PhD in Anatomy & Neurobiology

This 64-credit doctoral program includes courses in anatomy and neuroscience that are part of the medical school curriculum and are offered within this department or are offered by related departments on the Medical Campus. An integral part of the program is the requirement for students to participate as Teaching Fellows in medical and graduate school courses as part of our Vesalius Teaching Apprenticeship. The PhD program is designed to produce well-rounded biomedical scientists who expect to include both research and teaching in their career.

The PhD curriculum consists of required courses, seminars, and electives as well as Dissertation Research.

Overview of the PhD Program (64 credits)

  • Required Courses: 44–48 credits, including 4 credits of department seminar courses
  • Electives and/or research: 20–24 credits

Required Courses

Anatomy focus: 48 credits; Neuroscience focus: 44 credits

  • GMS AN 701/810 Medical Gross Anatomy or Systems Neurobiology (8 cr/4 cr)
  • GMS AN 703 Medical Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 704/MS 700 Experimental Design & Statistical Methods or Elementary Biostatistics (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 715 Professional Skills (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 718 Methods in Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 724/722 Advanced Neuroanatomy or Cells, Organs, and Tissues (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 777 Fundamentals of Cell & Molecular Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 802 Research Colloquium in Anatomy & Neurobiology (Journal Club) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 803 Scientific Writing (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 804 Vesalius II: Teaching Apprenticeship (6 cr)
  • GMS AN 806 Vesalius I: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 811/IM 600 Cognitive Neuroscience or Biomedical Imaging Foundations (4 cr)
  • Two departmental seminar courses (see list below) (4 cr)

Department Seminar Courses

  • GMS AN 702 Learning and Memory (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 707 Neurobiology of Aging (offered biannually) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 807 Neurobiology of the Visual System (offered biannually) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 820 Dynamic Modeling (2 cr)

Department Electives

  • GMS AN 708 Advanced Clinical Anatomy (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 716 Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (offered biannually) (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 805 Vesalius III: Mentored Teaching Project (Practicum) (2 cr)
  • GMS FA 712 Human Anatomy and Osteology (4 cr)
  • GMS FA 806 Advanced Human Osteology (4 cr)
  • GMS FS 702 Forensic Biology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 712 Forensic Pathology (3 cr)
  • GMS FS 720 Molecular Biology of Forensic DNA (3 cr)
  • GMS IM 630 Methods of Functional Imaging of the Brain (2 cr)
  • GMS MS 783 Molecular Basis of Neurologic Disease (2 cr)

Requirements for the Optional PhD Vesalius Certificate

To pursue the Vesalius Certificate, students are required to have taken at least two of the following prerequisite courses:

  • GMS AN 701 Medical Gross Anatomy (8 cr)
  • GMS AN 703 Medical Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 810 Systems Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 811 Cognitive Neuroscience (4 cr)

The certificate consists of three courses/components, two of which (Vesalius I & II) are included in the list of required courses for all PhD students. The program begins with a course on the development of teaching skills in the biomedical sciences. This is followed by a teaching apprenticeship (240 hours service as a Teaching Fellow in one or more of the medical or graduate required courses, above), and concludes with a Mentored Teaching Project that involves the development of a didactic lesson or exercise under the direct mentorship of experienced and award-winning faculty.

  • GMS AN 804 Vesalius II: Teaching Apprenticeship (6 cr)
  • GMS AN 805 Vesalius III: Mentored Teaching Project (Practicum) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 806 Vesalius I: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)

Example of a Typical PhD Curriculum

(see required courses and options above)

Year 1: Fall (10–14 credits)

  • GMS AN 701/810 Medical Gross Anatomy or Systems Neurobiology (8 cr/4 cr)
  • GMS AN 703 Medical Neuroscience (credits assigned in Spring, 4 cr)
  • GMS AN 704/MS 700 Experimental Design & Statistical Methods or Elementary Biostatistics (2 cr)

Year 1: Spring (10–16 credits)

  • GMS AN 801/802 Research Colloquium in Anatomy & Neurobiology (Journal Club*) (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 806 Vesalius I: Teaching in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)
  • GMS AN 811/724 Cognitive Neuroscience and/or Advanced Neuroanatomy (4 cr/4 cr)
  • Elective(s) (see list above) (2–4 cr)

*Journal Club is taken once each year, but only one time for credit.

Year 2: Fall (10 credits)

  • GMS AN 722 Cells, Organs, and Tissues (Histology) or elective(s) (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 777 Fundamentals of Cell & Molecular Neurobiology (4 cr)
  • GMS AN 803 Scientific Writing (2 cr)

Year 2: Spring (variable credit)

Note: This is when most students take their PhD qualifying exam.

  • GMS AN 715 Professional Skills for Students in the Biomedical Sciences (2 cr)
  • Advanced seminar (see list above) (2 cr)
  • Elective(s) (see list above) (variable credit)

Year 3: Fall (variable credit)

  • GMS AN 805 Vesalius II: Teaching Apprenticeship (continues to 240 hours) (6 cr)
  • Elective(s) (see list above) (variable credit)
  • Research (variable credit)

Year 3: Spring (variable credit)

  • Advanced seminar (see list above) (variable credit)
  • Elective(s) (see list above) (variable credit)
  • Research (variable credit)

Year 4: Fall–Spring (variable credit)

  • Research and dissertation (variable credit)

Year 5: Fall–Spring (variable credit)

  • Research and dissertation (variable credit)