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Area Coordinator:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications for admission in September are due December 1 of the previous year.  See the How to Apply section of the Graduate Program Overview.

Program Overview 

The Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience PhD program offers students the opportunity to receive world-class training in molecular, cellular, circuit, and behavioral approaches to modern neuroscience. Our research focused program places students in their prospective thesis labs from day one so they can start making discoveries as quickly as possible. This also helps to frame their graduate coursework in the context of the real scientific questions they are already pursuing. BSN labs work on human subjects and animal models including rats, mice, and birds using cutting edge techniques in molecular biology, behavioral analysis, optogenetics and DREADD technology, high-density multichannel in vivo electrophysiology, and optical neurophysiology. We are looking for graduate students who are driven to pursue neuroscience research with a systems or behavioral level focus, and aspire to become successful scientists. In the admissions process, students are evaluated with respect to their academic achievements, quality of previous research experience, and the clarity and insightfulness of research goals, as well as the goodness of fit between you and the program faculty.


BSN Psychology Graduate Course/Credit Requirements

This information is accurate as of  03/01/2022. However, this information is periodically updated. It is possible that there is a lag between the change of requirements and the updating of this page. Therefore, this is presented for informational purposes only and does not necessarily constitute the official policies of the Psychology Graduate Program or the BSN Area. To find out the actual and most up-to-date policy of the BSN Area please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the BSN Area.


Big Questions in Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience

  • How does the brain learn and remember and use this information going forward?
  • How does the brain process and interpret incoming sensory information?
  • How is brain function disrupted in mental disorders such as depression, autism, anxiety, and addiction and how can we help develop interventions for clinical use?
  • What is intelligence and how does the brain become intelligent?
  • How do exposures to infection and environmental toxicants impact the development and health of the nervous system?


Core Faculty: 

Associate Faculty: 

  • Danielle Dick-Psychiatry
  • Morgan James- Psychiatry
  • Jessica Salvatore- Psychiatry
  • Rafiq Huda- Cell Biology and Neuroscience
  • Troy Roepke- Animal Sciences
  • Justin Yao- Otolaryngology