Neuroscience Graduate Program

What is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience studies how the brain and nervous system function, both in health and disease. The brain is the most complex organ in the body and we continue to strive to understand how it is organized, how it develops and the mechanisms underlying aging as well as neurological and psychiatric diseases. This is a very exciting field of research as it serves as the foundation to understand behavior and cognitive processes across the life span as well as the underlying mechanisms of devastating disorders such as intellectual disability, affective illness, and neurodegenerative disease.

Looking for a Neuroscience Graduate Program?

Emory University’s Neuroscience Graduate (NS) Program is a nationally top-ranked multidisciplinary program that provides broad interdisciplinary doctoral training in the study of the nervous system, ranging from the molecular and cellular level to systems neurobiology covering developmental, behavioral and cognitive levels of organization. The program has grown dramatically in the last decade with the recruitment of many renowned scientists, now including one third of Emory’s American Academy (AAAS) Fellows. A significant training component is devoted to the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases. The broad spectrum of research expertise in cellular, molecular, behavioral, developmental, and systems neuroscience provides our students a unique environment in which to pursue their graduate education. The program includes over 120 neuroscientists drawn from 22 different departments in the University, the Medical School, and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as collaborators from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Many faculty come from the departments of Pharmacology (ranked #1 university in the world by "The Scientist" magazine for impact in pharmacology and toxicology research), Neurology (ranked 3rd nationally in total NIH funding), Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (ranked 9th nationally in total research funding), and Rehabilitation Medicine (ranked 4th nationally in total NIH funding). Thus, our program provides access to excellent labs focused on a wide variety of specialties within neuroscience.

Research and Professional Development Opportunities

Emory’s graduate program in Neuroscience combines multidisciplinary scientific training instruction with professional development to promote a successful career in neuroscience. The first-year core curriculum focuses on basic cellular, molecular and systems neuroscience, coupled with research rotations that lead to selection of a thesis advisor.  Subsequent years of study are flexible and can be tailored to each student’s specific interests and individualized program of study. The Program’s research enterprise is highly interactive, leading to numerous multidisciplinary collaborations between investigators and students in different research specialties. A hallmark feature of the Neuroscience Program is leveraging the strength of the Program’s interdisciplinary research breadth to generate compelling thesis projects.

Neuroscience Program Research Portfolio

Research in the Neuroscience Program spans multiple domains of scientific inquiry, and most faculty undertake projects that bridge multiple disciplines.  Nonetheless, NS faculty research efforts can be broadly separated into the following research fields:
Behavioral Neuroscience
Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Neuroscience
Computational Neuroscience
Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases
Motor Control & Movement Science
Systems Neuroscience

Our Students

There are about 80-100 total students enrolled in the program from year to year and the average time to finish the degree is approximately 6 years. Our alumni go on to successful careers in industry, academia, law and government. Financial support includes a tuition scholarship, health insurance and stipend. Funding is guaranteed as long as the student is making satisfactory progress toward their degree. Training is interdisciplinary and students have the flexibility to work across laboratories and faculty outside the NS program. Students typically perform three rotations before affiliating with a faculty member for their dissertation research.
The application deadline is December 1st for the following fall semester.

Program Leadership

David Weinshenker, PhD, Professor, Human Genetics

Directors of Graduate Studies:
Victor Faundez, MD/PhD, Associate Professor, Cell Biology
Malu Tansey, PhD, Associate Professor, Physiology

Director of Recruitment:
Ellen Hess, PhD, Professor,Pharmacology

Program Coordinator: 
Gary Longstreet

On behalf of our collegial and highly-engaged academic community, I welcome you to learn more about our program through this web portal.