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2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in


College of Arts and Sciences


Director: Dr. Lisa Eckel

The program in neuroscience is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary research and graduate training program leading to the PhD degree in neuroscience. Program faculty members are based in four departments: biological science, biomedical sciences, mathematics, and psychology. There is no master's degree in neuroscience, but MS degrees with a concentration in neuroscience are available through the participating departments for work completed with neuroscience program faculty. The program was established to promote basic research and to provide graduate education in neuroscience via a close mentoring relationship between students and faculty. Students entering the program choose a faculty advisor and enroll in that advisor's department. Students begin hands-on research immediately while discovering modern neuroscience through courses covering a broad range of approaches, from molecular to behavioral. Interdisciplinary research training is available involving molecular, cellular, physiological, and behavioral approaches to the study of a broad array of research areas, including sensory systems, ingestive behavior, human neuroscience, animal models of cognition, molecular genetics, proteomics, membrane biophysics, neurobiology of brain injury and disease, neuroendocrinology, social behavior, stress, and drug addiction. Fellowships and positions on two NIH-funded training grants are available on a competitive basis to students in the program. The program maintains specialized research support services and personnel and provides special courses and symposia on contemporary neuroscience issues. Each semester the program brings prominent neuroscientists to Florida State University to give colloquia and hold informal discussions with graduate students and faculty. Details on faculty/student research and program events may be found on the neuroscience program website at

Admission Requirements

The admission process begins at the neuroscience program website at where there are links to the online admissions system of the Florida State University Office of Admissions. All application materials and supporting documentation should be uploaded into the FSU Online Application system. Applications must be complete with all supporting documents by December 1 for the following Fall admission. Applicants must meet minimum criteria, including a 3.0 undergraduate upper-division grade-point average (GPA) and have relevant research experience. Required supporting documents include the applicant's statement of purpose, diversity statement, curriculum vitae, three recent letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess the applicant's academic and research potential, and unofficial transcripts. A Graduate Record Exam (GRE) waiver may be approved for select students who meet criteria for demonstrating success and aptitude for research and academic preparation. In addition to the above, international students must meet University standards for English Language Proficiency. Applicants select three neuroscience faculty members as their possible initial advisor, and ideally should contact these faculty members before applying. A list of faculty who are accepting graduate students can be found on the program website at Additional information is available on the program website or by request to the program office.

Degree Requirements

The direction and supervision of doctoral work resides primarily with the major professor and supervisory committee. Students complete one of two approved curriculum tracks: the Neuroscience Track (for students conducting research involving laboratory animals) or the Cognitive Neuroscience/Human Imaging Track (for students conducting research involving human subjects). Students in both tracks complete a series of common, core courses plus a number of course electives selected to complement their ongoing research. Program curriculum is continually updated. Please refer to the neuroscience program website at for the most current requirements.

Overall requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in neuroscience are:

  1. Successful completion of the doctoral preliminary exam;
  2. Completion of a minimum of twenty-four credit hours of dissertation credit following admission to doctoral candidacy;
  3. One research experience outside the home lab;
  4. At least two seminar presentations in addition to the summer seminar and dissertation defense;
  5. Submission and approval of a doctoral prospectus;
  6. Completion of original research work in neuroscience;
  7. Submission and successful defense of an acceptable dissertation.

In addition to these requirements, students are encouraged to present their work at regional, national, and international meetings, engage in professional development and outreach activities, and gain at least one semester of teaching experience.

For additional information, see or the neuroscience listings in the Biological Science, Psychology, and Biomedical Sciences in this Graduate Bulletin.