David N. Kearns, PhD, Director
The PhD degree program in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCaN) provides a rigorous and flexible graduate education where students receive in-depth training in a largely apprenticeship style. This is the degree of choice for students interested in applying biological and molecular principles to behavior with a broad-based neuroscience curriculum and specialized research training in the biology of behavior (e.g., drug addiction, cognitive processing, and neuropsychology).
Doctoral students choose to concentrate on one of the traditional areas of behavior, cognition, or neuroscience or combine portions of two or more of these areas for an individually tailored regimen that is specifically suited to their interests. In all cases, the objective is to achieve academic expertise in a specific content area through research and core coursework while broadening the scope of knowledge and research skills through electives and laboratory rotations.
The strengths of the BCaN PhD program lie in the eclectic approach, quality teaching opportunities, flexibility in training and affiliations with prestigious area institutions, such as the National Institutes of Health, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Georgetown Medical School. Scholar teachers from other disciplines enhance each of our focus areas by offering their expertise and supervision in research topics including biology, chemistry, linguistics, computer science and physics. Students who have an undergraduate or master's degree in a field other than psychology, such as biology, chemistry or computer science, are welcome to apply to the BCaN program.
Through classes, research, teaching practica and grantsmanship training, students leave the program capable of teaching and doing independent and funded research in the behavioral neurosciences.