Online Neuroscience Graduate Programs

Online Neuroscience Degree programs explore brain function across a patient's lifespan. Students enrolled in such a program learn about the nervous system and how it is altered by age and disease.

Online Neuroscience Degree Programs

Graduate level Online Neuroscience Degree programs could prepare you for a Master of Science (MS), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), or certificate. In some neuroscience grad schools, a student works with an advisor to create a custom degree plan that is meaningful to them as an individual. It might explore more courses in the areas that fascinate a participant or may align with their career goals.

What Is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience is a sub-field of biology, and is largely interdisciplinary. As a branch of knowledge, neuroscience generally studies the structure and functions of the nervous system as they relate to behavior patterns, biochemical processes and cognition.

Classes cover neuroscience at many levels, including molecular, cellular, biophysical, developmental, computational, and behavioral. Consequently, online neuroscience degree students may receive instruction from several fields of study.i These may include:

  • Biochemistry and anatomy
  • Applied sciences that relate to the treatment of the brain
  • Pharmacology and medical imaging
  • Theoretical research about learning and memory

Curriculums for online neuroscience degree programs might also include a fair amount of research. Graduate students often strive to understand the nervous system-related issues that modern society contends with. Alzheimer’s and addiction, brain injury, information overload, and stress are some of the many examples.  

Before You Apply

Thesis or dissertation research may be available in many areas and students might look into normal brain function from cellular to systems levels, behavior, cognition, and disease.

That said, each prospective university may have different active faculty research projects available. Online students, just like campus-based students, could do a bit of homework to see what these are, and which program lines up with their own intellectual interests.

DID YOU KNOW?
92% of Neuropsychologists report they have post-doctoral education. ii

Online Neuroscience Graduate Programs: Requirements

The requirements for online graduate neuroscience programs vary. Masters programs and Certificates tend to presume an applicant has earned their Bachelors degree. PhD in Neuroscience programs accept students with a Bachelors degree or a Masters degree. Students may need to conform to certain course prerequisites or to present evidence of a specific background (as in a major).

Many of today’s universities use online application forms. Sometimes, students might upload transcripts, a personal statement, and GRE or TOEFL scores. It may also be possible to fill out (online) contact information for recommenders.

Online Masters in Neuroscience Programs

An online Masters in Neuroscience Studies program could provide students with the opportunity to gain research skills and new points of view. Students are often responsible for completing a publishable quality Masters thesis in addition to their designated courses. Research is often done on the Internet or via other approved sources.

Courses in research methods and statistical analysis are often central to the MS as they could offer some direction for a student’s independent inquiry. Other courses may be compulsory or chosen based on interests as opposed to a one-size-fits all format.

Since course topics may vary, use the list below as a reference point, then review the syllabus that each school provides.

  • Human Neuroanatomy
  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
  • Neural Networks
  • Neurobiology
  • Behavioral Genetics

What Is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology studies the ways the brain affects how we behave, reason, and think. Clinical neuropsychology is an applied branch of clinical psychology that deals with issues such as traumatic brain injury, attention deficit disorder or Alzheimer’s disease.

Students in search of Neuropsychology Masters programs online might take courses to assess, diagnose, and treat, mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.iii Most clinical psychologists have a doctorate degree and licensure, however a Masters degree might groom graduates to conduct research under supervision.iv

Online PhD in Neuroscience Programs

An online PhD in Neuroscience program addresses how to research the brain and mind in-depth, as well as how to cultivate expertise in a specified area. Doctoral students might concentrate on one of the traditional areas of behavior or cognition, or blend aspects of these areas for individually tailored degree plans suited to their academic interests.

Some schools may structure their programs along ‘tracks’. Tracks could help a student streamline their research interests in tandem with compulsory courses in neural science. Examples of these areas of emphasis include the following.

  • Behavioral Genetics
  • Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Neuroscience
  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Social Neuroscience

Students who want to pursue their PhD in Neuroscience online may need to identify a university department to use as home base even though they might take courses from multiple departments. For instance, a Behavioral Neuroscience program may be nested in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience.

It should be noted that schools may offer the didactic portion of their program through the online classroom. However, most PhD in Neuroscience programs involve rigorous labs and possible teaching experience. Therefore, students may either need to go to their campus for this component, or if allowed, find a local setting in which to fulfill these requirements.

Online Graduate Certificate in Neuroscience

An online Graduate Certificate in Neuroscience is often planned-out to provide post-graduate students an opportunity to study fundamentals. Since it is not a full degree, students might need to complete fewer courses than for a MS.

Usually, a certificate is designed around a single theme. This could be an overview, or it could cover one aspect of neuroscience in particular. Either way, students usually have some leeway to select courses, although they might do so from a school-approved curriculum.

Students who pursue an online certificate in biomedical neuroscience might, for instance, study the basic frameworks of neuroanatomy and neural evolution. Other courses might provide insight on how the nervous system originates, the psychobiology of eating, and more.

Otherwise, some online graduate neuroscience certificates may provide post-baccalaureate credentials and professional development for students who also want to apply to graduate or medical school.

For instance, earning a Medical Neuroscience Graduate Certificate could help students gain the skills to work in teams, communicate effectively, and think critically. Students may study to learn about nervous system disorders, neurotechnology, and various brain interventions.

How an Online Neuroscience Degree Works

There are many ways that a school might present an online neuroscience degree. In some cases, the program could be based on modules. A module could include brief lectures, online reading assignments, and information about current issues in the field. Students might need to master the module material through self-check quizzes, module tests, and online posts to a discussion forum.

In terms of research opportunities, some online neuroscience graduate programs may have partnerships with nearby hospitals. Or, the programs may be offered in more of a hybrid format where students attend their laboratory rotations on campus, but could take a virtual class in neuroanatomy.

It may not be as easy to find schools with distance learning, but this format could be an asset to a working student or one who lives far from the campus.

Find Your Online Neuroscience Degree Today

Easily look through sponsored online neuroscience degree programs next. Find the one(s) you like, then use the on-page form to apply.


[i] nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode/cipdetail.aspx?y=55&cipid=87810 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3039.01 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-2 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4

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