Degree Requirements - Ph.D. in Neuroscience

The requirements for a PhD degree will include:

• Research thesis
• Comprehensive examination in Neuroscience (Neuroscience 9600)

Course requirements
• Principles of Neuroscience (Neuroscience 9500): students will be required to enroll in this course at the beginning of   their full-time enrolment
• Perspectives in Neuroscience (Neuroscience 9510): students will be required to enroll in this course in each academic   year of their full-time enrolment
• Research Proposals (Neuroscience 9602, 9603): one in thesis area; the second one an expanded and more    in- depth version of the first grant, based on an CIHR grant application
• Additional courses as required by the student's Advisory Committee to prepare the   student for the comprehensive   examination and/or to provide background for the student's particular area of research.

Comprehensive Examination
The comprehensive examination must be undertaken within the first 18 months of registration in the PhD program. The purpose of the Comprehensive Exam is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of his field of research and related fields, the ability to critically reflect on different experimental approaches, to link different concepts and to conduct research at the level of a PhD student. There are two alternative forms of comprehensive examination that each student can choose from in consultation with the supervisor and advisory committee. Option 1: a Classic Comprehensive Examination or option 2: a Grant Writing Exercise.

Complete details regarding the comprehensive exam process can be found by clicking here

Program Thesis Examination
This examination is required by the Neuroscience Program before the thesis is sent to the Faculty of Graduate Studies for the Senate Examination. The examination is conducted by the candidate's Advisory Committee, with the supervisor or Program representative as the chairperson. The Advisory Committee can request that additional program faculty members serve on the examination committee. The examiners will make suggestions for improvement and corrections of the thesis.

Students may not submit their theses for defense prior to the completion of all of the above academic requirements. Assuming minimal revisions of the PhD thesis draft, the student should allow 3 weeks for the Program thesis examination, and 7 weeks for scheduling the Senate PhD examination from the time of submission.

Preparation of Thesis
Students should consult the Guide for the Preparation of Thesis, published by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, for criteria and specifications. Basically, there are three procedural steps for thesis submission:

1. Submission of the thesis for examination. Doctoral candidates are required to submit to the Faculty of Graduate Studies the original and four copies of their thesis for examination, with a completed Thesis Submission Form. Master's candidates submit to the Program Office the original and three copies of their thesis for examination.

2. Oral examination. For the M.Sc. degree oral examinations are arranged by the Program; the Faculty of Graduate Studies makes the arrangements for the Ph.D. orals.

3. Submission of the thesis for acceptance as partial fulfillment of graduation requirements. Candidates for master's and doctoral degrees who have successfully completed their oral examinations and who have made all required revisions to their theses must submit the original and two copies to the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Students will be required to pay a cost-recovery fee for the binding and microfilming of theses, as follows:

Microfiche for deposit in the National Library (Ph.D. Thesis only), registration with international abstracting service, and binding of 1 official copy for Weldon Library - approximately $107.00

Binding of personal copies for the student - $28.00/copy

(An additional copy of each thesis will continue to be required of each student for the Program but the $20.00 cost of binding will, as is now the case, be charged to the Program.)

A new guide for the preparation of theses may be obtained from the web site of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the following location: One notable change is that theses copies submitted for examination purposes may now be double-sided. The final copies must still be single-sided. Students will be required to
pay the cost-recovery fee for the binding and microfilming of theses. The current fees are available from the Program office.

Residency Requirement
The median duration of the PhD program is five years. The minimum residency requirement is 9 terms (three years).




Contact Us

Susanne Schmid, Ph.D. Co-Director
Stefan Köhler, Ph.D. Co-Director

Program Coordinator
Susan Simpson

T (519) 661-4039

Western University
Robarts Research Institute, RRI 3203
100 Perth Drive,
London, Ontario, CANADA N6A 5K8

Areas of Research

Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Neuroscience
Computational Neuroscience
Neural Substrates of Behaviour

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