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Certificate Program


    Are you interested in multi-disciplinary perspectives on mind, brain, and culture? Would you like to explore these interests with a cohort of like-minded students from diverse Graduate Programs across Emory? If so, then the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture (CMBC) Graduate Certificate Program may be right for you!

    When you join our intellectual community as a Certificate Student you:

    • Start on the path to a formal interdisciplinary credential that will enhance your transcript and marketability. Basically, this is the graduate school version of a “minor.”
    • Become eligible for small grants from the CMBC to support interdisciplinary activities such as conference attendance, data collection, methods training or similar. Think of this as an alternative/supplement to Laney Professional Development Support Funding.
    • Enjoy special access to CMBC events and speakers.
    • Participate in (catered!) lunch and/or dinner discussion meetings with your cohort.

    Want to see what the Certificate Program looks like? Check out some of the Testimonials from a few of our Certificate Student Alumni and meet our current Certificate Students!

    Graduate school is a busy time, so we have designed the Certificate to emphasize flexibility and deliver a big payoff for a relatively small investment.

    • The entry point is the core course, MBC501, which is a discussion-based seminar taught by CMBC Director, Dietrich Stout. This is where you will meet your cohort!
    • Following MBC501, you will attend two semesters of MBC600, which is a student led discussion group that meets for lunch or dinner roughly once or twice each month.
    • Other than that, you’ll select three electives to count toward the certificate. Only one of these can be in your home department, but for many of our students they are classes they would have wanted to take (or already have taken) anyway. We can also help you find cool classes to take with our affiliated faculty!
    • At the end you’ll give a capstone presentation to your CMBC certificate students, leadership, and anyone else you’d like to invite.




    Students from any doctoral program at Emory are eligible!

    Although the following groups cannot receive a formal certification, they may participate in CMBC programming without pursuing a formal certificate. 

    • ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATES may participate in MBC courses with permission of the instructor. Students should confirm with advisors prior to seeking instructor approval and should also confirm with advisors if courses will count toward the UGRAD degree. Undergraduates are not eligible to receive a certificate. 
    • GRADUATE STUDENTS from other institutions may register for MBC courses via ARCHE if they attend a participating institution but cannot receive an official certificate from Emory. Students are classified as non-degree and the admission process is different. Learn more about ARCHE and the admission/enrollment process here. Graduate students outside Emory are not eligible to receive a certificate.
    • POST DOCS at Emory may enroll in MBC courses under a non-degree status but cannot receive official course credit for these activities.

      Learn more about non-degree enrollment here and here. Post docs are not eligible to receive a certificate.

    Contact the CMBC Director, Dietrich Stout, by email to discuss your interest in the Program. With his help, you’ll prepare a training plan (see details below) to be signed by Dr. Stout, your primary academic advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies in your home program.

The training plan should be developed in consultation with the student's primary advisor and with Dr. Dietrich Stout, Certificate Program Director. The training plan must be signed by the advisor, home program Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) and Certificate Program Director.

If the student has not yet identified a primary research advisor, this should be indicated on the training plan in which case only the signatures of the DGS and Certificate Program Director are required.

Students must pass each class, earning a grade of B- or higher in each to earn the certificate. Because instructors in some departments encourage doctoral students to enroll in classes pass/fail, students may enroll in a maximum of one elective course toward their certificate program on a Pass/Fail (i.e., S/U) basis provided that the course instructors approve this status.

The research group seminar will be taken on a Pass/Fail basis (S/U) only.

This course, offered every other fall, is designed to

  1. introduce students to the history and philosophy of science as it applies to the social, psychological, and brain sciences,
  2. provide an overview of different types of disciplinary and methodological approaches to the study of mind, brain, and culture, and
  3. highlight how exemplary research using approaches from different levels of analysis converge to provide synthesis and insights not readily gleaned from examining a single disciplinary perspective.

Students are encouraged to enroll in this course prior to completion of electives when feasible.

Students enrolled in the certificate program will be required to complete three additional electives. Students will work with their primary advisors and with the Certificate Program Director to identify appropriate electives to meet their goals and interests.

The Certificate Program Director will work with students to identify elective courses from outside the home discipline that are relevant and appropriate for students' training goals. 

The elective courses must meet the following constraints: 

  1. A minimum of two of the elective courses must be from outside the student’s home program. 
  2. Within the student’s home program, a maximum of one course may count toward the elective requirements. This course may not be one in which the student is required to enroll to complete his/her disciplinary Ph.D. requirements. 
  3. Students who wish to gain hands-on experience via a practicum --working on a small-scale research project in a discipline other than their own-- may, with the approval of a) the Certificate Program Director, b) their advisor and c) a faculty member in the target discipline who has agreed to supervise the research, enroll in directed study in a department other than the home department to fulfill a maximum of one of their electives. Students may not use directed study within their home program to fulfill the elective requirement. 
  4. Students must notify the Certificate Program Director, once enrolled in a class, that they wish the course to count as an elective towards the certificate program. If the course is one that was not in the student’s initial training plan, the student must submit a paragraph of explanation about how the elective fits in to the training plan. This deviation from the original training plan must be approved by the Certificate Program Director before the course will fulfill the Certificate Program elective requirements. 
  5. Prior to enrolling in elective courses outside their home department, students must consult with the instructors to ensure that the courses are appropriate for the students’ level of background and expertise.

After completing MBC501, the Core Course requirement, students must enroll in two semesters of MBC600, a one-credit course that meets monthly to discuss research topics and readings from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Students will have the opportunity to nominate topics, readings, and/or guest speakers. This course is offered every semester, and meets once a month for three hours. Students may enroll in any two semesters prior to graduation.

To conclude the Certificate Program, all recipients must give a formal presentation in the Research Group Seminar during their final semester at Emory, describing their dissertation research and how their thinking and scholarship was influenced by their completion of the certificate program experience.