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Psychology versus interdisciplinary neuroscience programs at schools that offer both?


essequamvideri

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This is a general question, but what tend to be the differences between psychology programs and interdisciplinary neuroscience programs (which typically have a "behavioural" and/or "cognitive" subsection) at schools that offer both programs? I've noticed that often the faculty in the behavioural/cognitive streams of the neuroscience programs are almost entirely psychology faculty, and so presumably if you were interested in working with these faculty that kind of straddle the boundary (which is actually very common), you could be admitted to either program.

 

What do the academic and administrative differences tend to be? Main things I'm interested in: differences in stipend (e.g., does neuroscience tend to be higher?), required courses, lab rotations (seems to be more common in neuroscience), expected background (I don't have much biology background but the neuroscience programs often encourage "diverse backgrounds" to apply), competitiveness of admission, etc. I know that this varies from school to school but I'm just curious about general trends from people who have considered both types of programs. Thanks!

Edited by essequamvideri
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Stipend wise it's completely dependent upon the school - I applied to a mix of psych and cog/integrated neuro programs and some places give more for neuro some less.  Straight neuroscience or neurobiology programs are typically housed in the biology department - if you're seeing neuro-oriented programs through a psych department they won't expect you to have taken tons of bio/chem/etc although it does hurt.  Ideally you should have some neurobiology background (I have a psych degree but my research experience is in a cog neuro lab, my advisor is a neurologist, I took a lot of neuro-oriented psych classes + some bio and chem).  

So much of this varies school to school - and since programs that are somewhere between neuroscience and psychology tend to be cafeteria style (i.e. made up of a mix of courses you might typically find in one program or another).  You really just have to look at the people you want to work with and then go from there.

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