Program Overview

We are a vibrant and highly interactive neuroscience community that offers interdisciplinary training for Ph.D. students in all areas of neuroscience, from molecules to cognition. The Neuroscience Program is interdepartmental, and includes both basic scientists and clinical researchers, so students have an unusually broad range of research opportunities. This year, the program has 46 graduate students and over 83 faculty. A major strength of our program is its breadth, because it includes faculty from both basic science and from clinical departments. This breadth is organized and made coherent by the Center for Neuroscience which serves as the focal point for neuroscience research on the Davis campus, and is an important resource for our students and faculty. Through the Center, we participate in an intense seminar series that provides frequent exposure to scientists in all areas of neuroscience. We place special emphasis on opportunities for our students to interact with visiting speakers. Students also have access to cutting-edge equipment such as a multi-photon imaging system, several confocal microscopes, a gene chip array system, shared molecular equipment, a mass spectrometer, electron microscopes, and fMRI and PET scanners.

The research interests of the faculty include molecular, cellular, developmental, systems, behavioral, computational, cognitive, and neurological approaches to neuroscience. In order to understand the biology of learning, memory, language, behavior, disease, and sensory and motor systems, the faculty employs a wide array of techniques. These techniques include molecular genetics, biochemistry, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological techniques, optical, confocal, and multi-photon imaging, computational modeling, psychophysics, behavioral assessment, and functional brain imaging. The laboratories participating in the Neuroscience Doctoral Program are richly equipped for the full spectrum of modern neuroscience research. Special research resources include the Center for Neuroscience, the M.I.N.D. Institute for the study of neurodevelopmental disorders, the California Regional Primate Center, the UC Davis Alzheimer's Research Center, the Medical School, the Veterinary School, the Center for MIND Sciences, the Institute of Theoretical Dynamics, and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center.

The purpose of the Neuroscience Graduate Program is to educate students for a successful career in research and teaching in neuroscience. Students who complete the program will be awarded a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree in neuroscience. The program of study is designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of cellular, molecular, developmental, systems, and cognitive neuroscience. Specific course requirements depend on the student's background and interests, although students will be required to take a core curriculum in these subjects. Tuition, fees, and a stipend are paid for all students accepted.

Students are considered for admission in the Fall quarter only. Applicants are sought who have a strong background in the biological sciences, psychology, and/or the physical sciences and engineering. Research experience is strongly recommended, although not required. The GRE General Test and an appropriate subject test should be taken. The application for graduate admission is available online. The application deadline is December 1.

The Neuroscience Graduate Program is pleased to announce our affiliation with the Advanced Degree for Corporate Employees Program.

In addition, the Neuroscience Graduate Program now offers Designated Emphasis in 1) Stem and Progenitor Cells and 2) Biotechnology.

Neuroscience Program Statistics

Pre-PhD Degree                        Trainees
Total trainees 2007-2017 78
Currently in program 46
Graduated 29
Still in graduate school 39
Time to degree 5.76 yrs
Post Graduation                        Trainees
Academic Postdocs 21
Industry 8