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Grad Program: Neuroscience

Basic Information

The fist-sized hunk of fatty tissue weighing about three pounds that is the human brain is one of the most complicated systems known. It transmits our every thought, motion, and emotion through complex processes neuroscientists spend most of their time trying to understand. (Of course, humans aren’t the only subjects of neuroscientific research. Animals play a large role in the field as means to understanding human neurology--as well as that of animals themselves.)

Neuroscience is inherently interdisciplinary. Molecular genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology, neuroanatomy, electrophysiology, molecular biology, computational neuroscience, psychology, and even physics help neuroscientists unlock the mysteries of sensation and perception, learning and memory, movement, sleep, stress, aging and neurological and psychiatric disorders. Because of this, graduate programs in neuroscience involve multiple departments, and may be "housed" in psychology, biology, or other departments, and courses of study after the master’s degree become highly specialized and individual.

Degree Information

Programs that do offer Master’s of Science degrees tend to consider them primarily as a step towards Ph.Ds. or combined M.D./Ph.Ds. As such, master’s degrees can sometimes be completed in one year.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • Do the different departments associated with the program work well with each other?
  • What research has the faculty conducted?
  • Is the program well-funded and equipped?
  • What is the level of student-faculty interaction?
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