to complete research rotations in two to three labs during their first year.  Rotations, which may last about 3 months each, are designed to acquaint students with the diverse research strengths among INP faculty as well as the different techniques of established investigators. Research courses:  Neurosci 8090 – Rotation research credits; and Neurosci 9090 – Ph.D. thesis research credits.  Also, Neurosci 7990 (non-thesis research) is available, primarily for post-baccalaureate students.

Certificates in Neuroscience

Non-INP graduate students at MU can apply for a  Degree-Program Certificate:
     Certificate in Neuroscience (requirements) 
Post-baccalaureate (post-bac) students at MU can apply for a Stand-Alone Certificate:
     Certificate in Neuroscience (requirements).

Forms for both certificates:     Grad Certificate Plan of Study1 (blank)
                                                Change of Degree Emphasis Advisor

MU Graduate Catalog, Neuroscience Certificates
MU Graduate Studies, Neuroscience Certificates

NOTESFirst, before you can fill out a Plan of Study from for these neuroscience certificates, you must physically reside in Columbia, MO and be currently enrolled at the University of Missouri (MU), either as a non-INP graduate student (e.g. in Biology, Psychology, etc.) or as a post-bac student.  The certificates are not obtainable via online courses or “distance learning” type arrangements.  Second, financial aid is not available from the INP for the neuroscience certificates.

Click on the following link regarding enrolling as a non-degree post-bac student.