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Path to Degree


  • Acquire the multi-disciplinary foundation in the Neurosciences you will need for your future research by taking the required First-year Neuroscience Sequence (Neuroscience I [Fall]] and II [Spring].
  • Expand your research skills by taking at least two Neuroscience Research Rotations (one in Fall one in Spring and an optional 3rd Rotation in Summer.  These will help you choose the laboratory for your Dissertation research. Attend the Neuroscience Collaborative Colloquium to learn about research opportunities at CUNY and hear visiting scientists discuss their latest research
  • By the end of the first year you should have selected a Dissertation mentor and identified a possible disciplinary area or problem for your Dissertation research.
  • Students are strongly recommended to submit an NSF GRFP (pre-doctoral proposal) by November of the first year.
  •  Note: For most students, the combination of the course work and laboratory rotations is likely to be unexpectedly demanding. We urge you to form study groups for the Neuroscience courses and to read carefully the Guidelines for laboratory rotations which are posted on the BCN website.
  •  Complete the online course in Responsible Conduct of Research.


  •  Meet the requirement of three electives, one of which must be a seminar-style course (in-depth and critical readings of the current literature).
  • Fulfill your Quantitative Methods requirements (6 credits) by selecting courses such as Statistics or Computational Neuroscience.
  • Attend a Responsible Conduct of Research workshop
  • Attend and make a presentation in the Neuroscience Collaborative Colloquium.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to submit a research abstract to a scientific conference. Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and present a research paper at scientific conferences starting in their second year.
  • Submit a proposal based upon one of your Research Rotations to the CUNY-DSRG competition.
  • Pass the First (Qualifying) Exam, which must be scheduled by January 15th and completed by the end of the first month of the spring semester, (required to continue in the program).
  • Register for Independent research and begin (or continue) collecting data on your proposed dissertation topic. If appropriate, gain experience with additional, potentially useful research techniques by working in another laboratory.


  • Continue the research to provide the preliminary data for your Dissertation proposal (Second Exam).
  • Complete elective requirement (if not done already)
  • Meet the Teaching requirement, either by a formal class or by mentored teaching experience.
  • Select a Second Doctoral Examination Committee, Pass the Second Doctoral Exam and (within 30 days) submit the one page Topic Proposal to the EO for Advancement to Candidacy* (Level III).
  • *Note: Students must achieve 60 credits before advancing to candidacy (Level III)
  • Students are strongly encouraged to submit an NIH (NRSA) Pre-doctoral Fellowship proposal or equivalent.


  • Select a Dissertation Committee
  • Prepare one or more publications based upon your Dissertation research data.
  • Apply for a GC Dissertation Fellowship, if appropriate


  • Prepare a portfolio in preparation for post-graduate research or teaching opportunities.
  •  Apply for an NIH or NSF post-doctoral training fellowship
  • Submit drafts of the Dissertation (or MSs) to your committee and for publication.
  • Schedule your Dissertation Defense: Consult the library as to appropriate timing and forms for its submission
  • Successfully defend the Dissertation.