University of Texas at Austin > Institute for Neuroscience > Program of Study > Overview


For detailed information regarding program requirements please refer to the Neuroscience Graduate Program handbook.


The Neuroscience Graduate Program is administered by The Institute for Neuroscience (INS), a campus-wide organization responsible for research and teaching activities related to the neurosciences. The Program is multidisciplinary with more than 70 participating neuroscientists from 13 departments and is designed to promote interdisciplinary training and interaction. Research at the INS is diverse with investigators covering all major disciplines and techniques in neuroscience and representing a broad range of research interests, from molecular neuroscience and genetics, through physiology, cellular and systems research, to cognition and behavior and the neurobiology of disease. Because of the outstanding and diverse composition of the INS faculty, our graduate students are provided with unparalleled opportunities for research and are trained to become critical thinkers capable of understanding the full breadth of conceptual and technical approaches to neuroscience.

General Overview

Students begin their graduate career by taking required and elective coursework and research rotations in two or three different labs of their choice. These requirements ensure that each student gains a strong foundation in basic concepts of neuroscience and experimental approaches. By the end of the first year students focus their research interest through selection of their graduate research advisor and lab. In the second year students generally complete their elective course work and take the qualifying exam. In addition, students gain grant writing experience by submitting a pre-doctoral fellowship (NRSA or NSF). After passing the qualifying exam students spend the next 2-3 years completing their dissertation research. Upper level students also gain teaching experience by participating as a teaching assistant.

Completion of the neuroscience PhD program takes an average of 5 years and all students admitted to the Neuroscience Graduate Program are guaranteed stipend support at the level of $26,000 for five years.

In addition to conferring a PhD, the Institute for Neuroscience offers an MD-PhD degree in Neuroscience in conjunction with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Students admitted into this dual-degree program undergo medical training at UTMB and then transfer to UT-Austin to complete their graduate work. For more information on this exciting program please refer to the UTMB MD-PhD dual degree program website, or contact our graduate advisor Alex Huk or Graduate Coordinator Krystal Phu for more information.

Copyright © 2008 Institute for Neuroscience. Site design: Academic Web Pages