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Office of the Registrar


Phone: (307) 766-6446
Web Address:
Program Director: Francis W. Flynn, Ph.D.

Degrees Offered

M.S. & Ph.D. in Neuroscience

The Graduate Neuroscience Program offers training leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Neuroscience. The Neuroscience Program emphasizes systems and integrative approaches, and our goal is to provide the students with the necessary background to be broadly trained research neuroscientists and carry out independent research in neuroscience. The Neuroscience Program emphasizes continuing interaction with faculty from several departments and we have a low student to faculty ratio. You will emerge from this program with a problem-oriented, rather than discipline-bound, approach to research.

The Neuroscience Program is designed to enable graduate students to acquire competence in the various disciplines necessary for research and teaching careers in the neurosciences. The current interests of the neuroscience faculty include auditory neurophysiology, behavioral neuropharmacology, neuroendocrinology, neuroethology, neurodegeneration, somatosensory anatomy and physiology, pain research and cortical development and plasticity.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

  • University minimum requirements;
  • Bachelor's degree in biological sciences from an accredited institution;
  • Admission to the doctoral Neuroscience Program is based on GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and your personal statement describing your areas of interest and experience. Admission is open to all students in the biological sciences who meet the minimum requirements.
  • You will be best prepared for our program if you have successfully completed courses in chemistry, general zoology/biology, physiology, physiological psychology or animal behavior, and biochemistry. Students may be admitted with deficiencies in some of the areas. If so, the student's advisory committee will determine what additional work is necessary during the first year to correct any deficiency.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master's Program

After acceptance into the program, each student would select, or be assigned a major adviser and two other faculty advisers, all from the Neuroscience Program faculty. They will serve as the student's graduate committee, devising a set of course requirements (26 credit hour minimum) to best suit the student's educational goals and overseeing the design, execution, and approval of the student's thesis research.

In addition to the usual university requirements for the M.S. degree, an original research thesis (4 hours of thesis research; 5960) on a neuroscience problem and final oral examination will be required. Specific course requirements will include 1) Introduction to Neuroscience (NEUR 5280), 2) participation in at least two semesters in the Graduate Neuroscience Seminar (NEUR 5115; the topic and instructor changes each semester), 3) thesis research.

Students are required to take a minimum of two of the following courses: Neurophysiology (NEUR 5685), Structure and Function of the Nervous System (NEUR 5100), Neural Mechanisms of Behavior (ZOO 4290), and Cell Physiology (NEUR 5670). Students are required to earn a minimum grade of B for the required courses. Additional electives include: Pharmacology I and II (PHCY 6230), Molecular & Cellular Basis of Disease (HM 6520), and Statistics.

Students are required to obtain a B or better in required courses.

The thesis is the final, written product of the research project. The thesis must be submitted to the student's committee at least two weeks before the intended date of final examination. To finalize the master's program and project, one electronic copy of the thesis is submitted to the Office of the Registrar along with the completion of requirements and certificate of approval forms by  the graduation deadline.

Doctoral Program

All doctoral neuroscience students are required to complete a program of core courses that includes the following required courses: Introduction to Neuroscience, Structure and Function of the Nervous System and Neurophysiology. Students are required to take one course in Statistics (e.g. STAT 5050, STAT 5210) and the course that meets this requirement will be arranged with the student's committee. The statistics requirement must be met by the end of the second year. The Neuroscience Program is a research-oriented program and students are expected to take a minimum of 2 to 3 credit hours of research per semester. Students are also expected to enroll in an on-going Seminar in Neuroscience each semester. The Neuroscience Seminar, which meets weekly and is attended by students and faculty members, provides an opportunity for intellectual and social exchange. The topic and the faculty member directing the seminar changes each semester. The remainder of the coursework for the doctor of philosophy degree is selected from designated courses in physiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, and psychology. A grade of B or better is required for all neuroscience courses.

A student is expected to have a graduate adviser at all times. The faculty adviser will be a participating member of the neuroscience faculty. The adviser is responsible for directing the student's research and academic coursework. During the second year, the student will have an advisory committee. The advisory committee will consist of at least three neuroscience faculty members and an outside member. Normally, the student's adviser will chair the committee and help identify members of the committee who best match the student's area of interest. The role of the advisory committee is to oversee all aspects of the student's education after the first year.

In the student's second or third year, the advisory committee will set and evaluate the student's qualifying examination. After completion of the preliminary examination, the committee will evaluate the student's dissertation proposal and, eventually, the completed dissertation.

The dissertation is the single most important component of the graduate program. It reports the results of the student's research. As oral defense of the dissertation, the student will deliver a formal 50 minute seminar on original research from the dissertation. The seminar will be followed by an examination by the student's advisory committee.

Neuroscience (NEUR) Courses

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