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Why Pursue a PhD in Neuroscience?

As a doctoral student, the first year of coursework offers a strong background in electrical and chemical signaling, brain circuits, experimental design, and data analysis. Students also complete a series of three lab rotations before beginning dissertation projects. Neuroscience students conduct original research, present their work at national and international conferences, and author articles published in prestigious scientific journals. Research is conducted in modern laboratories and well equipped supporting core facilities.

Collaborations

The program faculty is highly interactive and diverse with multiple opportunities for cross-lab research and mentoring. The PhD in Neuroscience is enriched by the UTSA Neurosciences Institute, which hosts annual research symposia, podcasts from world-renowned neuroscientists, and activities that promote research collaboration. Student also have the opportunity to work collaboratively using multidisciplinary approaches to advance our basic understanding of the brain and brain disorders through the UTSA Brain Health Consortium.

Check out UTSA’s new Science and Engineering building, where brain health research is happening.

Faculty & Research Opportunities

Program faculty are highly interactive and diverse, offering multiple opportunities for cross-lab research and mentoring. They employ a wide range of research approaches and techniques that span the spectrum of the field, from molecular to cognitive neuroscience. Faculty research programs focus on topics such as motivation, reward, and addiction, electrical signaling, computational neurobiology, language and auditory processing, neurodegeneration, CNS patterning and cell fate, and learning and memory.

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Neuroscience (PhD)
Admission is only available for the Fall semester
  Required Degree Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions, submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  TOEFL/IELTS Score 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS scores for International applicants (exempt countries)
  Purpose Statement Required 750-900 words describing research interest and why you're applying
  Letters of Recommendation 3 letters demonstrating your academic and personal attributes for success in this program (you will request these through the Graduate Admissions Application; let your recommenders know of your deadline to ensure submissions are on time)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply for Spring/Summer 2023 Apply for Fall 2023 or Spring/Summer 2024

Admission Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation if applicable must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Neuroscience (PhD)
Completed applications will be reviewed for admission after the deadlines below. Decisions will be made and sent to applicants within a few weeks after the review date.
  Fall Spring Summer
Priority November 1 Not Available Not Available
International December 1 Not Available Not Available
Domestic December 1 Not Available Not Available

Funding Opportunities

The department offers competitive stipend support throughout a student’s tenure in the program. In addition, all tuition and fees will be paid. Entering students are encouraged to apply for National Science Foundation as well as National Institutes of Health pre-doctoral fellowship support. For qualified students, the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program supports stipend, tuition and fees, health insurance, and travel to scientific meetings.

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.


While in a doctoral program, a student may earn a master’s degree provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy.
  • A student is eligible to receive a master’s degree upon completion of University-wide requirements and any additional degree requirements specific to the program.
  • The Doctoral Studies Committee, Department Chair, and the Graduate Associate Dean of the College must recommend students for the degree.
  • The student must apply for graduation by the published deadline the semester prior to awarding the doctoral degree.
  • All required coursework in the doctoral program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years.
  • If the master’s degree requires a thesis, the degree cannot be awarded on the basis of the doctoral qualifying examination.
  • Students will not be approved for an additional master’s degree in the same field in which an individual has previously received a master’s degree.

This program is housed on UTSA’s Main Campus. Courses and research activities are primarily offered during the day, but participation in the neuroscience PhD program is considered a full-time activity.

Graduate Advisor of Record

Matthew Wanat, PhD

210-458-6684

Matthew.Wanat@utsa.edu