Uniformed Services University

F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine

Neuroscience Graduate Program


USU, Neuroscience Program, 4301 Jones Bridge Road

Bethesda, MD 20814

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

PhD Neuroscience MD/PhD Neuroscience

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary Ph.D. and M.D/Ph.D. program. There is no associated military commitment for civilians. Courses and research training are provided by over 60 Neuroscience Faculty members holding appointments in a wide range of basic science and clinical departments within the School of Medicine. The interdisciplinary nature of the program permits a choice of courses and research areas; training programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. The program of study is divided into coursework, in fundamental and advanced areas of neuroscience, and laboratory dissertation research. During the first year, students take courses and participate in rotations in three laboratories. Additional advanced courses are taken in the second year along with a qualifying exam prior to advancing to candidacy. In addition to coursework, formal and informal training is designed to develop a wide range of skills required for diverse career opportunities.

Areas of research emphasis among the faculty are relatively diverse and approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, including subsequent posttraumatic epilepsy, are a specific focus relative to the military population and traumatic events in the civilian sector. Neural stem cells and neural progenitor cell responses are being addressed in both a developmental context and in the adult CNS as applicable to neuroplasticity and regeneration. Neuroprotection and remyelination studies address potential basic and translational efforts to protect and repair the CNS to restore function, not only from trauma, but also from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, leukoencephalopathies, toxic insults, vascular lesions, and spinal cord injury. More behaviorally oriented studies include neurobiological aspects of fear, stress, and addiction to alcohol and tobacco. 

About the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences:

USU was established by Congress in 1972 to provide a comprehensive education in medicine to those who demonstrate potential for careers as Medical Corps officers in the uniformed services.

Graduate programs in the basic medical sciences are offered to both civilian and military students and are an essential part of the academic environment of the University. Civilian students incur no obligation to the United States government for service after completion of their graduate training program. In addition to the Neuroscience Program, USUHS also has Ph.D. programs in departmentally-based basic biomedical sciences and interdisciplinary graduate programs in Cell and Molecular Biology, and in Emerging Infectious Diseases. In addition, to the Graduate and Medical Programs in the Medical School, the Nursing School has graduate programs for Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Anesthetists.

USUHS has modern well-equipped laboratories for the support of a wide variety of neuroscience research projects. Laboratories suitable for research in most areas of neuroscience are available to students, including molecular and cellular neurobiology, behavioral studies, electrophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropathology, neuropharmacology, and neurophysiology. High resolution transmission and scanning electron microscopes, video-based computer graphics, laser cytometers, and confocal microscopes are available. The biomedical instrumentation center contains oligonucleotide and peptide synthesizers, automated DNA and protein sequencers, fluorescent-activated cell sorters, and a proteomics suite. A centralized animal facility, a medical library and learning resource center, audio-visual and computer support are avail-able within the University. All laboratories, offices and the Learning Resource Center are interconnected through a local area computer network that allows for direct access to medical and research databases, literature, the University computers, and remote computers such as the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Application & Financial Support:

Applications are accepted throughout the year. However, for full consideration and evaluation for financial support, completed applications should be received by December 1 for matriculation in August. There is no application fee.

USU provides an attractive package of financial support to students, which will be administered as a part-time Federal salary for your position as a Research Associate. The financial support of this package will be approximately $44,900 per year, at a part time rate of 64 hours per pay period. As an Administratively Determined (AD) Federal employee, your salary is subject to standard taxes and withholdings.

As an AD employee, you will receive standard Federal benefits including contributions towards health insurance, retirement, and transit costs. Additionally, you have the option to decline certain benefits, which will increase your net income. Students are supported as Federal employees for the first 3 three years of their enrollment. After this period, students transition to employment as Research Associates by the Henry M. Jackson (HMJ) Foundation. These positions are supported by grants awarded to mentors or by fellowships awarded to students. 

There are no tuition charges for graduate students at USU, nor is there any requirement in the form of government or military service. Most required textbooks are provided without charge.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants are accepted as full-time students to the USUHS Ph.D. program and must devote full-time effort to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. All applicants must satisfy the University requirements for admission. Each applicant must complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited academic institution before matriculation at USUHS. We recognize that neuroscience students come from a wide variety of backgrounds. A strong undergraduate training in science with completion of courses in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, physiology and psychology is desirable.

Applicants must arrange for official transcripts of all prior college level courses taken and their Graduate Record Examination scores (taken within the last two years) to be sent to the Office of Graduate Education. Students may elect to submit in support of their application scores obtained in one or more Graduate Record Examination Subject tests from the subject areas listed above. Applicants must also arrange for letters of recommendation from three persons who are familiar with their academic. In addition, applicants whose native language is not English must submit their results in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), unless their undergraduate education has been at an accredited academic institution in the USA or at an equivalent academic institution in an English speaking country, or unless the Program Director decides that this test is unnecessary.

Students transferring into the Neuroscience Program from other institutions may transfer academic credit to meet the Neuroscience and Graduate Program requirements, with the approval of the USUHS Graduate Education Committee and the Neuroscience Executive Committee.


The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Medical School is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. The Department of Defense, the USU Board of Regents, the President of USU, and the Dean o

International Student Requirements:

Each applicant must complete a baccalaureate degree from an United States accredited academic institution before matriculation at USUHS.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

Classification: Specialized Institution—Medical school or medical center

Locale: Large City

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