Senior Year Research
In addition to completing the requirements for the B.S. degree in Neuroscience, students provisionally accepted into the 4+1 Program in Neuroscience must register for three credits of undergraduate research per semester (NSCI368) during their senior year. This undergraduate neuroscience research must be conducted in your 4+1 research mentor's laboratory, and is usually technique-focused and exploratory in nature. However, it is often used also to satisfy the requirements for a Senior Thesis if the student so chooses, and is the foundational "pilot work" that the 4+1 Neuroscience student exploits to set up a successful 4+1 Master's Degree Thesis Proposal and Research Project, as per below.
Summer Research Residency
Upon completing the Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience and achieving graduate student status, as per above, students admitted into the 4+1 Program in Neuroscience transition immediately into their Summer Research Residency, for which they must register for six credits of graduate research in neuroscience (NSCI868). This step is particularly important since summer is a time when graduate students and their faculty mentors can devote the greatest amount of undistracted time and attention to research, particularly to the gathering and analysis of data for one's Master's thesis research. During their Summer Research Residency, 4+1 students must write and defend their Master's Degree Proposal, described below, and initiate their Master's Thesis Research.
Master's Degree Proposal
Any time prior to the start of the 5th year of studies, students will: a) present a concisely written thesis proposal to their Masters Thesis Committee and defend it orally. The Thesis Committee shall consist of the student's faculty mentor and at least two other members of the faculty, including at least one Behavioral Neuroscience faculty member within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Faculty from other departments or colleges within or outside the University may also serve as a research mentor and serve on the student's thesis committee, by mutual agreement of all parties involved and subject to approval by the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
Fifth Year of Graduate Studies & Research
During their fifth year of studies, students in the 4+1 Neuroscience Program take 10 credit hours of additional graduate course work in neuroscience, as given below, and complete 20 credit hours of additional graduate research in neuroscience, plus complete the Master's Thesis Research that they initiated and pursued during their Summer Research Residency. Hence, upon graduation, students in the 4+1 Neuroscience Program will have completed 10 credits of graduate course work in neuroscience and 20 credit hours of research in neuroscience (6 during the Summer Research Residency and 14 during the fifth year), for a total of 30 graduate credits beyond the Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience. Please note that neuroscience courses that were taken as an undergraduate cannot be taken again or credited toward graduate work.
Students in the 4+1 Neuroscience Program are required to register for one credit of NSCI866 each fall and spring semester, and regularly attend the Neuroscience "Brown Bag" Colloquia and Seminar Series that meet for one hour each week. These colloquia and seminars are an important forum for faculty, graduate students, and invited guests to present and discuss recent research.
Master's Thesis Completion
The culmination of a successful Master's Thesis research project results in a written Master's Thesis. Expectations for the Master's Thesis research is established by a student's faculty mentor with oversight by the student's thesis committee and must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Students in the 4+1 Neuroscience Program are required to register for two credits of NSCI869, Masters Thesis, during the spring semester of their fifth year. In order to allow for final revision and submission of the document in time to apply for the June graduation, the Neuroscience Master's Thesis must be submitted to, and orally defended in front of, the students Master's Thesis Committee by April 15th of the second semester of the fifth year.