The Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Michigan is an interdisciplinary gateway program that coordinates admissions and the first year of Ph.D. studies for 14 department programs, including Neuroscience. PIBS offers you the flexibility and convenience of applying to any of our participating programs through one application. We invite you to thoroughly explore Neuroscience and the other 13 programs before selecting your top preferences when you apply.
The Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Michigan was constituted in 1971, making it the longest-standing neuroscience training program in the United States. The Program is interdisciplinary and inter-departmental with faculty and students located in the Medical School, the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences, the Dental School, the School of Kinesiology, and the School of Public Health. We are a collegial and interactive group that performs research across the breadth of the neuroscience field.
Neuroscience graduate students on this campus form a cohesive group that promotes interactions among the faculty, making the Neuroscience Graduate Program the nexus of the neuroscience community. A Ph.D. in Neuroscience provides tremendous flexibility in choosing one’s career path. Our program captures the excitement and interaction intrinsic to the field of neuroscience.
The Neuroscience Graduate Program includes more than 100 faculty members representing more than 20 basic and clinical science departments in the Medical School, the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences, the Dental School, the School of Kinesiology, and the School of Public Health. Members of our faculty include a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, a past-president of the Society for Neuroscience, and several Institute for Scientific Information “Highly Cited Researchers.”
The heart of training in the Neuroscience Graduate Program is laboratory research. Graduate students in neuroscience begin research training upon their arrival on campus, and complete at least two research rotations with program faculty before adopting a laboratory for their dissertation research.
With over 100 distinguished faculty, the research areas represented by the Neuroscience Graduate Program are expansive. These research areas represent six major sub-disciplines in neuroscience:
- Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
- Developmental Neurobiology and Regeneration
- Clinical and Translational Neuroscience
- Behavioral, Affective, and Integrative Neuroscience
- Sensory and Computational Neuroscience
- Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry
Neuroscience research at the University Michigan spans the full range of experimental methods, from molecular biology to human neuroimaging. Students and faculty present their research at local events including the annual fall retreat, the neuroscience colloquium series, and in program-sponsored poster sessions. In addition, students and faculty travel to several national meetings, including the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, to present their results.
The coursework in the Neuroscience Graduate Program curriculum equips students with knowledge in basic neuroscience and related disciplines. A yearlong core course is the hub of the curriculum, and emphasizes neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, neural development, sensory physiology, learning and memory, circadian rhythms, and cognitive neuroscience.
Students complement the core course with laboratory training in cellular and molecular neurobiology and a lecture-laboratory course in human neuroanatomy. A course in statistical methods and research ethics is required of every student and elective courses that are offered across a wide variety of departments and programs allow students to individualize their training program.
In addition to formal coursework, graduate students in the program attend weekly seminars at which students, faculty, and invited lecturers present their work.
Takes place at end of second year.
All graduate students are required to teach one course for one semester.
Expected Length of Program
The usual time to degree is approximately 5 to 5 1/2 years.
Students in the Neuroscience program are exceptional and compete successfully for national awards and fellowships, including those from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.
Students also join the Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization (NGSO), which plans activities and runs a journal club. The NGSO handbook offers lots of information and advice about the Neuroscience program and living as a graduate student in Ann Arbor.
There are more than 100 alumni of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, and these graduates work in academic research, industrial research and development, academic medicine and biotechnology.