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Student at microscope

Addiction Neuroscience Ph.D. (Purdue degree)

Offered by: Department of Psychology In 1994, the Psychology Department at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) established a new graduate PhD program in Psychobiology (which in 2013 became the Addiction Neuroscience program). The degree is from Purdue University for work done entirely in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is administered through the Psychology Department.

Why choose this program?

Program Objectives

The program's objective is to train students interested in the behavioral and brain sciences who seek research-based careers in behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology. The graduate training is designed to promote a comprehensive understanding of the neural bases of behavior, with an emphasis on the behavioral neurobiology of drugs of abuse.
Students are expected to gain expertise in integrative neuroscience, and learn to apply current methods of cellular and systems neuroscience to key problems of drug abuse and addiction. The program is intended to prepare students for careers in traditional academic institutions, in medical neuroscience research environments, or in pharmaceutical industry or government research settings.

Four Different Graduate Programs

There are 4different graduate programs in neuroscience among the three major universities in central Indiana (IUPUI, IU and Purdue). Each program has unique strengths in providing graduate neuroscience research training. Learn more about the 4 programs below.

Mentor Model Training Process

The training process uses a mentor model in which the students work closely with individual faculty, often in collaboration with other faculty on campus. To achieve this, the number of active students is limited to about ten in a given year. Faculty expertise and program emphasis are in behavior, psychopharmacology and neurochemistry of alcohol and drugs of abuse, the genetic determinants of alcohol abuse, mechanisms of alcohol-related behavior (preference, tolerance, and dependence), and the behavioral and neurobiological consequences of developmental exposure to drugs of abuse.  Emphasis is placed on use of animal models in drug abuse research, including models of drug-seeking behavior, animal models in preclinical testing of potential pharmacotherapies of alcoholism, and animal models of fetal alcohol and fetal psychostimulant exposure. Other areas of interest include behavioral and neural plasticity in response to brain damage, the experimental analysis and neural correlates of learned behavior, and the behavioral genetics of alcoholism.

What will you learn?

The graduate training focuses on the actions and effects of alcohol and drugs of abuse on brain function and brain development, as well as on brain mechanisms of addictive behavior. The expertise of the faculty includes behavioral neuroscience, psychopharmacology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and developmental psychobiology.

Program Emphasis

Faculty interest and program emphasis are in psychopharmacology and neurochemistry of alcohol and drugs of abuse, the behavioral genetics of alcohol abuse, behavioral and neurobiological consequences of developmental exposure to drugs of abuse, and use of animal models in drug abuse research.

Primary Training Faculty


  • Stephen L. Boehm, II, Ph.D.
    • Work in Dr. Boehm's lab seeks to understand how developmental and genetic factors influence loss of control over alcohol intake, or binge drinking. His research uses mice of different developmental and genetic backgrounds to ask mechanistic questions about the complex relationships between brain and behavior.
  • Cristine L. Czachowski, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Czachowski's research uses an animal model to better understand the processes by which humans regulate alcohol consumption. Currently, she is working with a model that closely approximates human alcohol-drinking: from the onset of a "drinking episode" which starts with the purchase of a bottle or the entering of a bar, to the termination of that particular drinking binge.
  • Charles R. Goodlett, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Goodlett studies the effects of exposure to alcohol during critical periods of brain development. His goals are to understand the factors that determine the type and extent of brain damage-and associated behavioral dysfunction-and to identify treatments that may rehabilitate or protect against prenatal alcohol-induced brain damage (i.e., fetal alcohol syndrome).
  • Nicholas J. Grahame, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Grahame seeks to understand genetic influences on behavior, specializing in alcoholism. Using animal models, he studies why some individuals prefer alcohol while others avoid it.
  • Christopher C. Lapish, Ph.D.
    • The primary focus of Dr. Lapish's research is to understand the neurophsyiological basis of cognition and explore potential procognitive treatment vectors for disorders such as schizophrenia and addiction.
  • Marian Logrip, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Logrip's lab studies sex differences in the brain and how it adapts to stress and alcohol. We look for differences in the brain circuits of male and female rodents to understand what neural processes support the development of mental illnesses like anxiety and alcohol use disorders.
  • Bethany Neal-Beliveau, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Neal-Beliveau's basic areas of research are developmental psychobiology and psychopharmacology. She is currently examining the effects of early insults (i.e., drugs of abuse, lesions, and stress) on the development of brain dopamine system, using both behavioral and neuro-chemical methods.
  • Brandon Oberlin, Ph.D.
    • Dr. Oberlin uses behavior and neuroimaging in humans to investigate 1) risk factors predicting addictions, 2) decision-making processes that perpetuate alcohol/drug abuse, and 3) interventions designed to improve addiction treatment outcomes.


4 different neuroscience grad programs all-in-one

The IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience program has formal and informal ties to IUPUI, IU and Purdue, and our students benefit enormously from the advantages of having access to training opportunities in all 4 programs. One of the great accomplishments of the IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience program has been our ability to expand research and academic opportunities for our students through active collaboration and cooperation with the other three neuroscience programs.

Addiction Neuroscience

Department of Psychology, School of Science, IUPUI

This is our program, with an emphasis on behavioral, neuropharmacological, and developmental causes and consequences of drug abuse. The primary research emphasis of the faculty is on the use of animal models to study the neural and behavioral mechanisms of drug effects.  Visit the program web site for more detailed description of research strategies and recent discoveries of our faculty and students.

Program in Medical Neuroscience

IU School of Medicine, IUPUI (the IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience students share certain classes, research, and mentors with IU Medical Neuroscience students).

This is an inter-departmental program in the IU School of Medicine (IUPUI campus), administered through the Department of Psychiatry (Dr. Jay Simon, Director). The program emphasizes cellular and molecular neurobiology of CNS function and disease.  There is substantial interaction and collaboration between the faculty and students of the Addiction Neuroscience and Medical Neuroscience programs. Some Med Neuro students work with Addiction Neuroscience mentors; some Addiction Neuroscience students collaborate with Med Neuro faculty. Addiction Neuroscience faculty are members of and contribute to Med Neuro program; Med Neuro faculty have served on Addiction Neuroscience student committees. Mutually complementary classes are offered by the two programs, and cross-over of students taking classes offered by the other program is commonplace. Nevertheless, the two programs have separate missions and grant independent degrees (Med Neuro is an IU degree; Addiction Neuroscience is a Purdue degree).  

Purdue Psychobiology

Department of Psychology, Purdue University, West Lafayette (the IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience program is a Purdue degree.)

The Psychobiology program at West Lafayette consists of five core faculty, who also participate in the interdisciplinary graduate program in Neuroscience at Purdue University. The Purdue Psychobiology program has strengths and expertise in regulatory and developmental neurobiology, homeostasis and energy utilization, neurobiology of adaptive and motivated behaviors, and sensory physiology. The West Lafayette Psychology department is the administrative home for our (IUPUI) Addiction Neuroscience PhD program. Through a treaty signed in 1994, the faculty and administration at the West Lafayette campus agreed to allow the IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience program (as part of the Purdue School of Science) to establish a PhD graduate program in Addiction Neuroscience. Consequently, the IUPUI program grants a Purdue University degree, for work performed on the IUPUI campus. 

IU-Bloomington Program in Neural Science

IU-Bloomington (the IUPUI Addiction Neuroscience and IUB Neural Science faculty and students actively collaborate on externally funded research.) 

The IUB Program in Neural Science is has a core of 20 faculty and ranges broadly over many areas of neuroscience, from cellular and systems neurobiology through behavioral and cognitive neuroscience.  Several of the IUB and IUPUI faculty maintain active collaborations between the two campuses.

Financial support

The Addiction Neuroscience program attempts to provide full financial support for all Ph.D. students throughout their graduate training, normally expected to last four or five years.
Since 1994, all students given unconditional admission (who stay in good standing) have been provided full stipends and tuition scholarships for the maximum remittable portion of tuition, funded from the following:

  • Departmental teaching assistantships/scholarship support;
  • Research assistantships from faculty grants;
  • University scholarships;
  • External fellowships, e.g., from APA and Society for Neuroscience;
  • Individual and Institutional National Research Service Award (NRSA) pre-doctoral training grants .
  • The IUPUI Tuition & Fee Estimator can help calculate annual costs.
    • Select 'Science' from the Program dropdown menu for Psychology Department rates.
Helpful Links

Admission requirements

The degrees are conferred through the Purdue University system, and entering students must meet the minimum admission requirements of the Graduate School of Purdue University and departmental requirements.

The program seeks talented and motivated persons who have an interest in the fields of behavioral and/or addiction neuroscience. A strong record of undergraduate research experience is given high priority in evaluating applicants. 

All applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution (you do not need a Master's degree to apply). Majors in the life sciences (psychology, biology, or chemistry) are particularly encouraged to apply. Academic preparation and performance in the life sciences (e.g., experimental psychology and behavioral neuroscience; cell and systems biology; chemistry) are given high priority in considering candidates for admission.

GPA: An undergraduate and graduate grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale for the Ph.D. program.

GRE not required to apply.

International Students English Proficiency Requirements: International applicants must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) unless student has a Bachelor's degree from a predominantly English-speaking country (check here for the official list). International applicants must have a minimum total score of 86 on the internet-based test (the following iBT subscore minimums must also be met: Writing-18, Listening-14, Speaking-18, Reading-19). Additionally, applicants must meet Purdue eligibility standards for admission detailed here. For more information, visit the International Admissions Website.

Application Deadline: December 1st (Students admitted for fall enrollment only)

To be considered for admissions, all application materials must be received by the deadline. Please see the Application Instructions.


Courses Fulfilling Area Requirements

* = Required Course 
(3) = Credit Hours for the Course

Core in Addiction Neuroscience (12 credit hours required)

*PSY 615 - Behavioral Neuroscience (3)
*PSY I545 - Psychopharmacology (3) 
*PSY 590 - Drugs of Abuse (3)
PSY I544 - Psychobiol. of Motivation & Reward (3)
PSY 590 - Behavior Genetics & Animal Models (3)

Core in Neurobiology (6 credit hours required)

*ANAT D527 - Neuroanatomy (3)
BIOL 571 - Developmental Neurobiology (3) 
ANAT D526 - Methods in Cell and Neurobiology (4) 
BIOC B835 - Neurochemistry (3)
PHAR F809 - Neuropharmacology (3)
ANAT D876 - Neurotransmitter/Neuroendocrine Cytology & Anatomy (3)
ANAT D888 - Developmental & Molecular Neurobiology (3)
BIOC B500 - (3)
ORCHEM 533 - Biochemistry (3)

Core in Psychology

Quantitative Methods (6 credit hours required)  
("A" core requirements) 
*PSY 600 - Statistical Inference (3) 
*PSY 601 - Correlation & Exper. Design (3)

Learning, Memory, & Cognition (6 credit hours required)  
("B" core requirements) 
PSY 518 - Memory & Cognition (3) 
PSY 622 - Animal Learning (3)
PSY 624 - Human Learning & Memory (3)
PSY 628 - Perceptual Processes (3)
PSY 655 - Cognitive Development (3)
PSY I675 - Human Neuropsychology (3)

Clinical, Social, Developmental, and I/O (6 credit hours required) 
("C" core requirements) 
PSY 570 - Industrial Psychology (3)
PSY 572 - Organizational Psychology (3) 
PSY I591 - Psychopathology (3) 
PSY 640 - Survey of Social Psychology (3) 
PSY 655 - Cognitive Development (3) 
PSY I670 - Ethical Issues in Psychology (3)
PSY I675 - Human Neuropsychology (3)

Seminars & Professional Training (8, 1-hr seminar credit hours of 590 required)

*590 - Seminar in Psychobiology (1 cr. per sem.) 
N801 - Seminar-Topics in Medical Neuroscience (1) 
N802 - Tech. of Effective Grant Writing (3) 
G504 - Introduction to Research Ethics (2) 
G556 - Humane Animal Experimentation (1) 
*I595 - Seminar in Teaching Psychology (0-3)

Every student is expected to serve in some teaching capacity for at least two semesters, either as a teaching assistant or as an instructor for an undergraduate psychology course.

Post-baccalaureate training

Interested in our program, but need to develop your skills and preparedness? Apply for the Indiana University-Purdue University Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (IPREP): https://iprep.iupui.edu.

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