Master of Neuroscience Degree Programs in Nunavut
Neuroscience focuses on the scientific study of how the nervous system develops, is organized, and what it does. Its primary focus is the brain and how it affects behavior and cognitive processes. In addition to studying the operation of the nervous system in general, neuroscience explores the abnormalities that occur in the nervous system in people with neurological, psychiatric, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Neuroscience graduate programs are offered at the master’s and doctoral levels. Some universities also award certificates, which might appeal to students who want to take graduate neuroscience classes without a full degree plan. Joint degrees such as MS/PhD and MD/PhD may also be available.
Master’s in Neuroscience Degree Programs
Master’s in neuroscience degree programs typically lead to a Master of Science (MS) degree in neuroscience or another specialization. Note that some institutions use the abbreviation MSc.
Neuroscience graduate degree programs are often interdisciplinary. While neuroscience is traditionally classed as a subdivision of biology, it has close ties to other areas. Mathematics, linguistics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, and medicine are some examples.
Coursework in graduate neuroscience degree programs typically addresses the molecular, structural, cognitive, physiological, and behavioral aspects of the brain and nervous system. Students might also learn how to apply neuroscience data to the clinical sciences and biomedical engineering.
Curriculums often stack coursework in biology, psychology, and natural sciences onto laboratory research. However, students might therefore get to choose some courses and focus on research areas that appeal to their interests and aspirations. For this reason, it may help to take a look at the active research projects of faculty members in different schools before you make a decision about which neuroscience degree program to apply to.
Popular Schools with Neuroscience & Neuropsychology Graduate Programs in Nunavut
Master of Neuroscience Degree Program Requirements
To earn an MS in neuroscience, students may need to complete about 31 to 34 credits of compulsory courses and approved electives. A comprehensive written exam may also be required.
Course requirements for the Master of Science in Neuroscience degree program might include the four topics below.
Through these courses and accompanying laboratory classes, programs look at the anatomy of the nervous systems at the cellular and systems level. This could include the study of sensory and motor control areas both in the brain and spinal cord. Also, the core courses could address drugs that modify nerve cell function and behavior. Topics such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Schizophrenia may be discussed.
An MS in Neuroscience degree program may offer two options for interested students: a thesis track and a non-thesis track.
Thesis Track: The thesis option could require students to take extra courses in research methods and writing. It may be structured for students who want to pursue a career in research and/or who plan to pursue a doctorate in the future. Students in the thesis track could develop their ability to navigate scientific methods. This often includes how to form a hypothesis, design experiments, and use statistical analysis of research data and interpretation. It might take 2 to 3 years for a full-time student to earn their MS, depending on how quickly the research is completed.
Non-thesis Track: By comparison, the non-thesis option generally requires writing a research paper where a particular applied/clinical interest is integrated with the coursework taken. This option is often intended as a terminal degree for students who want to pursue higher-level, non-research positions.
Students who choose not to write a thesis might therefore take classes in clinical neurology and could learn how to integrate and apply research data related to their clinical work. Clinical neurology classes generally provide insight into the principles of how to conduct neurological exams as well as the major categories of neurologic disease. Mobility, pain, energy, mood, abnormalities, and aging are some examples.
Neuroscience vs Neuropsychology Graduate Programs
In some universities, the terms neuroscience and neuropsychology may be used interchangeably. However, simply put, neuroscience is a scientific discipline that could encompass other areas. Genetics, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and psychology are some examples. Neuropsychology is usually more concerned with neuroscience and behavior. Sometimes this is also referred to as biopsychology.
What is neuroscience and behavior?
Neuropsychology Graduate degree programs may discuss the branch of psychology that is focused on how the brain and the rest of the nervous system influence a person’s cognition and behaviors. Behaviorally-oriented neuroscience degree programs address topics such as the neurobiological aspects of fear, stress, and addiction and how injuries or illnesses of the brain affect cognitive functions and behaviors.
Master of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience in Nunavut
A Master of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience degree program typically examines the cognitive and neural basis for diverse brain functions such as perception, action, language, attention, and memory.
Curriculums might require completion of a series of compulsory courses, electives, and a select area of emphasis. These required courses might examine important theories, models, techniques, and analysis methods in Cognitive Neuroscience.
Aside from theory, students might take skills classes based on the emphasis they choose. While concentrations vary between schools, they could include studies in the following.
- Language and Communication
- Perception, Action, and Control
- Plasticity and Memory
Students might also spend time in the laboratory to gain research experience. This may help them to develop a theoretical research question and write a master’s thesis (scientific article).
PhD in Neuroscience Degree Programs
A PhD in neuroscience is a research doctorate. In some universities, a neuroscience PhD program might take four to five years of full-time study. It could be fully funded and may feature setting up a research program, coursework, and close ties with a faculty advisor.
The structure of a neuroscience PhD program may be set up to help students progress year by year to their final dissertation. The dissertation is usually a reflection of original thought, presented and defended before a committee.
- First-year students might choose their topic, carry out background reading and write a proposal.
- In their second year, students may work to conduct a pilot work, possible with the help of an advisor, and write a research project. The research project could report original empirical research initiated and conducted in the program.
- Subsequent years could see a shift to more independent dissertation research.
Neuroscience PhD Programs: Areas of Emphasis
Depending on the university, students might need to apply to an individual departmental area of emphasis, then study to earn their PhD in that concentration.
PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience: Candidates often study the biological bases of behavior and look at how the brain affects behavior. Research in this area could discuss motivation or strive to gain insight into the organization of the brain and behavior to improve treatment for psychological illness.
PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience: Candidates might examine the higher cognitive functions that exist in humans and their underlying neural basis. Cognitive neuroscience content may draw from linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science.
It could take either of several broad directions. One would be behavioral/experimental, and the other, computational/modeling. The goal is usually to understand the nature of cognition from a neural point of view. Research in this area might explore memory, neuroimaging methods, and emotions.
MD/PhD in Neuroscience Degree Programs
In some schools, a joint MD/PhD in neuroscience could blend coursework in fundamental and higher-level areas of neuroscience with laboratory dissertation research. To this end, students might take part in rotations within several laboratories while in their first year.
Additional courses might be taken in the second year, along with a qualifying exam prior to transitioning to candidacy. In addition to coursework, formal and informal instruction might help candidates develop a wide range of research and other capabilities.
Curriculums could involve a series of required courses. Students might study current research in neuroscience, as well as how to conduct research; therefore, a course in experimental statistics may be compulsory. Some examples of other topics are listed below. Refer to individual programs for details.
- Neurobiology of Disease
- Medical Neuroscience
- Principles of Electrophysiology
- Cell Biology
This type of program may be designed for students who possess a strong undergraduate background in biology, physical sciences, or experimental/physiological psychology and who want to pursue a professional career in neuroscience research.
Possible Career Paths with an MD in Neuroscience
Those neuroscientists who do earn an MD degree might use their knowledge of the human brain to treat brain conditions.
- Neurologists are those professionals who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
- Neurological surgeons use their skills to treat the brain and nervous system through operations.
- Neurological psychologists apply theories and principles of neuropsychology to diagnose and treat disorders of higher cerebral functioning.
DID YOU KNOW? As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for Neurologists in May 2021 was $255,510.
Graduate Certificates in Neuroscience
Some schools might offer graduate certificates degree programs, which are often shorter courses of study that could require about 12 credits. Usually, certificates are intended to add onto skills that a participant might have acquired through their bachelor’s degree program. Most certificates in neuroscience target a single theme. For instance, a Graduate Certificate in Medical Neuroscience could be aimed at students who want to apply to graduate or professional schools and professionals working in the pharmaceutical or medical device industries. Students in this type of program might study neuroethics and the pharmacology of drug addiction.
Overview of Neuroscience Degree Programs in the U.S.
Master’s programs in neuroscience are offered worldwide. While this article has discussed neuroscience degree programs in general, this section focuses more specifically on programs in the U.S.
Types of Neuroscience Degree Programs Available in the U.S.
There are several types of neuroscience degree programs available in the U.S., including undergraduate programs, master’s programs, and doctoral programs.
Differences Between Neuroscience Degree Programs in the U.S.
Neuroscience degree programs in the U.S. are varied and diverse and might differ in a number of ways, including their curriculum, research opportunities, and focus. The curriculum of a master’s in neuroscience degree program typically consists of core courses in neuroscience topics such as cellular and molecular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, cognitive neuroscience, and synaptic transmission.
From there, coursework might vary, particularly based on the emphasis of a program. Some programs focus more on the applications of neuroscience. Others are more interdisciplinary in nature , helping students see the connections between neuroscience and other fields in science. Still others may be more specific, offering degrees that focus on focused areas such as cognition, neuroscience, behavior, and biology.
Research opportunities typically are also a key aspect of neuroscience degree programs in the U.S. Many programs offer research experience opportunities for students, allowing them to work alongside faculty members on projects related to their research interests. The research opportunities available often vary between programs, with some programs offering access to modern research facilities and technologies.
Finally, the experience and research focus of the faculty could be a significant differentiating factor between neuroscience degree programs in the US. Some programs may have a faculty with experience in neuroimaging or computational neuroscience, while others may have a faculty with a focus on molecular neuroscience or neuropharmacology . Students should consider the faculty’s experience when choosing a program to ensure that they are able to work with faculty members who have knowledge in their area of interest.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an MSN or MSc Degree Program in Neuroscience
Pursuing a master’s in neuroscience is a commitment, both to yourself and your future. To help ensure your time and efforts aren’t wasted, you should research your options carefully. Following are some guidelines that could help you find a program that aligns with your interests and goals.
Your Area of Interest
While many master’s programs focus on providing students with a comprehensive education in the discipline, there may be areas that programs emphasize more than others. To help ensure you find a program that aligns with your interests and goals, investigate the following components of a program.
Research interests. Research is one of the major components in many neuroscience degree programs, so check out the research opportunities offered by schools to determine whether they match your interests. Many schools describe their areas of interest on their websites. You might also take a look at the types of dissertations past students in the program have written and the publications written by faculty members.
Research opportunities and facilities for MSc programs in neuroscience. In addition to establishing the research areas a program emphasizes, you should consider the extent of the research opportunities it may offer and the facilities available.
Examining the program requirements and curriculum could help you determine the opportunities for research and whether they might help you further your goals. While it might be tempting to only consider schools with large, modern research facilities, remember that it could be more important to ensure that the facilities have the types of technology that are important for the kind of research you hope to conduct.
Curriculum. A program’s curriculums could give you a clue as to the educational experience as well as the areas the program tends to emphasize. Look for programs with a strong foundation in neuroscience fundamentals and offer courses that align with your research interests. If flexibility is important to you, examine the recommended sequence of coursework to determine whether you may have options.
Available concentrations. As mentioned previously, some schools offer neuroscience degrees that focus on specific concentrations. These might include areas such as cognition, neuroscience, behavior, and biology. If you have a general idea of the areas you are interested in but want to keep your options open, however, you might want to look for programs that offer electives or optional courses interest you. You’ll typically find a wide range, from neuroscience grant writing to the neuroscience of aging to auditory systems.
Faculty. The faculty members of the program should be knowledgeable in their field and have strong research backgrounds. Look for programs where the faculty are actively engaged in the types of research you are interested in and have published papers in reputable journals.
The School Itself
In addition to determining whether the program you are considering matches your interests, it’s helpful to look at several factors related to the school itself.
Location. If you aren’t planning on pursuing your degree online, you may want to consider the location of the school. Look for programs that are located in areas with a robust research infrastructure and opportunities for collaboration.
Networking opportunities. Look for programs that offer networking opportunities with other researchers and alumni. This might be beneficial for career enhancement and establishing collaborations.
Ranking and accreditation of master’s degree programs in neuroscience. When researching master’s in neuroscience degree programs, look for programs offered by schools that are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies. Accreditation ensures that the school meets a certain level of quality.
Program rankings could also provide insight into the quality of a program. There are several organizations that rank neuroscience degree programs, including U.S. News & World Report and the National Research Council.
Note that rankings should not be the sole factor in choosing a program. It’s important to consider some of the other factors mentioned above.
Program Format: Campus or Online Neuroscience Degree?
Refine your search for neuroscience graduate degree programs based on a preferred format. An online neuroscience degree or certificate may offer self-paced study. Campus degree programs may be easier to find, especially those in which students work closely with a faculty mentor.
Future Trends and Developments in Neuroscience Education
As the field of neuroscience continues to grow and evolve, so do trends and developments in neuroscience education.
One trend is an expansion of the use of technology in neuroscience education, including the use of virtual and augmented reality tools.
Another trend is a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration in neuroscience research and education. Many programs are now offering interdisciplinary courses and research opportunities to facilitate collaboration between different fields.
Finally, there is a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in neuroscience education. Programs are working to create more inclusive environments and increase diversity among faculty and students to better represent the populations they serve.
Considering these trends and developments in neuroscience education could help you choose programs that offer a quality education in your areas of interest and prepare you for the future of the field.
Pick a Neuroscience Graduate Program Right Here
Easily compare Neuroscience Graduate Programs. Refine your search by Master’s in Neuroscience or PhD in Neuroscience programs or use the filter to the left to narrow your selection.
This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer or guarantee of employment and that may help prepare students to meet the licensing or certification requirements of the field they choose to study. Students should check with the appropriate certifying body to make sure the program they apply to will help meet any licensing or certification requirements. Students should also consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.