Seeking University

Scott A. Oakman oakma001 at
Fri Dec 30 11:32:30 EST 1994

In article <3e018j$8lu at> D Humphrey, edach310 at
In article <3e018j$8lu at> D Humphrey, edach310 at
>  I know that this question is probably a waste of
>your precious time bandwidth

Believe me, we've seen far worse wastes of bandwidth than an honest inquiry
about how to get started in the field!  Welcome.

>but I'm a high 
>school senior interested in neuroscience wanting 
>to know which are the better universities in the 
>field.  Any suggestions (and reasons please!) are 
>-D Humphrey

The real "action" in neuroscience happens at the graduate level, and there are
a number of _great_ places to train, and even more _good_ places at which you
can find great people.

If you're choosing an undergraduate institution right now, you can get good
preparatory training *almost* anywhere.  It may vary from institution to
institution as to whether a department of psychology, physiology, or biology
is doing the training.  For example, in my undergrad training here I doubled
in Psychology and Physiology, and in the process hit just about all the
neuroscience-related courses (at that time) for undergrads here.  The main
thing you'll want to ask is whether you will get good, up-to-date training in
basic biological sciences and whether you will be able to find researchers
willing to give undergraduates a chance to do some real research in their
labs.  Those two factors will be the most important when it comes to applying
to grad schools later on.  The third thing that will help will be to use the
undergrad time to try to get a handle on the breadth of "neuroscience" and
just where within that field you want to investigate further.

Also--even if you choose one particular institution, don't feel that you must
be limited only to what's offered there.  For example, if you choose to stay
at a nice cheap state school close to home, you can still get a *decent* basic
training there PLUS you can consider one or two of the MANY excellent summer
research programs for undergrads.  Places like Cold Spring Harbor and Woods
Hole have intensive summer programs taught by world-class faculty.  Other
places (like here at U of MN) love to take in students from other institutions
during the summer and give them *paid* research experience.  Look
around--there are lots of opportunities.

Scott Oakman                                 
Graduate Program in Neuroscience
University of Minnesota
oakma001 at        
"Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the 
body."                                                                 -
Ecclesiastes 12: 12

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