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NET Program Curriculum and Admissions
The NeuroEngineering Curriculum provides courses in which students from a neuroscience background and students from an engineering background learn side by side. We aim to achieve a creative mix of students and faculty with diverse backgrounds, approaches, and ideas. Many courses are taught by both neuroscientists and engineers. First-year students participate in at least two laboratory rotations, one in neuroscience and one in engineering. Students also attend a “meet-the-professors” seminar series and an annual retreat. Advanced teaching assistants provide supplemental instruction according to student needs. In the second year and thereafter, curricular paths may take individualized directions depending on the thesis project. Meanwhile, NeuroEngineering students continue to participate in common activities including seminars, journal clubs, and research projects. In our program, neuroscientists and engineers find common goals, belong to the same community, and pursue novel, collaborative approaches to reach well beyond the possibilities offered by each discipline alone. For additional information on the NeuroEngineering Specialty, please see:
Students intending to receive a Ph.D. in the NET Program apply to one of two established Ph.D. Programs at UCLA: the Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program for Neuroscience, or the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering. Students entering the NET Program will have graduated with undergraduate degrees in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, or one of the Life Sciences (e.g., Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Physiology, or Psychology). Engineering students must have taken at least one undergraduate course in biology, one course in chemistry, and a year of physics. Students from non-engineering backgrounds are required to have taken courses in undergraduate calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra, in addition to at least a year of undergraduate courses in each of the following: organic and biochemistry, physics, and biology.
During each academic year students attend a retreat for students and faculty in both the NeuroEngineering program, and the Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program for Neuroscience. Students engage in planning the retreat programs, and the retreats include talks (by students, faculty, and invited guests), poster presentations, panels, debates, and small-group discussions. These retreats provide the opportunity for students and faculty to meet informally to learn about each other’s areas and to envision the future of this new discipline. The annual retreats also allow students to begin the process of choosing research topics.
In addition to the annual retreat, usually held in the fall, NET students present posters at a poster session during Spring Quarter to discuss their research projects in detail with NeuroEngineering faculty, and students and faculty from the Interdepartmental Ph.D. Programs in Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering.