The Neuroscience and Public Policy (N&PP) Program offers three degree tracks. Students may elect to earn a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience, awarded by the Neuroscience Training Program (NTP), and either of two Master’s degrees that are awarded by the La Follette School of Public Affairs: a Master’s degree in Public Affairs (M.P.A.), with an emphasis on domestic public policy, or a Master’s degree in International Public Affairs (M.I.P.A.), or a J.D. degree in law which is granted by the Law School. Each of the three degree tracks engages students in an integrated graduate program, specifically tailored for each track, that combines course work and laboratory research.
It is expected that most students will enter the N&PP Program as First Year students, but qualified students in later years of graduate study may apply to join the Program. The requirements for the Ph.D. degree in neuroscience follow those established for the degree by the Neuroscience Training Program. The requirements for the M.P.A. or M.I.P.A. degrees are determined by the La Follette School, and those for the J.D. degree by the Law School.
N&PP students will select an Advisory Committee by the end of the first academic year. The Committee will include faculty drawn from neuroscience and public policy or neuroscience and law. This Committee will advise the student during each of the years that the student is enrolled in the N&PP. Each N&PP students’ thesis advisory committee must include
The monthly Neuroscience and Public Policy Seminar, which is open to all students, is a central element in the Program, and is a required course for all N&PP students during each semester in which they are enrolled in the Program. N&PP students assist the N&PP Director in choosing invited speakers for the seminar. Additionally, N&PP students will give a talk for the seminar about on a topic identified by the N&PP student giving the talk and approved by the N&PP Director. The topic will bridge neuroscience and public policy. In preparation for the talk, the N&PP student will work with their peer N&PP students with advisement from a faculty member who is expert on the specific topic. The topics covered will not overlap with their research presentation and will provide a valuable exercise for the N&PP students to further develop their speaking skills in neuroscience and public policy, something students, at present, do not have a uniform opportunity to do in the program. This talk will also count as one of the two subgroup talks NTP students are expected to present.
At the end of the sixth academic semester, or the eighth semester for J.D./Ph/D. students, N&PP students will write a position paper that bridges neuroscience and public policy or neuroscience and law. This paper will replace the outside area paper required of NTP students as part of the Preliminary Examination.
In addition, N&PP students complete a summer internship in an institution or agency engaged in science policy. The internship must be approved by the N&PP Program’s Steering Committee before it is undertaken.
Detailed information about the N&PP Program, the faculty who are involved, course requirements for the degree tracks that are offered, model timetables for each track, and other relevant material is available on the N&PP’s web site (http://npp.wisc.edu/).