Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities (MS)

Program Coordinator: 

Professor Greg Phillips

Building 6S, Room 131

Telephone: 718.982.3723



The Center for Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities at the College and the New York State Institute for Basic Research on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities offer a broad interdisciplinary program leading to the Master of Science degree. Courses integrate relevant subject matter in the areas of biology, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, and students have a unique opportunity to explore both neuroscientific and applied aspects of the normally and abnormally developing brain, as well as recent advances in the cognitive sciences.

Admission Requirements

An adequate background in biology and psychology undergraduate courses will be required of all entering students. If deficiencies are identified during the application process students will be advised to take the appropriate undergraduate course, which will be offered at CSI. Admission to the CSI program will be determined by the proposed program's Graduate Studies Committee comprised of four faculty members and the Director of the Center for Developmental Neuroscience and Developmental Disabilities. Students with bachelor’s degrees in all fields may apply for admission, provided they have taken two semesters of biology (with laboratory), two semesters of psychology, one semester of chemistry, one semester of calculus, and one semester of statistics. Students applying for admission are expected to have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (B) in their undergraduate biology, mathematics, psychology, or other science courses. They are expected to submit three letters of recommendation attesting to their ability to complete the program successfully. Students with English as a second language must score 550 (paper) , 213 (computer), or 79-80 (Internet) or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Based on an interview, the Program's Graduate Studies Committee will make the final decision on the admission of the candidate. Similar to other master's programs at CSI, the students have to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 (B) to remain in the program. Prior to the start of the second year of study, the student will submit selected writings from their coursework, creating a portfolio to be reviewed and approved by the Neuroscience Graduate Studies Committee. Faculty approval of the writing portfolio is a requirement prior to the registration of the Master's Thesis.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 33 credits including thesis research, an oral preliminary examination, and a thesis defense. A faculty thesis committee will approve the content and style of the Master's thesis. The thesis committee will consist of four members, with at least 2 full-time CSI faculty (including at least one member from the Biology, the Chemistry or the Psychology Department)

Required Courses

NSM 701Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


NSM 702Systems and Neuroscience


NSM 705Journal Seminar I-IV


NSM 706Research Methods


NSM 707Developmental Neuroscience


NSM 708Behavioral Genetics


NSM 709Foundations of Cognitive Science


NSM 710Learning


NSM 711Neuroanatomy and Early Developmental Brain Disorders


NSM 712Neurobiology of Adult Brain Disorders


NSM 798Master's Thesis I


NSM 799Master's Thesis II


Total Credit Hours: 33

Alternative Courses

Other courses may be relevant to an individual student’s educational goals, and students may be allowed to take alternatives from the graduate courses at the College of Staten Island and up to nine credits at the CUNY Graduate Center, approved in advance by the program coordinator.