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4 + 1 Master's Program

Office: 200 Flower Hall
Phone: (504) 862-3305
Fax: (504) 862-3365
Email: brain@tulane.edu, sclark4@tulane.edu

The purpose of the 4+1 M.S. Program in Neuroscience is to provide Tulane students with training at the graduate level for one additional year beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students accepted to the 4+1 program may follow one of two tracks toward completion of an M.S. in Neuroscience. Both tracks require a minimum of 30 graduate credits.

For the Thesis Track option, students will take courses relevant to their interests in neuroscience or related fields and complete an empirical masters thesis under the supervision of an advisor who is a member of the Neuroscience Graduate program. Because completion of an empirical masters thesis normally requires more than one year, students accepted into the 4+1 program must be active in research at the undergraduate level. Each student will be encouraged to develop a masters thesis that is a continuation or extension of his or her undergraduate honors thesis or independent study. The thesis advisor will provide guidance in the selection of courses and in all aspects of the masters thesis. For the Non-Thesis Track option, students will take courses relevant to their interests in neuroscience or related fields but are not required to complete an empirical masters thesis. Credit can be given for research, clinical or other internship work. 

Note: Students who pursue the thesis track in the Masters Program in Neuroscience are strongly encouraged to defend and submit the masters thesis to the School of Science and Engineering within one year after entering the program. However, the masters thesis must be defended and submitted in final form to the School of Science and Engineering within two years after entering the masters program. Students who fail to meet the two-year deadline will be recommended for dismissal from the Masters Program in Neuroscience.

Beth Wee Peter Haskins graduation May 2016


Tulane students working toward the B.S. in Neuroscience or a related major may apply for admission. To be considered for admission, the student should submit a Tulane graduate application form; an official transcript; and two letters of reference written by full-time members of the Tulane Faculty who have had the student in a science course. For students planning to do the Thesis Track, one of these letters must come from a faculty member who is a member of the Tulane Brain Institute confirming his or her commitment to supervise the student. Acceptance into the program will be competitive and based on the decision of the 4+1 Neuroscience Program Committee. Successful applicants to the program are suggested to have a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.4.

The deadline for receipt of the COMPLETED APPLICATION, INCLUDING ALL SUPPORTING MATERIALS is June 1 to start in the fall semester and October 15 to start in the spring semester. Completed applications received prior to the deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis as early as April 1 for students applying to start in the fall and October 15 for students applying to start in the spring.

Program Committee:

  • Sara Clark - Associate Director
  • Beth Wee - Program Director

Contact Porshia Evans in the Neuroscience Program regarding specific admission procedures.


The cost of the 4 + 1 Masters Program for the 2020 - 2021 Academic Year was $19, 950 for tuition and approximately $2,086 for fees. In addition, all students are required to have health insurance while enrolled at Tulane. Students may elect to enroll in the Tulane sponsored health insurance plan. You can expect to pay anywhere from $500-1,000 per month for rent.

Tuition and fees for all university schools are determined per fiscal year by university administration. The most recent tuition and fees table can be found on the Accounts Receivable website.

The 4+1 MS program is unsupported. Students should contact Tulane Financial Aid for FASFA and/or private loan information.

Thesis Committee and Prospectus

Masters thesis research is the central element of the 4+1 Thesis Track. The thesis is an extension of research conducted at the undergraduate level and tied closely to the research advisor’s interest and expertise. A student conducting a thesis in partial fulfillment of the 4+1 degree in Neuroscience will assemble a thesis committee of three faculty members, two of whom must be members of the Neuroscience Graduate Program. The student will prepare a written thesis prospectus for the committee, not to exceed 5 pages. The prospectus should describe briefly the specific hypotheses, the most relevant literature, the proposed methodology and data analysis, and the expected outcomes and significance of the project. Within one week after submission of the prospectus to committee members, the student will meet with the full committee for comments and guidance. The meeting with the thesis committee should occur prior to October 1 of the 4+1 year of study. Upon completion of the thesis, the committee will read and review the final thesis document and evaluate student performance at a formal thesis defense. The final document submitted to the Science and Engineering Graduate office following the thesis defense is due in late March for spring graduation or late July for summer graduation. The exact dates vary from year to year.  The thesis must be defended and submitted in final form to the School of Science and Engineering within two years after entering the masters program.  Students who fail to meet the two-year deadline will be recommended for dismissal from the 4+1 Program in Neuroscience. Details about the thesis can be found in the School of Science and Engineering's Thesis Preparation Guidelines. For additional information regarding the thesis, contact Dr. Clark or Dr. Beth Wee.


The Thesis Track degree requires a minimum of 24 credits of course work, plus up to six credits of research at the graduate level (for a total of 30 credits). The Non-thesis Track degree requires 30 credits of course work at the graduate level, which may include credit for independent study research, clinical or other internship work. Up to 12 credits can be earned prior to the fifth year of study at the 6000 level, but only 6 of these credits can be applied toward both the baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Students who accumulate more than 120 credits prior to earning the baccalaureate degree can apply additional graduate level credits to the M.S., provided these credits are not needed for the baccalaureate degree. The curriculum is flexible and specific to each individual student. The course plan of study must be developed in consultation with Dr. Sara Clark.

Note: 4+1 students are required to take Graduate Neuroscience, Neuroscience Applied and Trends/Seminar (1 or both semesters). These classes make up 8 of the required 30 credits needed to complete the degree. 

Course List for the M.S. Degree in Neuroscience at Tulane University

View a list of all graduate courses available to graduate students in neuroscience.

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