Molecular neuroscience is the study of molecules in the nervous system and their functions. For those interested in studying molecular neuroscience at the graduate level, there are programs in areas like cellular and molecular neuroscience as well as integrative physiology and neurobiology. These types of master's degree programs can usually be completed in two years while Ph.D.s may take close to five years. Find out more about these programs, courses, and admission requirements.
Common Graduate Programs in Molecular Neuroscience
Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Most Master of Science programs in cellular and molecular neuroscience are two years long. Topics that students will study include neurochemistry, physiology of nerve cells, biostatistics, and neurophysiology. Students must complete a thesis to earn the master's degree. The main focus of the program is laboratory research. A bachelor's degree is required for admission into most master's programs like these.
Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
A typical Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular neuroscience is four to five years long and consists of rotations in several laboratories and graduate-level coursework. By the end of the first year in a typical program, students select their thesis research subject and advisor. Students study topics in molecular and cellular neuroscience, such as neurogenomics, axonal pathfinding, and cellular neurophysiology. Also, the underlying processes of addiction, depression, and other illnesses are studied. Most colleges request GRE scores from new applicants, and there is a minimum grade point average for undergraduate courses, which is 3.0 or better.
Master of Science in Integrative Physiology and Neurobiology
A typical Master of Science program in integrative physiology and neurobiology covers molecular neuroscience as well as other topics like neurobiology systems, neurobiology of drug addiction, and molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders. A research thesis must be completed and defended to earn the master's degree. The coursework and thesis can be completed in one to two years. Most colleges request GRE scores and a 4-year bachelor's degree from new applicants.
Common Courses in Molecular Neuroscience Graduate Programs
Most courses in a molecular neuroscience graduate program are lecture-based, and completed during the beginning of the program. Check out the following types of courses.
Molecular Cellular Neuroscience
In this course, several topics are presented to the class including synapse formation, cytoskeletal regulation, and neurotransmitter release. Students examine primary literature, conduct research, and make presentations. Additional topics may be covered including cell survival, mechanisms of neurological diseases, and neuronal plasticity.
Cellular and Synaptic Neurophysiology
Students typically examine the mechanisms of neuronal communications in this course. They'll also look at the relationship between ion channel properties and its physiological functions. The importance of synaptic transmission and functional neural networks is also taught.
Cellular Neurophysiology and Computing
This course covers the biophysics of cells. Some of the topics include electrical signal generation and mass transport through membranes. An introduction to neural computing can also be a component of this type of course.
Statistics for Brain and Cognitive Science
Students learn to analyze statistical reports and experimental data in this course. The linear model theory, statistical theory, and probability theory are taught. Some additional topics are hypothesis testing, regression models, and continuous probability models.
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
The structure and function of the nervous system is covered in this course. The properties and structure of neurons are also explored. Neurodevelopment and neurochemistry are two more topics to expect in this class.
Experimental Molecular Neurobiology
Classes typically utilize laboratories to conduct multiple experiments in this type of course. Some of the techniques to look forward to include DNA manipulation and molecular cloning. Other more advanced techniques taught in this course include synaptic protein analysis and immunocytochemistry.
Students can find several types of graduate programs in molecular neuroscience. These programs can consist of coursework in topics like neurophysiology and neurobiology, a thesis, and final examinations/thesis defense.