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Neuroscience Graduate Program Graduate Division University of California, Berkeley

  • Berkeley, CA
    location
  • Public
    type
  • Urban
    setting
  • 0%0%
    student ratio
  • Not Reported
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • December 2
    fall application deadline
  • Not Reported
    acceptance rate
  • 1 Degree
    degrees/awards offered

Overview

Premier University's Neuroscience Graduate Program Is at the Very Top of Its Field

Understanding the brain and mind is one of the great frontiers in modern science. Neuroscience, the interdisciplinary effort to explore this frontier, has 2 main goals: to develop a detailed biological understanding of the brain and how it generates behavior and cognition, and to better understand, diagnose, and treat neurological disorders.

The neuroscience graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley is a highly selective Ph.D. training program offering intensive training in neuroscience research, coursework, and professional development. More than 50 program faculty and affiliates provide expertise in molecular/cellular, systems/computational, behavioral, and human cognitive neuroscience, including sophisticated biological, computational, and imaging techniques.

Specific areas of research include analysis of ion channels, signal transduction mechanisms, and gene regulation; development of neurons, synapses, and circuits; synapse function and plasticity; mechanisms of sensory processing; principles of function of cerebral cortex; neural basis for learning, attention, and sleep; and neural basis for human emotion, language, motor control, and other high-level cognitive processes.

The program is highly interdisciplinary, an approach that creates a challenging and dynamic environment for this ever evolving field. Neuroscientists work side-by-side in the lab with engineers and roboticists to study motor control, with bioengineers to grow stem cells for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, and with chemists to develop new reagents for optical monitoring and control of neural activity. Neuroscience graduate program students are trained at these intersections between fields and help drive scientific and technological advances.

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) is a partner with UC Berkeley in the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, and public service and serves as the hub for neuroscience studies and research programs. The HWNI Administration, with research administration assistance from Research Enterprise Services (RES), provides comprehensive administrative, organizational, technical, and communications services for the graduate program.

The Neuroscience Curriculum Provides a Broad Foundation for Graduate Student Specialization

Neuroscience is a broad field that requires multidisciplinary training as well as intensive study of specific concepts and techniques related to each student's primary research focus. The neuroscience graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley is designed to provide highly individualized, flexible training that fulfills both these needs. It is a Ph.D.-level program only, with a standard completion time of 5 to 5-and-a-half years. There is no master's degree offered in this specialty.

The neuroscience graduate program has a highly flexible structure, including customizable course work requirements designed to offer students sufficiently broad training so as to be up-to-date in every major area of neuroscience, while still encouraging focus on students' primary research interests. Among the training faculty are members of the National Academy of Sciences and winners of many of the most prestigious academic and professional awards in the world.

During the first year of the UC Berkeley program, each student spends three 10-week periods performing research projects in different faculty laboratories. Students are exposed to different techniques and approaches in neuroscience and train in experimental design, critical analysis of data, and presentation of research findings. Rotations also allow students to identify the laboratory in which their thesis research will be performed. Students formally present results from the laboratory rotations in a dedicated course designed to instruct students in clear, effective presentation of scientific findings. Thesis research starts after the completion of these rotations.

In the program's first 2 years, each student is required to take 3 courses chosen from 3 broad areas: cellular, molecular, and developmental neuroscience; systems and computational neuroscience; and cognition, brain, and behavior. Students consult with faculty advisers to decide upon the most appropriate individual courses, with an eye toward establishing a broad foundation of primary knowledge while simultaneously beginning the process of focusing on their ultimate special interests.

At the end of the second year, students complete an Oral Qualifying Examination during which a faculty committee tests the students' knowledge of general neuroscience and their ability to recognize important research problems, propose relevant experimental approaches, and display comprehensive knowledge of relevant subjects. Students must pass the qualifying examination before advancing to doctoral candidacy.

During the third and fourth years of study in the UC Berkeley program, students take 2 additional specialized topic seminars according to their interest. In the fourth year, they are also required to make a formal presentation on the progress of their thesis research.

The completion of the thesis research is determined by a faculty committee headed by the student's thesis mentor. While there is no formal thesis defense, students present a formal thesis seminar to the neuroscience community in their last semester of candidacy.

Other program activities include training in teaching -- each student has to serve as a Graduate Student Instructor for 2 semesters, usually during the second and third years of study; an annual neuroscience retreat; neuroscience seminar series, as well as other affiliated seminar series; Journal Clubs; multi-laboratory special interest group meeting; laboratory meetings; and a slew of social activities supported by the program.

Neuroscience Graduate Program Students Receive Full Financial Support

All admitted students receive full financial support (including payment of tuition and fees) with direct financial support (set at $32,500 for the 2014-2015 academic year) during their period of enrollment in the UC Berkeley program providing they maintain good academic standing. Many students receive highly competitive fellowships, such as those offered by NSF, NDSEG, NIH, NASA, and other sources.

Short-term loans, disabled student services, and various benefits for veterans, reservists, and dependents of veterans are also available in various amounts and forms to help as many students as possible. There are also such specific opportunities as the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) Fellowships, and other specially focused grants and fellowships managed by the university's Graduate Division.

Graduate Outcomes: Consistently Producing Top Scientists and Innovators

Following graduation in recent years, most newly-minted graduates of the neuroscience graduate program at the University of California, Berkeley opted for postdoctoral appointments leading to academic jobs. Others found jobs in private industry, consulting firms, research institutes, or went on to further graduate studies in medical, veterinarian, or law schools.

The San Francisco Bay Area: World-class Region Offers Riches of Culture, Art, Cuisine, Entertainment, and Sports

Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area offer a rich environment for students with a wide variety of personal and recreational interests. The international city of San Francisco, like the rest of the Bay Area, offers a full range of shopping venues, arts, cultural showings and offerings, superb world cuisine, and a vibrant, varied nightlife.

For outdoor fun, Tilden Park is mere minutes from campus, and only a short drive puts students at Point Reyes National Seashore, the Muir Woods, and the wine country of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. The Lake Tahoe ski area is a mere 3 hours away. For dining and nightlife, a quick check of online directories presents culinary offerings from around the world.

In San Francisco, culture and leisure can be found at the amazing California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Art Museum, the Legion of Honor Art Museum, and the De Young Museum at Golden Gate Park. Every other facet of the music and entertainment world is on tap, as well, with numerous offerings in all music styles, at both large venues and small clubs throughout the Bay Area. Sporting, athletic, and recreational pursuits are also part of the well-balanced Bay Area life. There are healthy and invigorating activities for every taste and talent, from surfing, to biking, skiing, or simply strolling through breathtaking vistas.


Location & Contact

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Graduate Division
University of California, Berkeley

450 Li Ka Shing Center
Berkeley, CA 94720-3370
United States

Prof. Dan Feldman

Chair

Tony Leonard

Information Contact

Phone: 510-642-8915
Fax: 510-643-4966
Email: tleonard@berkeley.edu

Contact school now

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Qualifying exam, teaching, research thesis/dissertation
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported

Admissions

  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $70
    • Application Fee - International $90
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline December 2nd December 2nd Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0, and 3 letters of recommendation, at least one year of laboratory experience
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL or IELTS

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableHealth Care Benefits, Scholarship and/or loans, Traineeships

Research

  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchAnalysis of ion channels, signal transduction mechanisms, and gene regulation; development of neurons, synapses, and circuits; synapse function and plasticity; mechanisms of sensory processing; principles of function of cerebral cortex; neural basis for learning, attention, and sleep; neural basis for human emotion, language, motor control, and other high-level cognitive processes
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported

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