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MUSC Bulletin | College of Graduate Studies


The Neuroscience Institute offers programs of graduate study leading to either the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. Applications are accepted from students with a variety of backgrounds in biological, chemical, and physical sciences.

The Ph.D. program is designed to give the student a comprehensive knowledge of the field of neuroscience, while providing for the development of research skills and creative thinking in a more limited area of the disciplines. In order to achieve this goal, students select an area of neuroscience in which research and the preparation of a dissertation will be accomplished. Doctoral research projects, while correlated with ongoing activities in the Neuroscience Institute, are original in nature and constitute a significant achievement. The Neuroscience Institute also participates in the Medical Scientist Training Program in which the student earns both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. While emphasis is placed on the doctoral degree, an M.S. degree is offered on a limited basis.

Research Facilities
This Neuroscience Institute is housed in modern research and teaching facilities occupying over 15,000 sq.ft. of laboratory space. Each member of the faculty occupies a research laboratory well equipped for the particular area of investigation. Specialized equipment and facilities available within the Institute include numerous microprocessors, beta and gamma counters, a tissue culture facility, a neurohistology laboratory, confocal and multiphoton microscopy, quantitative imaging facility, electrophysiology laboratories, and equipment for circuitry and behavioral analysis.

Program Guidelines
Doctor of Philosophy
During their first semester, Ph.D. students are expected to participate in the first year biomedical sciences core curriculum of the graduate school. After the first semester, students who choose to pursue graduate study in the Neuroscience Institute of Neurosciences will enroll in NSCS 730 - Fundamentals of Neuroscience. At the end of the first year, sudents will select the laboratory in which research and preparation of the dissertation will be accomplished. To aid in this, the student will attend a weekly Neuroscience Institute seminar and journal club in which concepts and methodology involved in neurosciences are presented. In addition, students will participate in up to four eight-week lab rotations as part of the core curriculum before selecting an advisor.

During the fall semester of the second year, neuroscience track students take NSCS 735 - Clinical/Systems Neuroscience. Students are also required to take four elective courses prior to being admitted to candidacy. The Neuroscience Institute offers several half-semester elective courses each spring. Students may also elect to take other courses in physiology, neuroscience and cell and molecular biology, to provide additional breadth of knowledge, as well as specialized, in-depth learning experiences in areas pertinent to their research program. Once each year, all students are required to present a seminar dealing with the dissertation research or other topic.

Additional information on the PhD program can be found at: 

While the graduate program is primarily oriented toward obtaining a PhD degree, a program of study leading to a Master's Degree is offered on a more limited basis. This program can be completed within two years, and consists of successful completion of selected coursework and an original research program. While the graduate school does not provide stipend support for MS students, support is sometimes available from research grants awarded to Neuroscience Instituteal faculty. 

Faculty Research Interests
Faculty research interests can be found on the web at


Last Published with Edits:August 10, 2016 10:17 AM
Last Comprehensive Review: August 2016

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