CBN Graduate Program Requirements
Graduate Degrees Offered
M.S. Biological Sciences
Ph.D. in Neuroscience or Biological Sciences
The department offers graduate study and research leading to a Master of Biological Science (M.S.) degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in either Neuroscience or Biological Sciences. Prospective students wishing to apply directly to the Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience must first secure a faculty mentor prior to the on-line application process. Applicants applying through the Molecular BIOSciences Program do not need to secure a mentor prior to application.
Ph.D. and M.S. Degree Programs
A Bachelor's degree in an area of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Applied Math or Psychology is recommended. Students with Bachelor’s degrees outside these areas are also encouraged to apply; such students will generally be required to complete appropriate courses while enrolled at MSU to make up subject matter deficiencies prior to full acceptance into the Ph.D. and Masters programs. Factors that the department uses in its admissions process may include GRE scores, TOEFL scores (for non-native English speakers), reference letters, GPA and previous coursework and research experience.
The Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience also participates in the Molecular BIOSciences Program at MSU. This is an interdisciplinary graduate training program that includes faculty from a wide range of departments specializing in aspects of biology on the MSU campus.
Complete details about the application process can be found here.
Two options are offered for the Master's degree:
- Plan A requires completion of 20 credits of acceptable coursework and 10 credits of thesis.
- Plan B requires completion of a 4 credit project and 26 credits of acceptable coursework.
All Master's candidates must take an oral comprehensive exam near the completion of their graduate program. Required curriculum will be tailored to the needs and interests of each student in consultation with their graduate advisor and advisory committee.
A Ph.D. student must complete 60 credits. This will include a mix of dissertation credits and graduate-level coursework credits. The exact proportion of credits will be determined for each student by their advisory committee. Accepted students will be assigned an advisory committee upon entering the program to assist them in tailoring a curriculum that best fits their educational needs, research interests, and career plans.
Plan A (thesis option) Master's degree students gain research experience through their thesis and are expected to submit the results of their thesis work to at least one journal or conference. Plan B (project option) Master's degree students gain some research experience in the context of their project. Ph.D. students will gain research experience through their doctoral work, journal or conference submissions, and attending conferences
Graduate research will be performed primarily in the laboratory of the student’s thesis advisor. Additional facilities will be available from the department and in laboratories collaborating with the student’s advisor. Cell Biology and Neuroscience is dually housed in the 5th floor of Leon Johnson Hall and in the basement of Lewis Hall.
A number of research and teaching assistantships are available for qualified graduate students. These appointments are normally for half-time assignments (19 hours per week) during the academic year. Some appointments may also be available during the summer. Assistantships will only be offered to formally admitted graduate students. Fellowships are available through MBS program.
Roger Bradley, Ph.D.
James Mazer, Ph.D.
- Cassie Cusick; anatomy and physiology
- Charles Gray; neurophysiology of visual perception and cognition
- Thomas Hughes; biophysics
- Frances Lefcort; molecular and cellular neural development
- Roger Bradley; developmental neuroscience
- Steve Eiger; physiology
- James Mazer; visual neurophysiology and attention
- Christa Merzdorf; developmental neurobiology
- Susy Kohout; voltage dependent signaling
- Steve Stowers; genetic analysis of neural circuits