Graduate Degree

Neuroscience - Doctor of Philosophy

Neuroscience - Doctor of Philosophy
Plan Code:
Program Level:
Award Type:
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Natural Science
Neuroscience Program

Excerpt from the official Academic Programs Catalog:

Listed below are the approved requirements for the program from the official Academic Programs Catalog.
Students must consult their advisors to learn which specific requirements apply to their degree programs.

College of Natural Science

Interdepartmental Degree Programs

Graduate Study
Neuroscience - Doctor of Philosophy

The program provides an opportunity for doctoral students to acquire both a broad and in-depth knowledge of the function of the nervous system.  The program is designed to:

  1. Make it possible for a doctoral student to obtain a comprehensive and contemporary academic experience in the field of neuroscience.
  2. Prepare students for their future professional obligations and responsibilities as scholars.
  3. Develop an intellectual environment that will foster the growth of research and teaching in the area of neuroscience.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience, an applicant should have:

  1. Completed a broad spectrum of basic science courses.
  2. A grade-point average of at least 3.0 in science and mathematics courses.
  3. Experience in laboratory research.

To be eligible for regular admission to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience, an applicant must have:

  1. Completed an undergraduate degree in a biological, psychological, or physical science or in a related discipline.
  2. An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0.
Admission decisions are made by the Neuroscience Program Admissions Committee. Applicants with deficiencies in academic preparation may be admitted provisionally, with the requirement that they complete collateral science courses during the first year of study; these collateral courses will not count toward the degree.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Neuroscience

The student must:

1. Complete all of the following courses (20 credits):
CMSE 890 Selected Topics in Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering 3
FOR 875 R Programming for Data Sciences 3
NEU 801 Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience I 3
NEU 802 Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience I 3
NEU 803 Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience II 3
NEU 805 Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience II 3
NEU 807 Strategies in Neuroscience Research 2
PHM 830 Experimental Design and Data Analysis 3
Students who choose CMSE 890 must complete three separate enrollments in a specific topic approved by the student's guidance committee.
2. Complete two elective courses relevant to neuroscience (4 to 6 credits).
3. Complete in the first year of enrollment in the program a minimum of 2, and no more than 3 laboratory rotations (NEU 890) with each of two or three members of the faculty.  Each rotation is established by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the student.
4. Pass the written comprehensive examination given at the end of the second year of enrollment in the program.
5.   Complete and orally defend a dissertation research proposal and present a seminar describing their proposal as part of the Neuroscience Program Seminar Series.
6. Complete and defend a dissertation based on original research on an important problem in neuroscience.
7. All students must complete Responsible Conduct of Research Training. All students are required to complete the laboratory safety and animal use training tutorials and put together an Individual Development Plan based on their career goals.

A detailed description of the Doctor of Philosophy degree program with a major in neuroscience and of the research interests of participating faculty may be obtained upon request from the Neuroscience Program Administrative Office, Giltner Hall, 293 Farm Lane, Room 108, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1317, or by visiting the Web site at