Biology/Neuroscience PhD

As a Doctor of Biology, you have the option to further specialize your studies in neuroscience with the Doctorate in Biology with a Specialization in Neuroscience in the College of Science and Technology. You can gain admittance into this specialization after you've been accepted into the Biology PhD program. The interdisciplinary program is well-suited for those looking to enter the pharmaceutical and medical fields. This degree is also a great steppingstone for a career in academia as an instructor and/or researcher. 

Neurobiology is the displine that studies the fuctionality of the nervous system. More than ever, neurobiology has influenced the trajectory of the academic, biotechnologic and medical spheres toward a more accurate comprehension of and treatment for many of today's most debilitating and fatal diseases, rooted in the nervous system. You will use the field of neurobiology as a lens through which to understand and research behavior and cognition, cellular and molecular function, and various neurological diseases.

In this degree program, you'll gain both experiential and theoretical knowledge. Utilizing a combination of anatomical, biochemical and neurophysiological techniques, past students have studied the

  • aspects of retinal development;
  • behavior of neurons and supportive cells in vitro;
  • consquences of fetal alcohol exposure on brain development;
  • interaction between the nervous system and immune system;
  • processing of visual information in the retina and brain; and
  • recovery from spinal cord injury.

In this rigorous program, you must successfully complete the requirements of both the Biology Department and Neuroscience program. 

Learn more about core faculty members who work in neurobiology and other disciplines within the Department of Biology.

Classes & Curriculum 

In addition to the Biology program requirements, to receive a Specialization in Neuroscience, enrolled doctoral students must fulfill the following requirements.

  • Dissertation Committee: Students must have one member of the Neuroscience program on their dissertation committee.
  • Journal Club: Students need to attend and participate in Readings in Neuroscience, which is the Journal Club for the Neuroscience Seminar Series of the College of Liberal Arts Neuroscience program. Students must participate for four semesters by enrolling in one credit each semester.

Additionally, students take two courses in each of the following Neuroscience Specialization areas, including

  • Behavioral/Cognitive/Systems Neuroscience and
  • Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience.


Biology/Neuroscience PhD graduates are prepared for careers as teachers and researchers in academic and research institutions, particularly in the fields of cellular and molecular biology.