Things you need to know when starting in this program


  • 37 credits distributed among courses as shown below
  • Completion of a research thesis (MA Thesis Research I and II, see below)
  • 3.0 GPA overall

Required Behavioral Neuroscience Courses (21 credits):

Required Other Courses (7 credits):

Behavioral Neuroscience Elective Courses (9 credits):

Masters in Behavioral Neuroscience (MABN) Research Thesis Guidelines:

In order to graduate, all MABN students are required to:

    1) submit a research thesis proposal
    2) give an oral presentation of this thesis, and
    3) receive a ‘satisfactory’ grade on all of the above.

In collaboration with the student and the research mentor, the MABN Program Head will designate two faculty readers (who, together with the research mentor, will form the student's thesis committee) for each student’s thesis project. To insure that the proposal, thesis, and oral presentation are worthy of a satisfactory grade, students are strongly encouraged to obtain feedback not only from their research mentors, but also their readers, on earlier drafts of all works. If the student and mentor consider it useful, a thesis proposal can be submitted in advance to the student's committee in order to obtain feedback before substantial data collection has begun.

Research thesis proposal (recommended but not required)
The research thesis proposal should provide an overview of the student’s thesis research project, and should contain a strong literature review, working hypotheses for the thesis project, experimental designs and proposed statistical analyses. The proposal can be submitted any time before the research thesis is submitted, to the student’s research mentor and thesis committee.

Research thesis
The thesis itself should thoroughly but concisely summarize the research project, and should make an effort to contribute to the area(s) of research of the mentor’s laboratory. It should include all of the sections found in a standard APA format manuscript (or acceptable format of a peer-review journal to which the work is being submitted). Although publication of the work is not required, a document of quality that is acceptable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal is strongly encouraged. If the work is published it can be submitted to fulfill the thesis requirement if it was primarily written by the student. If not, a thesis or manuscript, written by the student, is required.

Oral presentation of thesis
Additionally, the student must schedule an oral presentation of the thesis to the research mentor and the assigned readers before the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. The presentation should be approximately 20-30 minutes in length, and should summarize the work in the thesis using a Powerpoint presentation. If the student wishes, this can be a public presentation with other faculty, students and significant others attending.

Timeline and forms for thesis completion
After the oral presentation of the thesis and after the thesis committee is satisfied with the level of the written thesis (which may entail revisions), all members of the committee must sign the committee approval form. This form should be submitted together with a final version of the thesis to the MABN Program Head no later than one week after the last day of finals the semester in which the student plans to graduate. The MABN Program Head will save a copy of this form and then submit it to the Office of Graduate Studies. It is the student's responsibility to make sure the committee has a minimum of three weeks to review the thesis before the oral presentation of the thesis.

Although not required, students may choose to have their final thesis bound by the library. Details on how to do this can be found here.