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Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience

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  • Course description
    Only the doctoral program is offered (no master’s degree).  The Program is not designed to meet requirements for accreditation as to clinical competence in psychology nor in any discipline which has a certification procedure. It does, however, accept students in the M.D./Ph.D. Program at Boston University School of Medicine, or other students enrolled elsewhere in related programs (including the Master of Arts in Medical Sciences Program), to take some or all of the offerings. Boston University School of Medicine is an accredited institution. Behavioral Neuroscience is a degree-granting Program having the same representation as other Ph.D.-granting Departments in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences.

    Entering students are expected to have completed requirements for admission to the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, and also the following courses (or their equivalents): Introductory Psychology (one year); Experimental Psychology (one year); Physiological Psychology or Neuropsychology (one semester); Abnormal Psychology (one semester); and Statistics (one semester). Prerequisite courses not completed before registration may be completed while the candidate is in residence as a graduate student, but may not be presented for graduate credit. The Program is not, by itself, designed to meet requirements for certification as to clinical competence in Psychology nor in any discipline having a certification procedure. However, we will accept students enrolled elsewhere in clinical programs to take some or all of the offerings.

    In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School and of the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, each candidate shall fulfill the minimum requirements corresponding to the major area of specialization: Human Neuropsychology Seminars I and II; Neuropsychological Assessment; Basic Neurosciences; Statistics; Neuroanatomy; and Research in Behavioral Neuroscience. Students with primary interests in Aphasia will be required to take an additional course in Linguistics, and students with primary interest in Psychopharmacology will be required to take additional courses in Pharmacology. The student, working with an advisor, will develop a plan of course work tailored to the student’s background experience and ultimate career goals. The intent of the course requirements is to provide students with a firm foundation in basic principles and methods of Experimental Neuropsychology. Students will also display in-depth preparation by passing written and oral parts of the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination in at least five areas, of which the following are examples:

    Language disorders
    Disorders of purposeful movement
    Dementias Pathology of learning and memory
    Affective disorders
    Visuospatial and other perceptual problems
    Developmental disorders
    Neuropsychology of alcoholism
    Behavioral pharmacology
    Frontal brain systems
    Cerebral dominance

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