Dr. Yongsoo Kim, an associate professor in the Department of Neural & Behavioral Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, is pictured in his lab in July 2016, framed by laboratory equipment and looking away from a screen depicting two images of a section of the brain.

Neuroscience PhD

Understanding the Brain-Body Connection

The Neuroscience PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine brings together scientists from different basic and clinical disciplines to focus on the nervous system.

Some researchers seek to clarify the development or function of the brain at the cellular, molecular, or genetic levels. Others seek to understand how the nervous system processes information, controls autonomic functions, regulates states of consciousness, or determines behavior. Still others search for the means to diagnose, prevent, and successfully treat malignant brain tumors, congenital and acquired brain diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, or dysfunctions caused by pathologic states in brain structure. All are committed to educate graduate students in the neurosciences.

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About the Program

Curriculum

Students in the Neuroscience Graduate Program begin their program by taking core courses in biomedical sciences and neurology and completing three laboratory rotations to develop technical skills and identify potential laboratories for thesis research before taking their Candidacy Exams.

The program faculty members are concentrated in the basic science and clinical departments focused on neuroscience but also include faculty members from almost all departments in the College of Medicine. We also have close ties with colleagues in the neurosciences at Penn State University at University Park.

All accepted students receive full stipends and paid tuition costs, allowing for full-time graduate studies.

Learn more about the Neuroscience PhD curriculum.

Program Goals

The interdepartmental structure of the Neuroscience PhD program provides students with the flexibility to take multidisciplinary approaches to research problems in neuroscience, and collaborations among laboratories are strongly encouraged. Research programs are well-supported by grants from private and public funds, particularly from the National Institutes of Health.

Penn State College of Medicine provides a pleasant environment that promotes research and learning.

Our immediate goal is to prepare students to assume responsible positions as researchers or teachers in the neurosciences. Our ultimate goal is to provide a foundation that will prepare them for leadership positions in academia, industry or a wide range of related disciplines. Graduates of the program have been very competitive for good positions in postdoctoral training, teaching, and as independent investigators.

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Student Resources

Penn State College of Medicine strives to create the best culture of respect and inclusion for our students. A number of programs, services and facilities are available.

See more resources for current students

Students sit in the recently remodeled Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine in July 2016.
Students sit in the recently remodeled Harrell Health Sciences Library at Penn State College of Medicine in July 2016.

Campus Life

Student Housing

Housing is available to Penn State College of Medicine students, residents and postdocs in University Manor East and West apartment complexes. One of the complexes is pictured as seen from a higher floor of a nearby building, with a road and trees framing it in the background.
Housing in University Manor apartments is available to Penn State College of Medicine students.

Penn State College of Medicine offers housing in its University Manor East or University Manor West apartments to full-time students, residents, postdocs and visiting scholars.

Read more about on-campus housing.

Life in Hershey, PA

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory. Two banners depicting cartoon candy characters are seen on a light pole in downtown Hershey, PA, in summer 2016, with a brick building with large glass windows in the background.
Hershey, PA, is known as "The Sweetest Place on Earth."

Penn State College of Medicine is in Hershey, PA, a town known as the home of the HersheyPark amusement park and the Hershey Chocolate Factory.

Read more about life in Hershey.