Skip to Main Content

PhD in Neurosciences and Cognitive Sciences

The Neurosciences and Cognitive Sciences program (NACS) offers a wide range of research and training opportunities for students pursuing doctoral level research in a variety of areas within neuroscience and cognitive science. Two concentrations are available; neuroscience, and computational neuroscience. Faculty research interests range from molecular neurobiology and neural and behavioral systems, to analysis and modeling of neurons.

Research approaches include both the theoretical and the experimental. The experimental work includes cutting edge methodologies; the theoretical includes mathematical, computer, and engineering studies; and both approaches are commonly used together.

The program is a tri-institutional program in collaboration with faculty at University of Maryland Baltimore (School of Medicine) and University of Maryland, College Park, offers a two semester introductory neuroscience and cognitive science course required for all students. Other research and training activities of the program take place within the individual participating departments at UMBC, which include Biology, Mathematics & Statistics, Information Systems, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering and Psychology.

The UMBC campus is located in close proximity to the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC), a component of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. MPRC faculty participate fully in the NACS program, offering relevant coursework and graduate training opportunities to interested students. Students also have access to courses at all three main campuses. The goal of the program is to bring together the diverse perspectives and strengths of the component disciplines to analyze the workings of the nervous system, the mind, and behavior.

Degree Requirements

  • Two-semester introductory neuroscience and cognitive science course
  • One credit course featuring work of faculty
  • Neuroscience Track – three additional courses from specializations
  • Cognitive & Computational Neurosciences Track – three courses in the following areas: neurosciences; cognitive; computational
  • Research rotations (three)
  • Two semesters as a teaching assistant
  • One 700 level (3 credit) graduate seminar
  • Beginning with the second year, Ph.D. students are required to participate in a research seminar (journal club) every semester and to take one included in the 18 credits of 600/700 level courses)
  • Additional courses may be added by the student’s advisory committee in order to fulfill departmental requirements
  • 12 credits of research
  • Dissertation written and defended

Apply now!