Graduate Catalog
2021-2022
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Neuroscience
College of Science
Sandy Hall memorializes Thomas Oldham Sandy, Virginia's first demonstration agent (1907-17). Called the father of farm demonstration and extension work in Virginia, Sandy was a progressive farmer who promoted the improvement of scientific education in agriculture. He became a Virginia Tech employee when extension work moved under the university's purview in 1914. Sandy's boyish enthusiasm, keen sense of humor, and love for others endeared him to numerous people, and his work provided a major boost to agriculture in Virginia.
Sandy Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• PhD
PhD Degree in Neuroscience
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-7394
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 15
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Department Chair : Michael Fox
Graduate Program Director : Michelle Olsen (Director of Graduate Studies)
Professors: Michael Fox (FBRI)
Associate Professors: Mark Cline (LITRV); Sarah Clinton (ILSB); Elizabeth Gilbert (LITRV); Michelle Olsen (LS1); Kendra Sewall (DER); Christopher Thompson (ILSB)
Assistant Professors: Matthew Buczynski (LS1); Susan Campbell (LITRV); Daniel English (LS1); Ann Gregus (LS1); Georgia Hodes (ILSB); William Howe (LS1); Timothy Jarome (LITRV); Lina Ni (STEG); Alicia Pickrell (LS1); Stefanie Robel (FBRI); Sujith Vijayan (ICTAS)

PhD in Neuroscience at Virginia Tech

Note that the final deadline for application submission is February 1

Priority is given to applications submitted before December 1

Our Ph.D. students will apply the fundamentals of brain functioning in states of health and disease to new neuroscience discovery.

We aim to provide students with a deep understanding of the structure and function of the brain and nervous system, the brain in healthy and diseased states across the lifespan, and the most relevant neurotechnology approaches and tools needed to investigate the brain and nervous system.

Our students will learn how to conduct neuroscience research, how that research applies to healthy brain development and functioning, and how these processes go awry in neurological disorders.

Our graduates will be prepared for employment in academia, industry and government agencies, as well as business and research settings that seek to understand, translate, implement, and communicate scientific principles in neuroscience.

Our Research

Cellular, Molecular, Systems and Computational Neuroscience

Using organisms from flies to humans, neuroscience researchers at Virginia Tech are exploring how the brain develops, how the brain ages, how neurons and glia interreact with one another to create functional circuits and how these circuits create or modulate behavior, such as learning and sleep. Our researchers are looking at these questions in the healthy brain, in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, in psychiatric disease, in neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, in drug abuse, and brain injury.

Our program

  • Rotations
  • Career Development Workshop Series
  • Competitive Stipend, Tuition and >90% Healthcare coverage


After one semester of research rotations and core neuroscience coursework, our PhD candidates and their mentors work together to identify additional neuroscience coursework and electives that shape each student’s individual academic experience. Courses can be selected such that they support each students' research project and interests.  PhD students of our research-intensive program will apply the fundamentals of brain functioning in states of health and disease to new neuroscience discovery.

Our graduates

Our graduates are prepared for employment in academia, industry and government agencies, as well as business and research settings that seek to understand, translate, implement, and communicate scientific principles in neuroscience.

Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
Neuroscience PhD requirements: 96 Total Credit Hour minimum
for additional details visit our website Neuroscience PhD VT

Neuroscience core (18 credits)

  1. NEUR 5004: Principles in Neuroscience (3 credits)
  2. NEUR 5014: Fundamentals of Cellular Neuroscience (3 credits)
  3. NEUR 5024: Neuroanatomy and Systems Neuroscience (3 credits)
  4. NEUR 5074: Current Topics in Neuroscience (1 credit x 4 = 4 credits)
  5. STAT 5615: Statistics in Research (3 credits)

Laboratory Rotations:

1.     NEUR 5374: Research Experience in Neuroscience (2 credits)

 Restricted Electives (6-12 credits)

Students will select a minimum of 6 credit hours and a maximum of 12 credit hours from a prescribed list of courses. Selected coursework must be approved by the student’s advisor.

  1. NEUR 5034G: Advanced Diseases of the Nervous System (3 credits)
  2. NEUR 5054: Developmental Neuroscience (3 credits)
  3. NEUR 5064: Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience (3 credits)
  4. NEUR 5314G: Advanced Genetics of Neuroscience (3 credits)
  5. NEUR 5364G: Advanced Neuroscience of Language and Communication Disorders (3 credits)
  6. NEUR 5514G: Advanced Neuroimmunology (3 credits)
  7. NEUR 5814G: Advanced Nutritional Neuroscience (3 credits)
  8. NEUR 5914: Neuroscience of Drug Development (3 credits)
  9. NEUR 6014: Glial Biology (3 credits)

Free Electives (6-12 credits)

Students will select a minimum of 6 credit hours and a maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework at the 5000 level or higher. All courses must be approved by the student’s advisor as part of the Plan of Study. Courses can come from any graduate course offerings at the institution.

Independent Research 

Independent Research is conducted with a thesis advisor throughout the duration of the program. A thesis advisor is selected at the end of the first semester in the program following the two laboratory rotations.

No standardized tests are required for entry into the program.

Neuroscience PhD Facilities

 Please visit our website for information Neuroscience PhD Website
You can also email: neurograd@vt.edu

Neuroscience PhD Facilities

Facilities for this program can be found in the following locations:

Sandy Hall, Life Sciences1, ICTAS II, Steger Hall, Corporate Research Center
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