Neuroscience PhD programs in the Northeast?

SA nospam at nospam.net
Sun Jun 10 02:56:42 EST 2001

In article <3B1FFFD7.F34F9710 at earthlink.net>,
 "Mark D. Morin" <mdmpsyd at PETERHOOD69.earthlink.net> wrote:

> Mark Zarella wrote:
> > 
> > Hello.  I'm wondering if any of you can recommend any colleges in New
> > England or New York state to pursue a PhD in neuroscience - aside from the
> > bigger, more well-known ones in Boston, for instance.  I'm particularly
> > interested in areas like upstate NY, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
> > I've found quite a few online and have reviewed their sales pitches, etc but
> > I'm curious to know if any of you have either attended or had dealings with
> > any, or if you're just aware of something about a few of their programs that
> > I won't find in the literature.  Thanks in advance!
> The only one I'm familiar with is the "big one" in Cambridge (not
> boston).  Didn't know there were any programs in Maine.

Well, if you must, there are plenty decent programs outside Boston in 
the N.E.  Not the best, but there are some mostly Behavioral 
Neuroscience programs in Psych Depts. Neuroscience interdisciplinary 
programs, IMHO do not do well unless there is a critical mass and an 
excellent (not good, but excellent) Med School. Butthere are lots of 
programs, e.g.

UVm - in the Psych Dept
UConn - in the Psych Dept
SUNY Stonybrook - in the Psych Dept and outside
SUNY Binghampton - in the psych dept and outside
UMass - Amherst

Of course there is Yale as well, although this program has deteriorated 
recently it will probably go back up.

There are several in Canada, most notable Univ of Toronto, which is 
outstanding, and McGill, which is excellent.  

All this said, you are putting yourself at a seirous disadvantage here. 
The most important factor, is your mentor, the second most important is 
how weell connected your committee is. Unimportant is the precise school 
and its supposed reputation, as long as it is an AAU school. There are 
very few modern "excellent" Neuroscience programs, and by and large the 
most important factor will be your faculty advisor, although to a lesser 
degre the program will determine (1) your stipend levels and (2) your 
abiluty to switch mentors if there are problems with your initial choice 
(which happens more often than you think). With that, you must first 
decide your topic area, neuroscience is vast, and schools that are quite 
good, for example, in molecular neuroscience may have noone at all in 
the systems or behavioral end (VERY VERY few have a full range of 
neuroscientists, and these are only schools with >100 neuroscientists 
like UCLA and UCSD, most schools have about 10 neuroscientists on campus 
and they usually do similar work because they hired eachother). So you 
need to be extremely careful about your opportunities, choosing a mentor 
(and graduate school) can make the differnce of 4-5 years of happy but 
very hard work to 5-8 years of total and complete misery.

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