J.D./Ph.D. Program Requirements

Required Courses:

NTP 610: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
NTP 611: Systems Neuroscience
NTP 700: Professional Development
NTP 900: Neuroscience Seminar (each semester)

Students must also take a mid-level elective in both cellular/molecular/developmental neuroscience and systems/behavioral neuroscience. Approved courses can be found on the NTP website.

Ethics Requirement:

Students must complete responsible conduct of research training. To do so, students must complete 2 ethics seminars (approved by the NTP office) in each of your first 3 years and complete a NTP approved ethics subgroup, UW ethics course, or an NTP office approved ethics event/activity your first and third year in the Program. The NTP office helps you track this requirement.

Additional Requirements:

  • Students must select a thesis advisor by the end of their first year.
  • The thesis and advisory committee will include faculty from neuroscience and public policy.

Required Coursework:


  • Fall Semester, First Year
    • Contracts
    • Intro to Substantive Criminal Law
    • Civil Procedure
    • Torts
    • Legal Research and Writing I
  • Spring Semester, First Year
    • Property
    • Constitutional Law
    • Intro to Criminal Procedure
    • Legal Research and Writing II
    • Administrative Law

Second-year and beyond

Students must take enough elective courses to earn a total of 90 credits (including the required coursework listed above) required to obtain the J.D.

  • Students must take the following:
    • Constitutional Law II or Special Problems in Constitutional Law-4th, 5th & 6th Amendment
    • Evidence
    • Jurisprudence
    • A relevant philosophy or bioethics course such as Philisophical Problems in the Biological Sciences (Phil 523) or Philsophy of the Mind (Phil 551)
  • Students must take two of the following courses:
    • Bioethics and the Law
    • Food and Drug Law
    • Law, Science and Biotechnology
    • Psychiatry and the Law
  • Students must take at least three of the following courses:
    • Health Law and Administration
    • Law and the Elderly
    • Advanced Substantive Criminal Law
    • Legislation
    • Family Law I
    • Family Law II
    • Introduction to Intellectual Property
    • Introduction to Environmental Law
    • Patent Law
    • Sociology and Law
    • Selected Problems in Constitutional Law-1st Amendment
    • Selected Problems in Constitutional Law-Past, Present, Future of Reproductive Freedom
    • Selected Problems in Criminal Justice Administration-Sentencing and Corrections
    • Law and Contemporary Problems-Law and People with Disabilities
    • Law and Contemporary Problems-Animal Law
    • Any course from the list above that the student hasn’t already taken.
  • Neuroscience & Public Policy Seminar:
    Each semester, N&PP students must enroll in the seminar course, NTP 660. The seminar meets twice monthly and four credits of the seminar can count toward the M.P.A. elective credit requirements.
  • Neuroscience & Law Research Paper:
    At the end of the fourth academic year, students will submit a paper that critically analyzes a topic bridges neuroscience and the law. The paper is presented to the student’s thesis advisory committee. Successful completion of the research paper and its defense before the advisory committee will fulfill half of the Preliminary Examination requirements for the Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
  • Neuroscience & Law Internship:
    Students in the program are required to complete a summer internship, typically at the end of the fourth academic year in the program working in an area of science and law. Examples include a state or federal government agency, advocacy organization, science funding agency, patient organization, scientific professional organization, or a law firm with practice focused on science and law.