This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. We may add courses that expose our students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning. We may also add content to the general education program that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement, and may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program mission

The program offers an interdepartmental, integrated curriculum for graduate study leading to the Ph.D. in Neuroscience. The program prepares students to teach in the neuroscience disciplines at a university or academic health center and is distinguished by its objective to prepare students to function as independent research investigators.

Program goals

Upon completion of the Ph.D. in Neuroscience degree program, students will have:

  1. Demonstrated a mastery of neuroscience and related bioscience knowledge
  2. Developed effective oral, written and electronic communication skills
  3. Demonstrated the ability to formulate, design, implement and interpret experimental approaches
  4. Reached a level of competency to advance to positions as neuroscience researchers and teachers in a broad spectrum of academic, industrial and government employment venues
  5. Successfully obtained employment in a neuroscience-related position

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of neuroscience and biosciences and exhibit the ability to integrate and comprehensively and critically review the scientific literature with an interdisciplinary perspective.
  2. Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of oral and written communication skills with respect to content, organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating state-of-the-art technological advances in knowledge dissemination.
  3. Students will demonstrate their ability to identify a scientific question, formulate testable hypotheses, design and carry out experiments to test their hypotheses, and interpret their results.
  4. The candidate will demonstrate creativity and awareness to make significant contributions to neuroscience research in academic, private or government settings.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Medicine graduate program policies

The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on doctoral programs is available elsewhere in this chapter of the Graduate Bulletin.