SPECIALIST PROGRAM IN NEUROSCIENCE (SCIENCE)

The Specialist program in Neuroscience is a research-intensive program designed to provide students with strong breadth in the major domains of neuroscience, as well as an opportunity to intensively focus on one of the following three streams:

A. Systems/Behavioural: this stream examines the neural mechanisms underlying behaviour and how brain circuits work together to analyze external stimuli, internal biological states, and past experiences in order to coordinate appropriate responses, predominantly through the use of in vivo approaches in behaving subjects (e.g., optogenetics, chemogenetics).

B. Cellular/Molecular: this stream explores the nervous system at its most fundamental level, investigating the influence of genes, signalling molecules, and cellular morphology on the development and maintenance of brain function, predominantly through the use of in vitro techniques (e.g., immunohistochemistry, patch clamp).

C. Cognitive: this stream focuses on understanding the neural basis of human cognition (e.g., language, memory, attention, decision-making) predominantly through the use of patient neuropsychology and neuroimaging techniques (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electroencephalography (EEG)).

Enrolment Requirements

Enrolment in the Program is limited, and takes place in two stages.

Stage 1:

Students may apply to Stage 1 after successfully completing a minimum of 4.0 credits, including the Scientific Foundations courses: BIOA01H3, BIOA02H3, CHMA10H3, CHMA11H3, [MATA29H3 or MATA30H3], PSYA01H3, and PSYA02H3. Students must have a CGPA of 2.75 or higher to be admitted to the program. Application for admission will be made to the Office of the Registrar through ACORN, in March/April and June/July. For more information on applying to limited enrolment programs, please visit the Office of the Registrar website.

Stage 2:

To complete the program, students must choose one of the three available streams. Students who have successfully met the enrolment requirements of their chosen stream will be admitted to the Specialist Neuroscience Stage 2 category. Applications for admission to a Stage 2 stream will be made to the Office of the Registrar through ACORN in March/April and June/July.

Before applying to their chosen stream, students must:

1. Complete a minimum of 10.0 credits including all Stage 1 Scientific Foundations course requirements, as well as the Neuroscience Foundations courses which include BIOB10H3, NROB60H3, NROB61H3, [PSYB07H3 or STAB22H3], PSYB55H3, PSYB70H3;

2. Complete 1.0 credit in Stream Foundations courses from the following list*:
BIOB11H3 Molecular Aspects of Cellular and Genetic Processes
CSCA20H3 Introduction to Programming
CHMB41H3 Organic Chemistry I
CHMB42H3 Organic Chemistry II
MATA23H3 Linear Algebra
[PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences or PHYA11H3 Physics I for the Life Sciences]
PSYB51H3 Introduction to Perception
PSYC08H3 Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology
PSYC09H3 Applied Multiple Regression in Psychology

*Notes:
(i) students are advised to exercise caution when selecting these courses since some can be applied to all three streams (BIOB11H3, CHMB41H3, PSYB51H3, PSYC08H3), but others can be applied to only one or two streams;
(ii) the Cognitive stream does not include a component called "Stream-specific electives"; students interested in this stream should select from the following: MATA23H3, BIOB11H3, CHMB41H3, PSYB51H3, [PSYC08H3 or PSYC09H3].

3. Have achieved a CGPA of 2.5 or higher.

Students who do not meet the Stage 1 enrolment requirements can still apply to the Specialist program at Stage 2. This pathway requires students to complete a minimum of 10.0 credits, including all of the core courses of the program (Scientific Foundations, Neuroscience Foundations, and Stream Foundations). In addition to completing the course requirements, students must also have achieved a CGPA of 2.5 or higher across all courses, and a CGPA of 2.75 or higher across the Neuroscience Foundations and Stream Foundations courses. Application for admission to a Stage 2 stream will be made to the Office of the Registrar through ACORN in March/April and June/July. Admission through this route is dependent upon the availability of space in the program.

Program Requirements
This program requires students to complete 6.5 credits in core courses that are common to all streams. Students completing the Systems/Behavioural and Cellular/Molecular streams will complete a further 6.5 credits for a total of 13.0 credits; students completing the Cognitive stream will complete a further 7.0 credits for a total of 13.5 credits.

CORE (6.5 credits)

1. Scientific Foundations (3.5 credits):
BIOA01H3 Life on Earth: Unifying Principles
BIOA02H3 Life on Earth: Form, Function and Interactions
CHMA10H3 Introductory Chemistry I: Structure and Bonding
CHMA11H3 Introductory Chemistry II: Reactions and Mechanisms
[MATA29H3 Calculus I for the Life Sciences or MATA30H3 Calculus I for Physical Sciences]
PSYA01H3 Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology
PSYA02H3 Introduction to Clinical, Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology

2. Neuroscience Foundations (3.0 credits):
BIOB10H3 Cell Biology
NROB60H3 Neuroanatomy Laboratory
NROB61H3 Neurophysiology
PSYB55H3 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
[PSYB07H3 Data Analysis in Psychology or STAB22H3 Statistics I]
PSYB70H3 Methods in Psychological Science

A. Systems/Behavioural Stream (6.5 credits)

3. Quantitative Logic and Reasoning (1.0 credit):
PSYC08H3 Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology
and one of the following:
CSCA20H3 Introduction to Programming
[PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences or PHYA11H3 Physics I for the Life Sciences]

4. Advanced Foundations (2.0 credits)
BIOB11H3 Molecular Aspects of Cellular and Genetic Processes
and three of the following:
NROC34H3 Neuroethology
NROC61H3 Learning and Motivation
NROC64H3 Sensorimotor Systems
NROC69H3 Synaptic Organization & Physiology of the Brain

5. Stream-specific electives (1.0 credit)
two of the following:
BIOC14H3 Genes, Environment and Behaviour
CHMB41H3 Organic Chemistry I
CHMB42H3 Organic Chemistry II
NROC36H3 Molecular Neuroscience
PSYC62H3 Drugs and the Brain

6. Breadth in Neuroscience (1.0 credit):
two of the following:
CHMB41H3* Organic Chemistry I
NROC36H3* Molecular Neuroscience
NROC69H3* Synaptic Organization & Physiology of the Brain
PSYB51H3 Introduction to Perception
PSYC51H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision
PSYC52H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention
PSYC57H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making
PSYC59H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Language
*only if not used to complete components A4 or A5 of the requirements

7. Laboratory Course (0.5 credit):
one of the following:
NROC63H3 Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory
NROC90H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience
NROC93H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience
PSYC74H3 Human Movement Laboratory

8. Capstone Courses (1.0 credit):
two of the following:
BIOD07H3 Advanced Topics and Methods in Neural Circuit Analysis
BIOD19H3 Epigenetics in Health and Disease
BIOD45H3 Animal Communication
BIOD65H3 Pathologies of the Nervous System
NROD08H3/​BIOD08H3 Theoretical Neuroscience
NROD60H3 Current Topics in Neuroscience
NROD61H3 Emotional Learning Circuits
NROD66H3 Drug Addiction
NROD67H3 Neuroscience of Aging
NROD98Y3 Thesis in Neuroscience
PSYD66H3 Current Topics in Human Brain & Behaviour

B. Cellular/Molecular Stream (6.5 credits)

3. Quantitative Logic and Reasoning (1.0 credit):
PSYC08H3 Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology
and one of the following:
CSCA20H3 Introduction to Programming
[PHYA10H3 Physics I for the Physical Sciences or PHYA11H3 Physics I for the Life Sciences]

4. Advanced Foundations (2.0 credits)
BIOB11H3 Molecular Aspects of Cellular and Genetic Processes
CHMB41H3 Organic Chemistry I
NROC36H3 Molecular Neuroscience
NROC69H3 Synaptic Organization & Physiology of the Brain

5. Stream-specific electives (1.0 credit)
two of the following:
BIOC12H3 Biochemistry I: Proteins & Enzymes
BIOC13H3 Biochemistry II: Bioenergetics & Metabolism
BIOC14H3 Genes, Environment and Behaviour
CHMB42H3 Organic Chemistry II
NROC34H3 Neuroethology
NROC61H3 Learning and Motivation
NROC64H3 Sensorimotor Systems
PSYC62H3 Drugs and the Brain

6. Breadth in Neuroscience (1.0 credit):
two of the following:
NROC34H3* Neuroethology
NROC61H3* Learning and Motivation
NROC64H3* Sensorimotor Systems
PSYB51H3 Introduction to Perception
PSYC51H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision
PSYC52H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention
PSYC57H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making
PSYC59H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Language
*only if not used to complete component B5 of the requirements

7. Laboratory Course (0.5 credit):
one of the following:
BIOB12H3 Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory
NROC60H3 Cellular Neuroscience Laboratory
NROC90H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience
NROC93H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience

8. Capstone Courses (1.0 credit):
two of the following:
BIOD07H3 Advanced Topics and Methods in Neural Circuit Analysis
BIOD19H3 Epigenetics in Health and Disease
BIOD65H3 Pathologies of the Nervous System
NROD08H3/​BIOD08H3 Theoretical Neuroscience
NROD60H3 Current Topics in Neuroscience
NROD61H3 Emotional Learning Circuits
NROD66H3 Drug Addiction
NROD67H3 Neuroscience of Aging
NROD98Y3 Thesis in Neuroscience
PSYD66H3 Current Topics in Human Brain & Behaviour

C. Cognitive Stream (7.0 credits)

3. Quantitative and Methodological Skills (1.5 credits):
PSYC02H3 Scientific Communication in Psychology
PSYC70H3 Advanced Research Methods Laboratory
[PSYC08H3 Advanced Data Analysis in Psychology or PSYC09H3 Applied Multiple Regression in Psychology]

4. Advanced Programming (1.5 credits)
MATA23H3 Linear Algebra
[[CSCA08H3 Introduction to Computer Science I and CSCA48H3 Introduction to Computer Science II]* or [PSYB03H3 Introduction to Computers in Psychological Research and PSYC03H3 Introduction to Computers in Psychological Research: Advanced Topics]]
*Note: students are strongly advised to choose the [PSYB03H3 and PSYC03H3] pairing.

5. Advanced Foundations (1.5 credits)
PSYB51H3 Introduction to Perception
and two of the following:
PSYC51H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision
PSYC52H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention
PSYC57H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Decision Making
PSYC59H3 Cognitive Neuroscience of Language

6. Breadth in Neuroscience (1.0 credit):
two of the following (at least 0.5 credit must be a C-level NRO course):
BIOB11H3 Molecular Aspects of Cellular and Genetic Processes
CHMB41H3 Organic Chemistry I
NROC34H3 Neuroethology
NROC36H3 Molecular Neuroscience
NROC61H3 Learning and Motivation
NROC64H3 Sensorimotor Systems
NROC69H3 Synaptic Organization & Physiology of the Brain

7. Laboratory Course (0.5 credit):
one of the following:
NROC90H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience
NROC93H3 Supervised Study in Neuroscience
PSYC75H3 Cognitive Psychology Laboratory
PSYC76H3 Brain Imaging Laboratory

8. Capstone Courses (1.0 credit):
two of the following:
PSYD17H3 Social Neuroscience
PSYD50H3 Current Topics in Memory and Cognition
PSYD51H3 Current Topics in Perception
PSYD54H3 Current Topics in Visual Recognition
PSYD55H3 Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Laboratory
PSYD66H3 Current Topics in Human Brain & Behaviour
NROD98Y3 Thesis in Neuroscience