Approved Courses

Students must complete nine credit hours of approved courses to earn the Computational Neuroscience Certificate. Please email if you would like to use a course that is not listed here.

Core Computational Neuroscience Courses

Students are required to take at least one of the following courses.

Number Title Instructor Frequency
BME 517 Neural Engineering Cindy Chestek Every winter semester
Math 568 / BIOINF 568 Computational and Mathematical Neuroscience Victoria Booth Every fall semester
PSYCH 733 Advanced Neural Circuits Omar Ahmed Every winter semester

Cross Discipline Courses (3 credit-hours required)

The following are quantitative courses that are appropriate for students in experimental science programs who have prior mathematical training at the Calculus II level.

Number Title
MATH 417 Matrix Algebra I
BIOINF 501 Mathematical Foundations for Bioinformatics
BIOPHYS 430 Medical Physics
EECS 402 Programming for Scientists and Engineers
HS650 Data Science and Predictive Analytics

The following are neuroscience courses appropriate for students in quantitative science programs who have limited prior training in biology

Number Title
MCCDB 403 Molecular and Cell Biology of the Synapse
MCDB 422 Brain Development, Plasticity and Circuits
MCDB 453 Ion Channels
PSYCH 454 Developmental Neuroscience
NEUROSCI 470** Human Neuroanatomy
NEUROSCI 570/571 Human Neuroanatomy
NEUROSCI 611 (1 credit) Neuropharmacology
NEUROSCI 612 (1 credit) Neural Development
NEUROSCI614 (1 credit) Sensory Systems
NEUROSCI 615 (1 credit) Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
NEUROSCI 616 (1 credit) Clinical and Translational Neuroscience

** The 400 level Human Neuroanatomy course does not have graduate standing. However, students may request Rackham OARD to receive graduate credit for a 400-level course not normally approved for such credit, but should do so before taking the course since approval is not guaranteed. Both the instructor and the graduate chair of the student’s program must endorse the request, which must be accompanied by a memo explaining how graduate-level work will be accomplished in the course. The Registration Adjustment Request forms are available online (see

Advanced Course Requirement

There are many appropriate quantitative science and neuroscience courses to fulfill this requirement. The program director will work with students to identify appropriate courses for their interests and training needs. Below are some examples:

Quantitative Science Advanced Courses

Number Title
BIOPHYS 430 Medical Physics
EECS 545 Machine Learning
MATH 563 Advanced Mathematical Methods for the Biological Sciences
MATH 571/572 Numerical Methods for Scientific Computing I/II
NERS 590 Methods and Practice of Scientific Computing
STATS 531 Analysis of Time Series

Neuroscience Advanced Courses

Number Title
BME/PSYCH 840 Introduction to functional MRI
PHYSIOL 577 Membrane and Cell Physiology
PSYCH 644 Computational Modeling of Cognition
PSYCH 743 Human Learning and Memory
HG 580/480 Neurobiology of Developmental Disorders
KINESLGY 533 Neuromechanics

Journal club

Certificate students are required to attend and participate in interdisciplinary, computational neuroscience journal clubs. The journal clubs consist of faculty and student research presentations, and student presentation of scientific papers related to computational neuroscience. Certificate students are required to attend for two semesters either club, at least 7 times, and give at least 1 presentation.
There are two options (you can mix and match):

    1. The Neural Networks Journal Club: It meets on alternate Fridays 10 – 11:30 a.m. (when on campus, the meeting is at the Biological Sciences Building (BSB) Rm 1010). Contact to be added to the email list. For more information, see the journal club website.
    2. The Neural Engineering Journal Club: It meets on Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.  Please email to join their email list.


The required practicum constitutes a formal training experience in interdisciplinary computational neuroscience. Students must submit a practicum proposal to the Program Committee for approval, and will earn three graduate credit hours for its completion. The practicum can be satisfied by one of the following:

  1. A formal rotation in a laboratory whose research is in the cross discipline from the students home degree program, i.e. a computational/theoretical lab for experimental science students or an experimental lab for quantitative science students.
  2. Completion of an extended project for one of the core computational neuroscience courses. The extended project must involve a combination of computational modeling and data analysis. During the planning stage for the course project, the student should discuss their plans with the Program Chair for approval. If the student decides to enroll in the certificate program after already completing the core computational neuroscience course, an extension of the project can be approved, if necessary, and the student will be required to submit a written report on the extended project to the Program Committee, and may be asked to present the project results in the certificate journal club.
  3. Additional coursework in one of the core computational neuroscience courses listed on this page. Extended projects for the required course or the additional course are not necessary, but the projects for each of the courses must be distinct with minimal overlap in modeling or computational methods.

Please send an email to to ask any questions.