Graduate PhD

The Neuroscience PhD Program is an interdisciplinary graduate program comprised of graduate students and faculty from 13 departments across four schools at Tulane University, including the Schools of Science and Engineering, Medicine, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Liberal Arts. The Neuroscience faculty research programs are well funded by grants from federal and state funding agencies in the areas of stress disorders, sensory-motor disorders, pain mechanisms, cortical structure and function, signal transduction mechanisms, neuropeptides, learning and memory, and developmental neurobiology.  Graduate students perform cutting edge research in a small and productive research environment that fosters intimate instruction and training leading to publication in upper-tier scientific journals.

The major goal of the Neuroscience Program is to provide graduate students with broad education in both the theoretical and practical aspects of research in neuroscience. Our students receive a diversified training in neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, molecular and cellular neurobiology, and research methods in neuroscience. In addition, the students have the opportunity to obtain experience in teaching and in presenting research results. Our goal is to produce Ph.D.s who will engage in neuroscience research as postdoctoral fellows, and eventually as researchers in academia or industry.

The curriculum is designed to prepare the students for active research careers. Core courses include Graduate Neuroscience, Science Communications, Trends in Neuroscience, Brain Institute Seminars, Univariate Statistics, and Responsible Conduct of Research. Students also take a variety of specialized electives, while performing research, beginning in the first year of the Program. All course work is completed in two years, allowing the students to concentrate full time on research from their third year on.

Each student's program is guided closely by an advisor and a dissertation committee. To obtain the Ph.D., each student takes a qualifying exam following completion of his/her course work, prepares a prospectus of his/her dissertation research proposal, and prepares a Ph.D. dissertation and oral dissertation defense.

All students accepted into the Neuroscience Ph.D. Program are supported by a teaching assistantship and/or research assistantship, which include a competitive stipend ($35,000 as of July, 2023), a full tuition waiver, and 100% health insurance.

Each year, up to two merit-based awards are presented to incoming PhD students in the Neuroscience Program. Each award consists of a $5000 Professional Development Fund that awardees can use throughout their tenure in the Program. Students can use the funds to support attendance at professional meetings and other endeavors related to their professional development. Awardees are selected by the Neuroscience PhD Admissions Committee based on prior scholarly achievements.

The awards are:

• The Tulane Brain Institute Diversity Scholar Award, which is awarded annually to an incoming doctoral student who is a member of an underrepresented group, as defined by NIH (

• The Tulane Brain Institute Scholar Award, which is awarded annually to an incoming doctoral student.

Fellowship Supplemental Program - The Tulane Brain Institute will provide a $5000 supplemental increase in annual stipends to those PhD students who apply for and receive individual fellowships on which they serve at the Principal Investigator. The supplement will apply for the duration of the fellowship. We understand that applying for and receiving fellowship grants takes a lot of effort. We feel that effort should be recognized by the Program in a tangible way. Additionally, by offering this incentive, we hope to increase the number of students in our Program who apply for and ultimately receive NIH NRSA Individual Predoctoral (F30 and F31) and other fellowships. To receive the full supplement, the size of the fellowship has to be at a similar level as that of the NIH F30 and F31.