2010 Teaching Neuroscience Workshop at SFN - Undergraduate Curricula and Graduate Expectations

Undergraduate Curricula and Graduate Expectations



Monday, November 15, 2010       |       9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.       |       Location: SDCC Room 4

This year's teaching workshop focuses on the undergraduate neuroscience curriculum and its match (or mismatch) with the expectations of graduate admissions committees. We will survey representative undergraduate programs, see detailed examples of the curriculum for two college programs (one that evolved from a psychology track and one centered in biology), and hear the expectations of three graduate admissions committees that seek prior strength in cellular and molecular biology, cognitive and systems neuroscience, or quantitative and physical sciences. The workshop will conclude with a general discussion and breakout groups.

The workshop is open to graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at every level of teaching experience. There is no fee or preregistration.







Survey of undergraduate curricula

    Richard Olivo     SLIDES     DATA TABLE


Examples of psychology- and biology-based college programs

    Eric Wiertelak     SLIDES

    Karen Parfitt     SLIDES


Expectations of graduate programs

    Scott Brady     SLIDES

    Steven Mennerick     SLIDES

    Michale Fee     SLIDES


Discussion and breakout groups

    General discussion followed by informal conversations.





Richard Olivo (Smith College, workshop organizer)

Professor of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience, Smith College; from 1996-2009, Associate Director, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University. Email: [email protected].


Eric Wiertelak (Macalester College)

DeWitt Wallace Professor of Psychology and Director of Cognitive & Neuroscience Studies, and former President of Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience. Email: [email protected].


Karen Parfitt (Pomona College)

Associate Professor of Biology and former President of Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience.
Email: [email protected]


Scott Brady (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Professor and Head, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and member of the SfN Committee on Neuroscience Departments and Programs. Email: [email protected]


Steven Mennerick (Washington University School of Medicine)

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and former Chair, Neurosciences PhD Admissions Committee.
Email: [email protected]


Michale Fee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Professor of Neuroscience and graduate admissions leader for systems-related faculty, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Email: [email protected]


We thank Bruce Johnson (Cornell University) for his invaluable help in organizing this session.


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