“Our PhD program embodies some of the most distinctive features of modern interdisciplinary neuroscience: innovation, a commitment to investigating the most important unresolved questions in our field, and passion for scientific discovery. We are a rigorous, supportive, and diverse community that provides classroom education and research training that emphasize both breadth and depth, as well as substantial opportunities for career development.”

Michael Silver, Berkeley Neuroscience PhD Program Director


Layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons expressing the light-gated ion channel ChR2 (Feldman Lab).

The Neuroscience PhD Program at UC Berkeley offers intensive training in neuroscience research through a combination of coursework, research training, mentoring, and professional development. More than 50 program faculty from many departments provide broad expertise from molecular and cellular neuroscience to systems and computational neuroscience, to human cognitive neuroscience. (For detailed information on faculty research interests, see the Faculty page.)

A unique feature of the neuroscience training at Berkeley is the highly multidisciplinary research environment. For instance, Neuroscientists work side-by-side in the lab with engineers and roboticists to study motor control, with bioengineers to grow stem cells for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, and with chemists to develop new reagents for optical monitoring and control of neural activity. Neuroscience Program students are trained at these intersections between fields, and help drive scientific and technological advances.

Dan Feldman provides a neuroscience primer at Cal Parents Weekend (photo by Jean Pommier)
Dan Feldman provides a neuroscience primer at Cal Parents Weekend (photo by Jean Pommier)

The Neuroscience PhD Program trains a select group of students (about 10 entering students per year) in an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment. Since its official launch in 2000, the program has trained more than 100 students. Our applicants have outstanding undergraduate records in both research and scholarship from diverse academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, psychology, physics, engineering and computer science. We carefully select students with the expectation that, given strong graduate training, they will develop into tomorrow’s leaders in the field of neuroscience. We welcome you to apply to our program.