Graduate Program

The goal of the graduate program is to train students to think independently, creatively, and critically about problems in [update with ION info]. These skills are essential to a successful research career. Students interested in pursuing a career in teaching at the university level have the opportunity to gain substantial teaching experience.

To help them identify a laboratory in which to do their dissertation research, new graduate students rotate through three laboratories of their choice during their first year. The purpose is to introduce students to the intellectual environment in each laboratory and to familiarize them with various experimental techniques and philosophies. First-year students work with an interim advisory committee to design their own curricula of course work according to their specific background and interests. All graduate students are required to teach for at least one academic year during their graduate career; at least a portion of this teaching takes place the first year.

Students typically join a thesis lab at the end of their first year. During the second year, they must pass a comprehensive examination that requires the writing and oral defense of an original research proposal. Thereafter, the primary focus is on the dissertation research. Students also participate in journal clubs and attend seminars by invited outside speakers. Advanced students regularly present their results to colleagues here at the University of Oregon and at national and international conferences. 




Stipend levels are adjusted annually to be competitive with those offered by other major research institutions. Sources of support include research assistantships, graduate teaching fellowships, and federally supported training grants. Several training grants are available to provide support for students, to fund student travel, to bring in outside speakers, and to enhance the overall training program. Students admitted to the training program will automatically be considered for support by an appropriate training grant. Graduate teaching fellows are part of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), a union that advocates for graduate students on campus. They have negotiated with the University so that fellows receive a competitive stipend and benefits package. This includes full medical, dental, prescription, and vision coverage. There is also childcare on campus for students with children.


Applications to do graduate work in the Institute of Nerurosicence can be made through the Biology Department or Psychology Department. Learn more. 


The Institue of Neuroscience has multiple research interest groups that faculty, post doctoral fellows, and graduate students participate in. Learn more.