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Neuroscience and the Law

Graduate Certificate

Online

Course Delivery

12

Total Credits

$867

Credit Hour

1 year

Minimum Duration


Program Overview

The Michigan State University graduate certificate in Neuroscience and the Law is an online program designed for students and working professionals in the field of criminal justice, including but not limited to legal professionals, law enforcement officers, criminal investigators, forensic scientists and social workers. This one-year program requires completion of five courses which together provide the foundational scientific knowledge necessary to better understand the use of neuroscientific evidence in professional settings, and as such is the most comprehensive online program of its kind. This program will be of interest to those with a desire to learn general neuroscience principles, the ethics of brain-based interventions, the physiology of drug abuse and addiction, methods by which to assess or manipulate the nervous system, and to impair or enhance cognitive functioning. Seminars by professionals will survey the ethical, legal, and social implications of neuroscientific research, in addition to the experiences they have had with neurotechnology in their respective fields. Topics relevant to the criminal justice system include the detection of lies, biases and future behaviour; guardianship and capacity to consent, injury and disability, sociopathy and psychopathy, false memories and erased memory, consciousness and brain death, rational capacity and adolescent brain development, traumatic brain injury, the influence of emotions on behavior, and what it means to make the claim that “my brain made me do it”.

Program Outcomes

Students in the Neuroscience and Law program will learn first and foremost the skills and knowledge by which to assess scientific findings and formulate scientifically accurate arguments. This will allow them to effectively communicate the science with others in their respective professional settings. NeuroLaw students will also learn how to assess the ethical, legal, and social implications of neuroscience research, tools, and discoveries; which will enable them to evaluate the appropriate use of neuroscientific evidence, for example the admissibility of evidence in litigation.

Career Outlook 

Students and working professionals alike can benefit from the opportunity to provide a unique skill set for which there is rising demand in the field of criminal justice. Graduating students can put themselves in a desirable position for placements while professionals seeking promotion to managerial or supervisory positions can be at an advantage. Practically speaking: legal professionals can achieve a better understanding of how a jury interprets and responds to scientific evidence; law enforcement officers can improve their ability to handle distressed or mentally unstable individuals; criminal investigators can better prepare for interviewing suspects and witnesses; forensic scientists can eliminate cognitive bias from their analysis of evidence; and social workers can enhance their ability to support individuals suffering from substance use disorder.

A Top-Ranked Education

  • 31st among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report, 2022
  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report

 

koval headshot

Michael Koval, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Michael graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario where he studied the role of the prefrontal cortex in the cognitive control of behaviour. He was then a Postdoc at Duke University where he began by investigating the neurophysiology of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with Dr. Marc Sommer, then switched gears by transferring to the Psychiatry Department where he managed the Brain Stimulation Division under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Krystal, Shawn McClintock and Sarah Lisanby. Having acquired clinical experience with the Duke TMS Clinic he then ran the Brain Stimulation Clinic at the Central Health Medical Practice in Hong Kong, before ending up at Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Neuroscience and the Law Graduate Certificate Program.

 

Course Information

Core

NEU 840 Introduction to the Brain and Behavioral Disorders (2 credits)

NEU 892 Special Topics in Neuroscience and the Law (1 credit)

Elective

NEU 842 Neuroethics (3 credits)

NEU 843 Methods for Assessing the Nervous System (3 credits)

NEU 844 The Science and Ethics of Brain Interventions (3 credits)

NEU 845 Neuroscience of Drug Use and Human Disorders (3 credits)

 

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.25 on a 4.0 scale
  • A reflective essay describing how the certificate will enhance professional and personal development 
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application and pay the application fee
  • Submit all required materials to the application portal

Key Dates

Fall Semester

Application Deadline

June 1

 

 

Tuition & Fees per credit

 

In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
$867
$1,111

 

Cost of Attendance


The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible. In addition to tuition and fees, there are other expenses associated with your Cost of Attendance. A breakdown of a graduate student budget can be found here.

Program Overview

The Michigan State University graduate certificate in Neuroscience and the Law is an online program designed for students and working professionals in the field of criminal justice, including but not limited to legal professionals, law enforcement officers, criminal investigators, forensic scientists and social workers. This one-year program requires completion of five courses which together provide the foundational scientific knowledge necessary to better understand the use of neuroscientific evidence in professional settings, and as such is the most comprehensive online program of its kind. This program will be of interest to those with a desire to learn general neuroscience principles, the ethics of brain-based interventions, the physiology of drug abuse and addiction, methods by which to assess or manipulate the nervous system, and to impair or enhance cognitive functioning. Seminars by professionals will survey the ethical, legal, and social implications of neuroscientific research, in addition to the experiences they have had with neurotechnology in their respective fields. Topics relevant to the criminal justice system include the detection of lies, biases and future behaviour; guardianship and capacity to consent, injury and disability, sociopathy and psychopathy, false memories and erased memory, consciousness and brain death, rational capacity and adolescent brain development, traumatic brain injury, the influence of emotions on behavior, and what it means to make the claim that “my brain made me do it”.

Program Outcomes

Students in the Neuroscience and Law program will learn first and foremost the skills and knowledge by which to assess scientific findings and formulate scientifically accurate arguments. This will allow them to effectively communicate the science with others in their respective professional settings. NeuroLaw students will also learn how to assess the ethical, legal, and social implications of neuroscience research, tools, and discoveries; which will enable them to evaluate the appropriate use of neuroscientific evidence, for example the admissibility of evidence in litigation.

Career Outlook 

Students and working professionals alike can benefit from the opportunity to provide a unique skill set for which there is rising demand in the field of criminal justice. Graduating students can put themselves in a desirable position for placements while professionals seeking promotion to managerial or supervisory positions can be at an advantage. Practically speaking: legal professionals can achieve a better understanding of how a jury interprets and responds to scientific evidence; law enforcement officers can improve their ability to handle distressed or mentally unstable individuals; criminal investigators can better prepare for interviewing suspects and witnesses; forensic scientists can eliminate cognitive bias from their analysis of evidence; and social workers can enhance their ability to support individuals suffering from substance use disorder.

A Top-Ranked Education

  • 31st among Best Public Universities in America — U.S. News & World Report, 2022
  • A Top 100 Global University — Times Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report

 

koval headshot

Michael Koval, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Michael graduated with a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Western Ontario where he studied the role of the prefrontal cortex in the cognitive control of behaviour. He was then a Postdoc at Duke University where he began by investigating the neurophysiology of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with Dr. Marc Sommer, then switched gears by transferring to the Psychiatry Department where he managed the Brain Stimulation Division under the supervision of Drs. Andrew Krystal, Shawn McClintock and Sarah Lisanby. Having acquired clinical experience with the Duke TMS Clinic he then ran the Brain Stimulation Clinic at the Central Health Medical Practice in Hong Kong, before ending up at Michigan State University as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Neuroscience and the Law Graduate Certificate Program.

 

Course Information

Core

NEU 840 Introduction to the Brain and Behavioral Disorders (2 credits)

NEU 892 Special Topics in Neuroscience and the Law (1 credit)

Elective

NEU 842 Neuroethics (3 credits)

NEU 843 Methods for Assessing the Nervous System (3 credits)

NEU 844 The Science and Ethics of Brain Interventions (3 credits)

NEU 845 Neuroscience of Drug Use and Human Disorders (3 credits)

 

Admissions Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.25 on a 4.0 scale
  • A reflective essay describing how the certificate will enhance professional and personal development 
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  • Complete a university graduate application and pay the application fee
  • Submit all required materials to the application portal

Key Dates

Fall Semester

Application Deadline

June 1

 

 

Tuition & Fees per credit

 

In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
$867
$1,111

 

Cost of Attendance


The university reserves the right to make changes in the types, structures, rates for fees, and tuition. Every effort will be made to give as much advance notice as possible. In addition to tuition and fees, there are other expenses associated with your Cost of Attendance. A breakdown of a graduate student budget can be found here.

The MSU Value Promise

You can be ensured a return on your investment at Michigan State University.

As one of the top research universities in the world, Michigan State University has advanced the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years.

MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.

MSU has been offering online degree programs for over 20 years. Our maturity is evident in the high quality of the learning experience enjoyed by our online students.

MSU provides programs and initiatives that support and enhance diversity. We will expand our campus and external partnerships to put in place inclusive recruitment and retention practices. We nurture and promote individuals’ varied experiences and perspectives, ensuring structures and processes make possible full participation by all members of our community.

MSU actively collaborates with campus and external partners to innovate across all dimensions of graduate education. We create and support networks that increase collaboration and improve educational opportunities for our online students.

MSU’s nationally recognized online programs foster student growth and well-being throughout their academic career. We will expand inclusive mentoring practices and accelerate improvement across units to implement evidence-based practices to ensure our students complete successfully.

Continuing education can be one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding experiences you undertake in your life. We hope you consider becoming a Spartan, to learn online and reach your career goals. With highly ranked online programs and exceptional professors, we educate students who advance the common good with uncommon will.