Ph.D. in Integrative Neuroscience

Program at a glance

Admissions cycles: Fall, Spring
Application deadlines: Dec. 15, Sept. 15
Assistantship types available: Contact department
Graduate directors: Yumei Feng, Alexander Van der Linden, Michael Webster

Integrative Neuroscience program and curriculum overview

An interdisciplinary program administered by the Graduate School, the Integrative Neuroscience Ph.D. program includes 50 faculty members from 10 University departments. The program provides students with a strong foundation across key areas of brain science, as well as advanced training in specialized subdisciplines. We are developing the next generation of leading neuroscience academics and researchers. Students receive advanced, specialized training to develop their critical thinking and research skills in preparation for a wide range of possible career avenues, either in academia or the public or private sectors.

The program trains students to possess three key abilities:

  1. A comprehensive understanding and ability to critically evaluate current knowledge and theories in neuroscience
  2. Research skills to effectively identify, design and conduct independent research in the field
  3. Enhanced professional development skills in areas including communication, teaching, grant writing and ethics

Students tailor their curriculum to meet their research interests and professional goals. They may select from a diverse variety of courses within the program, including offerings in biology, computer science, electrical and biomedical engineering, microbiology and immunology, pharmacology, philosophy, psychiatry, psychology, physiology and more.

During the first two years of the program, students complete a track of foundation courses and research experience. They then specialize within a chosen subdiscipline for their research and training in subsequent years, culminating in their dissertation.

Program requirements include coursework in:

  • Neurobiology
  • Advanced psychophysiology
  • Statistics
  • Computing or bioinformatics options
  • Ethics and scientific research

Possible elective course subjects include:

  • Computer applications
  • Comparative sensory neuroscience
  • Perception
  • Memory
  • Molecular cell biology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Functional genomics
  • Introduction to bioinformatics
  • Genes, brain and behavior
  • Principles of animal behavior
  • Genomic conflict, epigenetics
  • Developmental biology
  • Current topics in cell and molecular biology
  • Advanced cellular biology
  • Molecular pharmacology

Integrative Neuroscience faculty members at the University of Nevada, Reno encourage the academic and professional development of students as independent researchers. Working closely with advisers and program directors, students develop a specialized, independent program of study in neuroscience research methodologies.

The curriculum is designed to expose all students to core concepts and methods in the first two years while allowing them to focus on research and training within specific sub-disciplines in subsequent years.

Credit Requirements

  • All students must complete the minimum required credits with a G.P.A. of 3.00 or higher.
  • The Ph.D. in Integrative Neuroscience requires 72 credits.
  • View the program timeline and the course requirements in the Integrative Neuroscience graduate program handbook.


For doctoral students, a written and oral qualifying exam will be administered at the end of the first year. Students who fail the qualifying exam or otherwise wish to terminate their degree will be given the option of a non-thesis M.S. degree.

Dissertation Proposal and Advancement to Candidacy

During the 4th year, students will prepare a dissertation proposal outlining their planned research for their dissertation. Students are expected to give a seminar on the proposed research and will then hold an oral defense with their committee. Approval of the proposal by the committee will advance the student to candidacy as a Ph.D. student.

Graduate Advisory Committee

The advisory-examining committee consists of at least five graduate faculty members. In addition to the permanent advisor as chair, this committee is composed of two or more members from the major department, one or more from departments in related fields, and at least one member of the graduate faculty from outside the student’s major department or program who is the Graduate School Representative.

Additional Information

Start your online application

If you would like to learn more about the program, please contact:

Yumei Feng Earley
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, University of Nevada School of Medicine
(775) 784-4116

Alexander Van Der Linden
Associate Professor, Department of Biology
(775) 784-6080

Michael Webster
Professor of Psychology, Co-Director Neuroscience Graduate Program
(775) 682-8691

Contact Graduate School

Phone (775) 784-6869
Fax (775) 784-6064
Location Fitzgerald Student Services Building