Ph.D. in Neuroscience
The application deadline has passed. Applications for admission Fall '15 will be accepted in Fall 2014
How do our brains work? How do millions of individual neurons work together to give rise to behavior at the level of a whole organism? Training researchers to answer these fundamental, unanswered questions is the goal of the new Ph.D. program in Princeton's new Neuroscience Institute. Students in this program will learn to use the latest techniques and approaches in neuroscience. Most importantly, students will be trained in how to think, and how to develop new techniques and approaches: creativity and originality will be essential to cracking the puzzle of the brain.
Students in the Neuroscience Ph.D. will take lecture and laboratory courses; learn to read, understand, and present current scientific literature; develop and carry out substantial original research; and present their research at meetings and conferences.
Coursework in the Princeton Neuroscience Ph.D. program is based on the idea that hands-on experience is an essential part of gaining real understanding. During their first year, all students participate in a unique year-long Core Course that surveys current neuroscience. The subjects covered in lectures will be accompanied by direct experience in the lab. Thus, all students learn through first-hand experience what it is like to run their own fMRI experiments; to design and run their own computer simulations of neural networks; to image live neural activity; and to patch-clamp single cells, to name a few examples. This course offers students a unique opportunity to learn the practical knowledge that is essential for successfully developing new experiments and techniques.
Incoming students are encouraged to rotate through up to three different labs to choose the lab that best matches their interests. In this process, students may sometimes discover an area of research completely new and fascinating to them. Following their rotations, and by mutual agreement with their prospective faculty adviser, students choose a lab in which they will carry out their Ph.D. research.