UGA’s Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program trains doctoral students using novel, multidisciplinary approaches to study the brain and behavior preparing them to address major neurologic and neurodegenerative diseases of the 21st century.

Degree Type: Doctoral

Degree Program Code: PHD_NEUR_BT

Degree Program Summary:

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Ph.D. Program at the University of Georgia (UGA) was approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 2005 and instituted in 2006. The Neuroscience Program was established in conjunction with the Biomedical and Health Science Institute (BHSI), and the BHSI serves as its administrative home. The purpose of the BHSI is to facilitate and promote interdisciplinary research and instructional efforts at UGA in the fields of biomedical and health sciences. The BHSI is comprised of three divisions: Neuroscience, One Health, and Basic and Translational Biomedical Sciences. The Neuroscience Ph.D. Program at UGA involves more than 30 faculty representing 14 departments. The Program awards doctoral degrees in Neuroscience. The Neuroscience Ph.D. Program provides graduate students with the broad academic background, technical expertise, clinical exposure, and scientific scholarship necessary to continue their careers in neuroscience research. A major goal of this research is to provide society with the basic information about nervous system function that is critical for developing treatments for neurological and behavioral disorders. Scientific study of the nervous system is thus essential for overall health and well-being. Damage or disorders in this system may result in severe impairment to the patient and costs billions of dollars to diagnose and treat each year. Examples of brain disorders that exact a devastating toll on the nation’s health include traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, depression, schizophrenia, and drug abuse, to name but a few. Furthermore, as biomedical research progresses, it has become increasingly clear that the nervous system is critically involved in all diseases, not just behavioral and neurological disorders. Brain function influences the onset and progression of illnesses ranging from infectious disease to cancer to diabetes. Behavior, which is the manifestation of brain functions, is probably the most important factor in determining disease onset. Examples of behaviors directly influencing health include exercise, diet, smoking, and illicit drug use. Understanding how the brain regulates these behaviors may yield the most important information about how to prevent major diseases.

Degree Awarded: PhD

Degree Code: PHD_NEUR

The goals of the BHSI are to: offer a number of broadly based, interdisciplinary graduate degrees which will facilitate the recruitment of graduate students in the areas of interest to the BHSI; provide a “seamless” application and administration process for interdisciplinary grant applications; serve as a focal point at UGA for future biomedical and/or health science related initiatives both on campus and with outside partners establish a prominent public profile for UGA biomedical and health sciences research; enhance UGA public service and outreach in the biomedical and health fields.

Based on the range of current activity, existing strengths, and opportunities for expansion, the Institute is structured with three program areas, each led by a Divisional Chair: the Division of Basic and Translational Biomedical Sciences – Chair, Kojo Mesa Wilmot, Ph.D.; the Division of Neuroscience – Chair, Phil Holmes, Ph.D; the Division of One Health – Chair, Susan Sanchez, Ph.D.

Admissions to the graduate program in Neuroscience will follow the guidelines of the University of Georgia Graduate School. However, competitive candidates will score at least 1000 combined verbal and quantitative on the GRE and have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Given the biological and molecular nature of neuroscience, it is also recommended that students have a background in upper division biology, as well as chemistry, biochemistry and/or cell biology.

Multiple departments participate in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program at the University of Georgia. This interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience requires study across a range of topics. Thus, students will be interacting with faculty in multiple departments.

Departments with faculty represented in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program include:

  • Animal and Dairy Science
  • Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Cellular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Communication Sciences and Special Education
  • Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology
  • Entomology
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Pathology
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Small Animal Medicine

The Ph.D. program in Neuroscience at the University of Georgia has three areas of content focus. These include the following:

  • Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
  • Systems Neuroscience

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:




Graduate Coordinator(s):

View Degree Program Website

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