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A Top Graduate Program in Neuroscience

The Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (GDBBS) at Emory University offers a Ph.D. program in Neuroscience.

Neuroscience research at Emory has grown dramatically in the last decade. The program includes over 120 neuroscientists drawn from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 22 university and medical school departments. These include the Department of Pharmacology, which "The Scientist" magazine ranked number 1 in the world; the Department of Neurology, which is ranked 3rd in the nation in total NIH funding; and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, which is ranked 9th in the nation for total research funding.

In addition, Emory's Neuroscience program was ranked number 1 for overall student satisfaction in the National Doctoral Program Survey, in part due to the high level of interaction between faculty members and students, and a mentoring system that creates a supportive atmosphere for success.

First-Rate Research Centers and Facilities

Research in neuroscience is conducted at the Yerkes Functional Brain Imaging Center, Advanced Imaging Research (AIR) Center, Robert P. Apkarian Integrated Electron Microscopy Core, Biomarkers Core Lab, Transgenic Mouse and Gene Targeting Core, Core Facility for Flow Cytometry, Rodent Behavioral Core, and the NINDS Core Facilities, which include the Neuropathology and Histochemistry Core, the Viral Vector Core, the Microscopy Core, the Genetics and Expression Core, and the Proteomics Core.

These facilities place an abundance of state-of-the-art equipment at the fingers of graduate student researchers. Neuroscience doctoral students also have access to high performance computing clusters to run bioinformatics algorithms and complex neural simulations.

Research Opportunities in Neuroscience

Graduate students conduct research in one of several fields that are actively investigated by neuroscience faculty members. These include behavioral neuroscience; computational neuroscience; cellular, molecular, and development neuroscience; neuropharmacology; neurological and psychiatric diseases; motor control and movement science; and systems neuroscience.

Excellent Career Opportunities

Graduates of the program are skilled and confident researchers who typically have between 3 and 4 publications as well as honors such as National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Fellowships, Predoctoral NRSA Awards, and other awards from institutes and organizations.

The program has over 200 alumni who compete very successfully for post-doctoral and faculty positions in academia, as well as jobs in industry, government, and research institutes.

Doctoral Program Coursework and Research

During their first two years students complete both required and elective courses on topics such as neuroanatomy, communication and ethics, and techniques in neuroscience. Students also complete three laboratory rotations in order to select doctoral advisors and dissertation topics. During the summer following their first year students participate in a two-day Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) Program. Students take written qualifying exams for the doctoral program at the end of their first year.

Students begin work on their theses during their second year and finalize their thesis proposals in the beginning of their third year, during which they also take oral qualifying exams. They later defend their dissertation both orally and in writing.

Competitive Financial Support

Students in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory receive tuition scholarships, health insurance, and stipends. They enjoy the low cost of living in suburban Atlanta, Georgia.

The stipend for the 2017-18 academic year is $30,000. In addition, several competitive fellowships are offered to outstanding applicants each year. These fellowships provide students with supplements to their stipends that range from $2,500 to $5,000 per year for five years, depending on the award.

Living in Atlanta

Emory University is located in a beautiful, wooded area of northeast Atlanta, Georgia, just four miles from downtown. The area serves as a hub of medical research, encompassing both the CDC and the American Cancer Society.

Midtown Atlanta is home to museums, galleries, and cultural activities that students enjoy. Atlanta's temperate climate affords students many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and camping.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Master's Degrees 2
Doctoral Degrees 13

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 1st December 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0 in science course work (recommended)
International Students Exam Details
TOEFL: Required

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Types of financial support available Fellowships
Health Care Benefits
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 5.77%
Black or African American 3.85%
White or Caucasian 59%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 2.88%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races 3.85%
Unknown 13.46%


Male (41%)
Female (58%)


Total faculty
Full-time (114)
Part-time (0)
Male (87)
Female (27)


Focus of faculty research: Cell and molecular biology, development, behavior, neurodegenerative disease
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA  30322-1100
United States
Contact Dr. Shawn Hochman
Email: shochman@physio.emory.edu
Phone: 404-712-3131
Fax: 404-727-2648