Colorado State University

 

Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences

PhD Program

Graduate studies in the MCIN Program provide students with the knowledge about interdisciplinary neurosciences, as well as the communication skills and technical expertise to serve as the foundation for the doctoral students to become an independent investigator in academia, biotechnology or the pharmaceutical industries.

Suggested Application Date: For Admission in Fall 2017 - December 15, 2016

 


About the Program | Apply to the Program | Participating Departments | Graduate Student Guidelines

1st Year Curriculum | Stipends | Living & Housing | Student Outcomes


 

About the Program

This interdisciplinary graduate research and education program, established in 1986, has 32 faculty participants. The international reputation of the faculty members and their ability to attract strong extramural support has resulted in the program being designated as one of Colorado State University's centers of Research and Scholarly Excellence. Faculty research interests are focused in cellular, molecular and integrative neurobiology, with emphasis in areas related to neuronal differentiation, degeneration and regeneration, ion channels and membrane physiology, synaptic mechanisms, neuronal circuitry and chronobiology, sensory biology, artificial neural networks, cognitive neuroscience and neurovirology. Students interested in the cellular and molecular aspects of nervous system function and systems neuroscience are encouraged to apply.

Suggested Deadline Date for Fall 2017 Admission is December 15, 2016

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Apply to the Program

Applications should be submitted online via the Graduate School.


Questions should be directed to:
Brittany Runyan
Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Neurosciences Program
Special Academic Unit
Colorado State University
1680 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1617
Email: brittany.runyan@colostate.edu

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Participating Departments

Students can apply and be admitted directly to the program, or they can be admitted into one of the participating departments (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Computer Science, Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences, Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, or Psychology) and participate in program activities. Students admitted directly into the Program participate in laboratory rotations and may select from the laboratories of all participating faculty, regardless of their departmental affiliation, provided that the degree-offering department approves of the research topic for the Ph.D. In some instances where the degree-granting department is not the home department of the research advisor, assignment of a co-advisor from the home department will be necessary. The co-advisor will serve as a member of the student advisory committee.

At the end of the first year in residence, each student must select an advisor and the department through which he or she will work toward the Ph.D. degree. No formal degree is offered through the Program, but a transcript endorsement indicating the student has successfully completed the requirements of the interdisciplinary Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences Program will become part of the student's official record.

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Graduate Student Guidelines

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1st Year Core Curriculum for Neuroscience Graduate Students

An integrated firts year core curriculum provides essential material in a format that allows time for laboratory rotations. BC563 and BC565 provide a solid foundation in general cell biology and genetics, while BMS500, NB503 and NB505 focus on specifics of neuronal development and functions. Laboratory rotations provide exposure to essential techniques and a range of research questions. Journal clubs allow students to discuss primary literature and provide opportunities to present research articles to their peers in a relaxed environment.

FIRST SEMESTER
Course Title Credits
NB500 Readings in Cellular Neurobiology 1
BMS500 Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology 4
GRAD544 Ethical Conduct of Research 1
BC563 Molecular Genetics 4
NB793 Neuroscience Seminar Disc. 1
NB795V Independent Study (Laboratory Rotation) Var.
NB796 Journal Club* 1
Total Credits 15
NB Electives
NB771 Grant Writing 1
SECOND SEMESTER
NB503 Developmental Neurobiology 3
NB505 Neuronal Circuits, Systems & Behavior 3
BC565 Advanced Cell Biology 4
NB793 Neuroscience Seminars Discussion 1
NB795V Independent Study (Laboratory Rotation) Var.
NB796 Journal Club* 1
Total Credits 15
NB Electives
NB600 Adv. Psy.-Sensation & Perception 3
NB750 Physiology of Ion Channels 2
BIOM400 Kinetics of Biomolecular and Cellular System 3

 

*Students can choose either NB796A - Ion Channels; NB796C - Topics in Neuroscience; or NB796E - Neuroendocrine Mechanisms.

The above is the generally recommended course of study. The Admissions and Academics Committee may recommend substitutions depending on a student's background and goals.

The recommended course of study will satisfy the majority of requirements for a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Cellular & Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Psychology PhD requirements vary by area. Consult each Program for full requirements.

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Stipends

Students accepted into the Ph.D. program receive assistantships, usually for the duration of their graduate studies. The yearly stipend for 2015-16 is $24,000 for students accepted directly into the program. Departmental stipends may vary slightly from this amount. Tuition costs for domestic students are paid by the program or from faculty research grants that support the student. Students are responsible for fees totaling about $1,000 per year (twelve months); these fees cover the student center, student health service, student recreation center, student activities, athletics, the stadium, the auditorium-gymnasium complex, and free trans-Fort bus transportation. 

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Living & Housing

On-campus housing for married students is available with rent starting at about $700 per month (including utilities) for modern two-bedroom units. Off-campus housing is also available near the University. Living costs in this moderately sized community are reasonable, averaging about 10 percent less than those in the Denver-Boulder area.

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Student Outcomes

There have been 32 Ph.D. and 22 M.S. degrees conferred to students affiliated with the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences Program, some of which include the 35 new doctoral students that have been recruited directly into the program since 1994. The great majority of the graduates have successfully pursued careers in science. Of the 32 students who earned a Ph.D., 23 continued their training as postdoctoral fellows and 8 entered a science-related field.

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