The Neuroscience & Behavior Program offers graduate work leading to the degree of Master of Arts through the BA/MA program. The program has a strong research orientation. It also includes course work, seminars, and, in some cases, teaching. A student hoping to enter this program will be expected to declare the intention to do so in the first semester of their junior year to permit the design of an acceptable program with both the major department and a research advisor within that department.
The MA will require a minimum of 6 credits in addition to the 32 necessary for the Wesleyan BA. Three credits will be earned through Journal Club I & II (0.25 credits x 2 = 0.50), Advanced Research NS&B549/NS&B550 (1.0 credits x 2 = 2.0) and Research Seminar (.50 credits). The remaining credits will be earned through lecture, lab, or seminar courses (200, 300, or 500-level) determined by the student and mentor; a minimum of two of these must be one-credit courses. MA credit will only be awarded for academic work in which grades of B minus or higher have been earned. A student in the BA/MA program who earns more than 32 credits during the BA may apply any excess credits toward the MA, providing that they are relevant to the research area and they have not been used to fulfill an undergraduate major requirement. All degree-seeking graduate students are required to register for at least one credit in each semester that they are enrolled in the university.
There are no language requirements for the BA/MA Program in NS&B.
Progress and Qualifying Exams
A 3-member committee of the faculty will be established upon acceptance in the BA/MA program. The candidate will meet with their committee in early stages of research and meet with them in the second semester of their MA year. This committee determines when sufficient experimental work has been completed and must approve the final written document. Students in this program are required to submit a MA thesis describing the research which they have carried out in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.
There are no requirements for BA/MA candidates to teach although the opportunity may arise.
Students conduct research and complete a written thesis in partial fulfillment of their MA degree. For the most recent information regarding the research carried out by faculty in the NS&B program, please visit the NS&B website: https://www.wesleyan.edu/nsb/faculty.html
Thesis and Defense
Students in this program will submit an MA thesis describing the research and will present this to their committee in a closed-door oral defense of the thesis. Following the oral defense with the thesis committee, the students will receive two grades for their thesis work: one for the oral component and one for the written component of the thesis. Additionally, students are required to give a public presentation during the research seminar (BIOL557 or CHEM587/CHEM588) describing their research as partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.