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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Neuroscience

Offered by: Neuroscience, Integrated Pgm     Degree: Doctor of Philosophy

Program Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience involves conducting neuroscientific research that leads to a written thesis. The program offers opportunities for cutting-edge research in diverse fields of neuroscience, ranging from cellular and molecular, to behavioural and cognitive. The program provides research in multiple branches of neuroscience..


A thesis for the doctoral degree must constitute original scholarship and must be a distinct contribution to knowledge. It must show familiarity with previous work in the field and must demonstrate ability to plan and carry out research, organize results, and defend the approach and conclusions in a scholarly manner. The research presented must meet current standards of the discipline; as well, the thesis must clearly demonstrate how the research advances knowledge in the field. Finally, the thesis must be written in compliance with norms for academic and scholarly expression and for publication in the public domain.

Required Courses (6 credits)

  • NEUR 630 Principles of Neuroscience 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Neurology and Neurosurgery (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Neurology and Neurosurgery : An overview of cellular and molecular neuroscience at the graduate level. Topics include: synthesis, processing and intracellular transport of macromolecules; development of the nervous system including neurogenesis, axonal pathfinding, synaptogenesis and myelination; neuronal survival and response to injury; generation and propagation of action potentials; neurotransmitters and synaptic transmission.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Armstrong, Gary; Sossin, Wayne Steven; Cloutier, Jean-Francois; Bowie, Derek; Poulin, Jean-Francois; Ruthazer, Edward; Peyrache, Adrien; Zhou, Yang; Stratton, Jo Anne (Fall)

    • Fall

    • Prerequisites: BIOL 200 and BIOL 201 or equivalent; permission of instructor

  • NEUR 631 Principles of Neuroscience 2 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Neurology and Neurosurgery (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Neurology and Neurosurgery : An overview of the structure, function and interaction of neuronal systems of vertebrates. Topics include basic neuroanatomy, coding and processing of sensory information (somatic sensory, visual and auditory systems), control of posture and voluntary movement, learning and memory, processing of language and speech, cerebral blood flow, the neuroendocrine system and neuroimmunology.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Ragsdale, David S; Guitton, Daniel E; Sadikot, Abbas; Trenholm, Stuart; Cléry, Justine (Winter)

    • Winter

    • Prerequisite: A knowledge of basic mechanisms of biology, physiology, and anatomy as covered by respective undergraduate classes is expected and necessary to succeed in this course.

    • Restriction: Students must be enrolled in a graduate program at McGill University. Students from other universities, as well as undergraduate students from McGill require special permission from the Instructor.

  • NEUR 700 Doctoral Candidacy Examination

    Offered by: Neurology and Neurosurgery (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Neurology and Neurosurgery : A qualifying examination consisting of a formal presentation and oral examination of the thesis proposal. The questioning will pertain to the student's knowledge and understanding of his/her field of specialization in neuroscience as well as the research proposal. Its primary purpose is to evaluate the student's ability to carry out original scholarship. (The Candidacy Examination course is also conducted as part of the Transfer seminar for all students currently registered in the M.Sc. program who apply for transfer to the Ph.D.)

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • NEUR 705 Responsible Research Conduct

    Offered by: Neuroscience, Integrated Pgm (Interfaculty Studies)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies


    Neurology and Neurosurgery : Introduction to the ethics of scientific research and publication and to the distinctions between appropriate scientific conduct and scientific misconduct.

    Terms: Fall 2024, Winter 2025

    Instructors: Mendola, Janine; Ernst, Carl; Debruille, Jacques Bruno; Avoli, Massimo; Rochford, Joseph; Narayanan, Sridar; Van Raamsdonk, Jeremy; El Mestikawy, Salah; Chen, Brian; Bell, Emily; Ruthazer, Edward; Xiong, Lan (Fall) Mendola, Janine; El Mestikawy, Salah (Winter)

    • Restriction: Restricted to graduate students in the Integrated Program in Neuroscience

Complementary Courses (6 credits)

6 credits at the 500, 600, or 700 level, approved by the graduate program adviser.

Interfaculty Studies—2024-2025 (last updated Apr. 3, 2024) (disclaimer)
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