Skip to main content


The following courses are a partial listing of suggested electives Neuroscience students should consider. These courses may not be offered each year so contact the course director to confirm its offering!! If you come across another elective you would like to take and it will benefit your research, please consult Mark Zylka or the DGS for permission. However, the electives must be graduate level courses. Most STEM type classes (2 units or greater) that benefit your research or scientific growth will fulfill the elective requirement.

CBPH 706 Scientific Grant Writing (1 cr)

Fulfills an elective requirement. Typically meets one day a week. Helps students prepare a grant of the format typical for grad student NIH grants. However, even if not applying for external funding, this course will help you put together a large part of a thesis proposal. Target year is second year students (or others that have not passed their thesis proposal exam yet). In collaboration with 2nd year Cell Biology & Physiology PhD students. Spring. Brenman. (with Deshmukh and Diering)

NBIO 710 (CBPH710) Advanced Microscopy (3 cr)

This course aims to provide the knowledge one may need to understand the reach of microscopy imaging techniques, to be able to choose the right imaging modality, label the sample, carry out the experiment, analyze data, and troubleshoot any pitfalls that may occur. Starting from the principles of microscopy, proceeding to the description of conventional and advanced modern techniques, and evaluating advantages and disadvantages of each method. Spring. Itano/Bear. Syllabus

NBIO 727 Translational Seminar in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (2 cr)

Introduces new neuroimaging techniques and their application to the study of the neural correlates of cognitive and behavioral impairments in a number of brain disorders. Spring. (alt years; taught Spring 2022) Belger. Syllabus

NBIO 729 Neural Information Processing (3 cr)

This course addresses the fundamentals of nervous system information processing and integration, with examples from sensory systems. Integrative operations are examined from the level of cells through higher brain functions. Fall. (alt years; taught Fall 2021) Manis. Syllabus

NBIO 733 Neurocircuits and Behavior Journal Club (1 cr)

This course involves discussion of new research papers focused on delineating how neurocircuits function to orchestrate various behavioral states. Papers for discussion will be chosen by instructor and students, and students will rotate in lead discussions. 1-2 papers will be covered each week in details, and students who are leading discussion are required to provide a short critique of their paper, which will be posted online on post-publication peer review forums. Spring. Mark Zylka Syllabus

NBIO 750 Neuroanalytics (4 cr)

The purpose of this course is to provide both practical and theoretical training in advanced data analysis approaches commonly used in neuroscience research. Over the past 10 years there has been a dramatic shift within the field from relatively simple data analysis approaches such as calculating means and standard errors of grouped data, to now performing complex analysis on higher dimensional datasets to uncover unappreciated features. The material in this course should be immediately useful to any student who is working with modern data collected in Neuroscience, from sequencing, electrophysiology, imaging, biochemistry, and behavior. The concepts in the course will be taught through programming in python. While understanding mathematical concepts behind analysis is important, we will largely focus on the big picture and try to illustrate concepts by emphasizing graphical representations of how datasets are treated with these approaches. Throughout the course, we will utilize real-world neuroscience data from a variety of sub-disciplines as examples, and also focus on teaching the implications and limitations of the approaches we cover. At the end of the course, students should have a solid foundation of scientific computing, which will prepare them to independently conduct analysis of their own data or prepare them for more advanced courses. Spring even numbered years only. Jason Stein, PhD and Guorong Wu, PhD.

NBIO 751 Neurodevelopmental Basis of Brain Disorders

Focus of this course will be what are the basic principles guiding the formation and maintenance of the human nervous system and how do distinct genetic/ epigenetic
disruptions during development cause different types of human neurodevelopmental disorders. The intent of this course is to present latest advances in developmental
neuroscience in the context of this theme. Topics covered will include neural patterning, neurogenesis, neural cell fate specification, neuronal migration, synaptogenesis, neural plasticity, glia, neuronal death, adult neurogenesis and brain repair.  Emphasis on the molecular, cellular, and genetic processes underlying the neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Holoprosencephaly, Microcephaly, Megalencephaly, Lissencephaly, White Matter Injuries, Autism, Schizophrenia etc.) specifically associated with each of these topics. Fall. Anton.

NBIO 800 Gene-Brain-Behavior Interactions in Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Towards an Integration of Perspectives on Disease Mechanisms (3 cr)

This seminar examines the topics of genetics, neuroanatomy, physiology, and behavioral development to provide a broad-based and integrated background to understand the etiology and potential mechanism underlying neurodevelopmental disorders. Fall. Dichter.

NBIO 801 Clinical Syndromes & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (3 cr)

This seminar-based course reviews the epidemiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of neurodevelopmental syndromes and disorders. Topics range from single gene to complex genetic disorders. Spring. Dichter.

NBIO 890.003 Special Topics in Neurobiology: Network Neuroscience (2 cr)

This graduate-level seminar course combines lectures and paper presentations on cutting-edge interdisciplinary research of dynamics and function of brain networks. The course is designed to be informal and highly interactive and requires active participation. Application of modern tools such as massively-parallel, electrophysiological recordings, large-scale computer simulations, optogenetic manipulations and advanced MR imaging represents a major focus. Frohlich. 

PSYC 420 Functional Neuroanatomy NOS-I red sGC green cGMP blue.jpg

Course description TBA soon. Spring. Boettiger.

PSYC 702 Brain & Behavior II (3 cr)

The primary objective of this 3 credit hour course is to provide an in-depth analysis of the biological basis of behavior with special emphasis on brain-behavior relationships. Topics will highlight the research interests of some of the Behavioral & Integrative Neuroscience Program and Neuroscience Curriculum faculty. The lectures and readings will emphasize various methodological approaches used for the study of (1) learning and memory, (2) psychiatric disorders including drug and alcohol abuse, and (3) the genetic contributions to behavior, including animal models in combination with pharmacological, genetic, optogenetic, and chemogenetic approaches. Grades will be based on: 1) in-class presentation of assigned research papers (60%), 2) two in-class closed book examinations (40%). This course is open and suitable for graduate students in Psychology & Neuroscience and in the Neuroscience Curriculum who are interested in studying the biological basis of behavior. Spring (alt years; taught Spring 2022). Reissner. Syllabus

PSYC 708 Seminar in the Biological Foundations of Psychology (3 cr)

Lectures and seminar presentations on a wide range of topics in the area of physiological psychology. Rotating Topics/Instructors. Instructors include: Boettiger, Carelli, Dykstra, Fuchs, Hollins, Lysle, Picker, Thiele. Recent topics: “Neurobiology of Alcohol” (Thiele) and “The Frontal Lobes”

PSYC 830 Statistical Methods in Psychology (4 cr)

Data analysis, sampling, applied probability, elementary distribution theory, principles of statistical inference.

PHCO 728 Neuropharmacology of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (3 cr)

This course will survey key concepts and recent literature related to the neuropharmacology of alcohol and other drugs of abuse. The first half of the semester will address a variety of topics such as alcohol pharmacology, alcohol actions on signaling pathways, mechanisms of alcohol drinking/reinforcement processes, alcohol dependence and withdrawal, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and pharmacotherapy for alcoholism. For the first part of the semester, each class will involve a presentation by a faculty member (first part of the class) and discussion of a research article selected by the presenter (second part of the class). Extensive student participation will be expected especially during the article discussion. The second half of the semester will focus on other drugs of abuse to be selected by the students participating in the class. Each student will give a presentation based on the assigned drug of abuse. This course is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of the neuropharmacology of abused drugs and to help with the development of critical thinking skills in evaluation of the scientific literature. The format of this course is designed to be highly interactive and will require active student participation. Spring. (alt years) Besheer. Syllabus

PHCO 744 Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

This graduate-level course addresses key issues in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine while providing insights into important aspects of developmental biology, stem cell technology, and human disease. Experimental systems to be studied include human stem cells as well as the mouse, zebrafish, and Drosophila model systems. Cell types to be explored include iPS and ES cells, the nervous system, epidermis, intestine, and cardiovascular system. The role of stem cells in human oncogenesis and their therapeutic use in human disease will be discussed. The class format combines lectures and in-class discussion of assigned readings selected from both seminal works and recent articles. Students are expected to have taken courses in genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology or to have acquired knowledge in those fields. Spring. Crews

PHCO 750 Applied Biostatistics

This largely self-study course will deal with basic statistical and quantitative methods for the analysis and interpretation of biomedical data. This course is required for pharmacology, toxicology and pathology graduate students. Fall. Graves.

image description

BIOS 600 Principles of Statistics Infer (3 cr)

Bios 600 is an introductory course in probability and statistical inference. This course serves as an introduction to the collection, summarization, analyzation and presentation of data.Topics include sampling, measurement, descriptive statistics, probability, tests of hypotheses, condence intervals, two-sample t-tests, ANOVA, simple linear regression, 2-way tables, and the chi-square distribution. Spring. Herman-Giddens. Staff. MONACO