The Neuroscience area within the Department of Biological Science offers both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, although preference for admission is given to students applying to the Ph.D. program. Graduate students in Neuroscience generally do not conduct rotations, but are admitted directly into a faculty member’s lab under their direct mentorship. Specific requirements for each degree are available on line through the graduate handbook. All students admitted to the program are offered full financial support.
The Neuroscience Faculty in the Department of Biological Science have a diverse research portfolio including electrophysiology and biophysics of excitable cells, neurotransmitter and neurohormone action, development and plasticity, circadian rhythms, sensory biology and the genetic and molecular basis of behavior. A list of our faculty and their specific research interests can be found on our Neuroscience Research Areas page.
The Ph.D. in Biological Science program is intended to be completed in approximately five years. The specific program of study and coursework are tailored to each student’s research interests and determined in collaboration with the faculty advisor and the student’s advisory committee.
Typically, Ph.D. students complete their preliminary written and oral exams near the end of their second year and successfully defend their research proposal near the end of their third year. After completing the research project, each student is required to write a dissertation and to defend it before a faculty committee.
The Master's in Biological Science program typically takes two to three years to complete. Master's students must pass 18 hours of letter graded graduate courses. Each master's student is required to write and defend a thesis presenting their original research, but they do not take preliminary written or oral exams. Additional requirements for master's students vary as described in the graduate handbook.
Students interested in the Ph.D. or thesis-based M.S. degree in Biological Science with a neuroscience area focus can find more information about our application process here.
Many of the Department of Biological Science Faculty are also members of the separately administered Graduate Program in Neuroscience. This interdepartmental research and graduate training program also includes faculty from the departments of Psychology, Mathematics and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medicine. Its objective is to promote interdisciplinary basic research into neural processes with a long tradition of training in sensory systems. The program administers a distinct curriculum leading to the Neuroscience Ph.D. degree. Students interested in this interdisciplinary doctoral program should apply directly to Graduate Program in Neuroscience and contact the appropriate Program faculty.