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Program Highlights

The Neuroscience Graduate Program provides a comprehensive, research-intensive training experience for students seeking a Ph.D. degree in the study of the nervous system. The first year curriculum provides students with a thorough understanding of the fundamental concepts that underlie contemporary neuroscience, from the molecular and cellular to systems level. Active learning is fostered through participation in the Neuroscience Journal Club and Student Seminar and through a series of laboratory rotations with faculty selected by the student.

At the end of the first year, students choose a Ph.D. degree track (Neuroscience or Neurobiology & Anatomy) and thesis advisor. Students spend the majority of their time in subsequent years developing and carrying out their dissertation research, attending seminars, and presenting their research at local, national, and international meetings.

Neuroscience Track

The Neuroscience track attracts students from diverse backgrounds in the biological and physical sciences, psychology, and engineering. The hallmark of the track is its flexibility, allowing students students to design a curriculum that will augment their unique research experience or broaden their perspective of neuroscience. Starting in the first year, students personalize their training with advanced coursework chosen from a rich variety of electives offered in the School of Medicine or the School of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. In addition, students frequently collaborate with faculty to design their own interest-specific tutorials. Students in the Neuroscience track may select a thesis advisor from more than 60 faculty representing 17 departments and 6 interdisciplinary research centers. Successful completion of the track culminates with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Neurobiology and Anatomy Track

The Neurobiology and Anatomy track is particularly well-suited to students in the joint M.D./Ph.D. program and to Ph.D. candidates interested in studying the function and dysfunction of the nervous system on a broader scale. The program of study extends the core curriculum into human anatomy, neurobiology, and disorders of the nervous system through participation in one of two medical school courses. The program is specifically directed towards preparing students for academic careers within a medical school setting, where teaching comprises an important component of the faculty mission, and where research interests include systems, integrative, and translational/clinical aspects of neural science. The track is available to students whose thesis advisor has a primary or secondary appointment in the Department of Neuroscience. Students completing the track are awarded a Ph.D. in Neurobiology & Anatomy.

A Safe, Welcoming and Supportive Environment for Graduate Study

We encourage students to investigate the academic and social climate in which they will be working. We recognize that recent allegations and an independent investigation may have raised questions about choosing the University of Rochester for your graduate studies. The University is deeply committed to providing a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment for graduate students. We are taking steps to further strengthen that commitment.

  • The CARE network—our nationally recognized program for expressing concern about any person, incident or issue in the University community and getting support to address it—serves all graduate and post-baccalaureate students as well as University undergraduates.
  • Our Ombudsperson Program for graduate students and postdoctoral appointees adds a layer of confidential and independent support for discussing any concern and also for reporting inappropriate behavior.
  • The Office for Inclusion and Culture Development promotes diversity and is tasked with ensuring that policies and practices to support learners are clear, consistent, and communicated effectively across all medical center education programs.

Our goal is to provide a first-class research and training environment in which faculty, learners and staff are united by mutual respect and the love of science. You’ll see this in Dean Mark Taubman’s response to the independent investigator’s report and the welcome message from Richard Feldman, interim president designate for the University. Find more resources and information on this website or talk to your program representative if you have questions.