Programs by Campus



College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-mail: neurosci [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

Special Program Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The program leading to the Ph.D. degree is designed to give students the opportunity to develop the technical skills and conceptual frame work necessary for a successful research career in neuroscience. Research should be viewed as the student’s greatest challenge and the major focus of the student’s energy. Training emphasis focuses on: Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience; Behavioral Neuroscience; Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience; and Clinical and Translational Neuroscience. Faculty come from the Departments of Biology, Computer Science (School of Informatics and Computing), Kinesiology (School of Public Health), Medical Sciences (School of Medicine), Physics, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Speech and Hearing Sciences, and Visual Sciences (School of Optometry). Students can also draw upon course offerings through the Center for the Integra­tive Study of Animal Behavior, the Cognitive Science Program, as well as the Department of Chemistry.

Admission Requirements

Undergraduate education that includes an adequate background in chemistry, mathematics, and the biological and behavioral sciences are urged to apply. Students with undergraduate concentrations in other areas of the natural sciences, computer science, or engineering also are encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to applicants with a background in laboratory research and with strong letters of recommendation. Applications must include a complete entrance form, three letters of recommendation, scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and the undergraduate transcript. Transcripts should be mailed to the Program in Neuroscience, Graduate Admissions, 1101 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405-7007. At least one score on the GRE test should correspond to 600 or above (on the old scale). This would equate to at least 160 verbal or 148 quantitative on the new computer-based tests. Reference: School Code 1324; Department Code 0213. If your native language is not English, you are required to demonstrate your level of English proficiency by taking the TOEFL and submitting your scores. A minimum TOEFL of 80 (TOEFL internet based test, or equivalent score from another testing format) is needed for admission. The deadline for domestic and international applicants is December 1. The Program in Neuroscience accepts students for the fall semester only. 

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours, including dissertation, is required for the Ph.D. An individual program of study is planned for each student in consultation with the student’s advisory committee. The aim is to provide each student with a solid background in neuroscience as well as the training necessary to supplement the student’s particular research area. Program in Neuroscience requires 21 credit hours of coursework. Required courses from the 21 credit hours include the following: N500 (3 credits),  N501 (3 credits), N650 (6 semesters at 1 credit per semester), plus other courses chosen by the student's committee and the student. In addition, completion of the major requires completion of a course (at least 1 credit) that includes professional ethics; this course would be selected in consultation with the graduate student's committee (examples of suitable courses include, but are not limited to, PSY P-595, COGS Q-510, BIOL Z-620, and VSCI V-792). N500 and N501 must be completed by the fifth semester of residence. Courses may be selected from those listed by the Program in Neuroscience or cross-listed with other departments, divisions, or special programs. Course work must be completed with an average of B+ (3.3) or above. No grades below B– (2.7) may be counted toward degree requirements.

Advisory Committee

Chosen in consultation with the student, the student’s research advisor, and the program director. The committee consists of at least three members of the Graduate Faculty who review the student’s performance on a regular basis and provide feedback and guidance.

Qualifying Examination

To remain in good standing and be admitted to doctoral candidacy, students must pass a written and oral examination before the end of their fifth semester in residence. Students with a double major may request one additional year before they take the qualifying examination. Students failing the qualifying examination twice will be dismissed from the program.

Final Examination

In addition to the oral defense of the dissertation before the research committee, a public research seminar is required.

Ph.D. Minor in Neural Science

Students in other departments and programs who elect to minor in the Program in Neuroscience must complete the N500-N501 core sequence and at least 6 credit hours of graduate course work selected from the offerings listed by the Program in Neuroscience or cross-listed with other departments. A grade of B (3.0) or higher in each course is required.

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.