Graduate Program

OCNS Students

The Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience offers a multidisciplinary and inter-institutional program devoted to the study of diseases of the nervous system. Students completing this program will receive a doctor of philosophy degree (Ph.D.) in Neuroscience. The Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience participates in the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS).

The neuroscience program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to understand the structure and function of the normal and diseased nervous system. The diversity of research represented in this program spans three focus areas:

  • Molecular neuroscience
  • Systems neurobiology
  • Functional neuroscience

Molecular neuroscience involves biochemical investigations at the cellular and molecular levels and includes studies on neurotransmitter systems, pharmacology of neurotransmission, interactions of drugs with receptors, molecular biology of neurological disease, and mechanisms of signal transduction.

Systems neurobiology encompasses studies of multi-neuronal networks that range from small ensembles to neural circuitry underlying the control of cardiac and respiratory function, endocrine function, and pain mechanisms.

Functional neuroscience includes the disciplines of neurology, biological psychiatry, and behavioral neuroscience.

Students in the neuroscience program are exposed to all three-focus areas, providing a strong interdisciplinary foundation on which to build comprehensive and innovative research programs. View course catalog offerings here.


The Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience offers the degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The descriptions contained in this website pertain to students who are interested in obtaining a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. 


Ph.D. students are eligible for a tuition waiver if they are full-time students in good academic standing. In addition, graduate students receive a $2​​6,000 annual stipend and health insurance coverage.


Due to the multidisciplinary nature of Neuroscience, its faculty and students are affiliated with 31 different departments at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the Dean McGee Eye Institute, the University of Oklahoma at Norman, and area hospitals. Therefore, opportunities exist to utilize state-of-the art equipment and core facilities at any number of affiliated institutions.


There are numerous exciting career opportunities for neuroscientists. Careers in higher education include teaching neuroscience and/or performing basic neuroscience research at universities and medical schools. Many neuroscientists devote their careers to full-time research at government-sponsored laboratories or private research institutions. Industry, particularly the pharmaceutical industry, offers rewarding careers in basic and applied research in drug development. Most of all, regardless of where you are now in your professional training or experience, please contact us if you seek to expand your opportunities within our program.