Folklore
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Other Concentrations

Neuroethics Concentration

The concentration in neuroethics offers students the opportunity to study ethical issues arising from recent scientific and medical advances in conjunction with advanced training in neuroscience. The curriculum helps students develop their skills in critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking and to make well-founded ethical decisions. Students will become familiar with the basic theories of current neuroscience, as well as the philosophical issues raised by these theories.

The degree is intended for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, or bioethics. It also can help students who will work on medical and scientific research projects in government or the private sector.

This concentration is offered jointly by the Department of Philosophy  and the Neuroscience Program .

Admission to the neuroethics concentration is open to students with undergraduate degrees in any field. All students should have taken the following basic courses in life science and philosophy (or their equivalents) before admission to the program or should complete them shortly thereafter: PHIL 173, BIOL 213, BIOL 482, CHEM 314.

Students without the biology and chemistry pre-requisites can fill these requirements once admitted to the program by taking NEUR 600 and other courses recommended by the concentration director. These courses cannot be applied to degree requirements.

Degree Requirements (Catalog Year 2016-2017)

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate course work in one of the concentrations below. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their faculty adviser and the director. 

Courses applied to the degree are subject to the following restrictions: a maximum of 6 credits may be earned through independent study or directed readings and research courses; a maximum of 6 credits may be taken through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area; a maximum of 15 credits may be transfer credits; a maximum of 6 of the transfer credits may be from other accredited institutions.

Transfer credits include credits taken before first enrolling as an admitted degree-seeking student (at another institution, in another Mason graduate program, or in Mason nondegree status) or credits taken at another institution after admission to the degree program through study abroad or study elsewhere (which requires prior written approval of the director and the dean). Additional information may be found in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis. Students are required to take MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar (1 credit), MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal (1 credit), and either MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (1-4 credits) or MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (3-4 credits). Students electing to complete the concentration in community college teaching with a thesis will complete 38 credits.

◊ Concentration in Neuroethics (NETH)

The MAIS concentration in neuroethics is a joint program of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and the Department of Philosophy. It offers students a unique opportunity to study key ethical issues arising from advances in neuroscience research and technologies. The degree is sutiable for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, clinical bioethics, or the study of law. It also can serve as an entry point for employment into government or private sector industries of ethic and policy related brain science issues.

The degree is intended for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, or bioethics. It also can help students who will work on medical and scientific research projects in government or the private sector.

Admission to the Neuroethics Program is open to students with an undergraduate degree in many fields. Applicants should demonstrate proficiency in at least two of the following academic areas as evidenced by 18 or more credits of undergraduate or graduate course work.

Biology
Bioengineering
Chemistry
Ethics/Philosophy
Medical Education
Neuroscience
Psychology

Students in the MAIS program in neuroethics must complete 32 course credits consisting of a proseminar, five core courses and six electives that match the educational objectives of the student. In addition, students are required to write a thesis or complete a two-semester project, for a total of 36 credits.

◊ Concentration in Neuroethics (NETH)

The MAIS concentration in neuroethics is a joint program of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and the Department of Philosophy. It offers students a unique opportunity to study key ethical issues arising from advances in neuroscience research and technologies. The degree is sutiable for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, clinical bioethics, or the study of law. It also can serve as an entry point for employment into government or private sector industries of ethic and policy related brain science issues.

The degree is intended for students interested in doctoral work in neuroscience, cognitive science, or bioethics. It also can help students who will work on medical and scientific research projects in government or the private sector.

Admission to the Neuroethics Program is open to students with an undergraduate degree in many fields. Applicants should demonstrate proficiency in at least two of the following academic areas as evidenced by 18 or more credits of undergraduate or graduate course work.

Biology
Bioengineering
Chemistry
Ethics/Philosophy
Medical Education
Neuroscience
Psychology

Students in the MAIS program in neuroethics must complete 32 course credits consisting of a proseminar, five core courses and six electives that match the educational objectives of the student. In addition, students are required to write a thesis or complete a two-semester project, for a total of 36 credits.

One required course of proseminar (1 credit)

MAIS 796 - MAIS ProSeminar

Five core courses (13 credits) in ethics and neuroscience

PHIL 640 - History of Ethical Theory

PHIL 642 - Biomedical Ethics

NEUR 602 - Cellular Neuroscience

NEUR 612 - Neuroethics

NEUR 709 - Neuroscience Seminars

18 credits (6 courses) of electives

Students may choose to specialize in cognitive neuroethics or public neuroethics. All students are encouraged to plan their course work in consultation with the neuroethics concentration head.

Specialization in Cognitive Neuroethics

Take 18 credits from the courses below or other relevant course chosen in consultation with an advisor.

BIOL 572 - Human Genetics

COMM 620 - Health Communication

NEUR 600 - Chemistry and the Brain

NEUR 651 - Molecular Neuropharmacology

NEUR 741 - Introduction to Neuroimaging

NEUR 702 - Research Methods

NEUR 742 - Cognitive Neuroscience

PSYC 527 - Introduction to Neurobiology

PSYC 531 - Mammalian Neurobiology

PSYC 557 - Psychometric Methods

Specialization in Public Neuroethics

Take 18 credits from the courses below or other relevant course chosen in consultation with an advisor.

COMM 620 - Health Communication

COMM 639 - Science Communication

COMM 642 - Science and the Public

NEUR 611 - Philosophical Foundation of Neuroscience

NEUR 651 - Molecular Neuropharmacology

PHIL 643 - Environmental Ethics

PHIL 645 - Research Ethics

PHIL 694 - Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (when the topic is related to neuroethics)

PHIL 721 - Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (when the topic is related to neuroethics)

PHIL 733 - Current Issues in Cognitive Science

PSYC 527 - Introduction to Neurobiology

PSYC 685 - Cognitive Neuroscience

PSYC 701 - Cognitive Bases of Behavior

PSYC 702 - Biological Bases of Human Behavior

Proposal (1 credit)

MAIS 797 - Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal

Project or thesis (3 credits)

Students cap their study by writing a master's thesis or completing a two-semester project in an area of neuroethics. The project may involve student observation and involvement in scientific research, clinical work, or policy setting.

MAIS 798 - Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 3 credits)

or

MAIS 799 - Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 3 credits)

Total: 36 credits

 

Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

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