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The neuroscience degree programs at The University of Texas at Austin provide students with rigorous, multidisciplinary training that can serve as a foundation for a career in science or in other areas that require an understanding of the nervous system or the ability to solve problems scientifically--for instance, by designing and conducting experiments, analyzing data, or finding and interpreting scientific literature. Like other degree programs in science, the neuroscience program does not train students for a particular career; it provides students with knowledge and skills that provide a foundation for a variety of career paths.

Careers of UT Neuroscience Alumni

In a recent graduating class, about 25% of graduates were heading to medical school, 15% were heading to graduate school in neuroscience or another discipline, and the remaining students were pursuing a wide variety of careers. Here are some of the careers reported in a recent survey of alumni representing graduating classes 2002-2017:

Research Technician at a University
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Research Program Coordinator at research/teaching hospital
Research Director at a private research institute
Business Consultant
Clinical Research Associate at a healthcare consultancy
Software Engineer
Emergency Medical Technician
User Experience Researcher at a banking company
Investment Banking Analyst
Research Data Coordinator at a research/teaching hospital
Associate Dean at a university
High School Biology Teacher
Business Analyst at a healthcare company
Bioinformatics Engineer at a research hospital
Engineer at a healthcare company
Medical Laboratory Scientist at a hospital
Physician Assistant
Biomedical Design Engineer

Becoming a Neuroscientist

Because neuroscience is such a broad field, there are many ways to be a neuroscientist. But in one way or another, most neuroscientists are involved in research. If you’re considering pursuing neuroscience as a career, the most important first step is to get involved in research. Working as a neuroscientist is quite different from taking neuroscience classes. The only way to know if you like research is to try it. For tips on getting involved in neuroscience research, visit the "Finding a Lab" link.

Upon graduation, most students interested in staying in the neuroscience field either get jobs working in labs at the research technician level, or begin pursuit of an advanced degree. If you are interested in running a neuroscience lab or becoming a professor of neuroscience, then you will need to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience or a related discipline. The Ph.D. program in neuroscience here at UT is known as The Institute for Neuroscience. Another option is to pursue a medical degree (e.g., M.D., D.V.M.) followed by secondary training in neuroscience. Although many neuroscientists have a Ph.D. in neuroscience, a neuroscience Ph.D. is not the only way to become a neuroscientist. As can be seen from examples within our own faculty, many neuroscientists have Bachelor degrees in a range of fields:

George Bittner (Chemistry) 
Marcel Goldshen-Ohm (Physics)
Jarrod Lewis-Peacock (Computer Engineering)
Michela Marinelli (Pharmacy)
Thibaud Taillefumier (Mathematical Physics)

or M.D.s or Ph.D.s in other related fields, such as biology, psychology, computer science, and genetics:

Audrey Brumback, M.D., Ph.D.
Daniel Johnston, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology
Robert Messing, M.D. followed by postdoctoral work in Neuroscience
Alison Preston, Ph.D. in Psychology
Eric Senning, Ph.D. in Chemistry

For more information on pursuing graduate education in neuroscience, visit the Graduate School in Neuroscience page.

Other Careers for Neuroscience Grads

If you don’t want to pursue graduate school or medical training, what else can you do after undergraduate training in neuroscience? As shown above, neuroscience graduates have pursued many paths. In addition to having a strong understanding of the nervous system, as a UT neuroscience alum you will skills that are valuable both inside science and outside of it, including the ability to express complex ideas effectively in writing and orally, to use data to answer questions, to access and interpret scientific literature, and to design and critique experiments. Here are some resources discussing how and where neuroscience training can be applied outside of neuroscience:

List of careers for neuroscience majors from Princeton Neuroscience Institute

Careers for neuroscience majors from UT Dallas

Careers information from U Toronto

cns career services

The Career Services Office in the College of Natural Sciences is a great resource. They provide one-on-one career coaching and can help you identify career options, prepare a resume, or find an internship, to name just a few examples. Check out their website for more information.