Chris Eliasmith, Director of the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, received the prestigious John C. Polanyi Award and is also an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.
How do I apply to the graduate program?
The graduate program at the Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience (CTN) has received provincial approval from the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies (OCGS). Here is the approved proposal, with complete program details and the official entry in the University of Waterloo grad school calendar.
Students need to be admitted to an established department at the University of Waterloo. Please see the list of faculty affiliated with the Centre for potential supervisors and departments. The program is also open to already enroled PhD and Masters students. To apply for admission to the graduate program, students need to contact the director.
In brief, students are required to complete 4 one-term courses (these are not in addition to degree courses). One course must be selected from the core course list. Two must be selected from the list approved by the CTN board, or negotiated with the Director. These courses cover areas of theoretical, behavioural, and experimental neuroscience. Finally, one course is mandatory: Theoretical Neuroscience (TN 700), which consists of a providing one page summaries of seminars from researchers working in areas of theoretical neuroscience (the CTN Lecture series). These courses (except TN 700) will count towards both the Theoretical Neuroscience graduate program and the home department program. A comprehensive description including the course list is here.
Upon graduation students will be awarded a standard graduate degree from their home department which will include an indication of their having completed the requirements of the Theoretical Neuroscience Diploma.
Advantages of the Diploma
The CTN has chosen to implement a diploma because it seems the most effective way to both indicate special expertise in theoretical neuroscience, while not limiting employment options of students after graduation. Employers, both academic and industrial, are familiar with standard degree designations but may be unaware of the training involved in a program which awards a PhD or Masters degree in Theoretical Neuroscience. Nevertheless, having a specific Diploma in Theoretical Neuroscience will indicate to potential employers officially recognized areas of specialization within your chosen discipline.