Neuroscience PhD training has been a component of graduate student training at Wake Forest University since 1991. The goal of our Neuroscience training program is to provide students with:

  • A fundamental understanding of all levels of nervous system organization, from genetics, molecular, and cellular to systems and behavioral,
  • A skill set that includes extensive training in experimental design and interpretation, statistical and quantitative methodology,
  • Hands-on experience in state of the art laboratories that carry out meaningful and significant research in all areas of modern neuroscience, and
  • A “bench to bedside” appreciation of how basic neuroscience research supports and translates into treatments for neurobehavioral pathologies 

Why Wake Forest

In order to achieve these goals, the program’s first two years balance a broad-based, interdisciplinary curriculum with hands-on training in research laboratories that use a variety of cutting-edge techniques. With this foundation, students move forward using the next few years to develop a thesis project in a specific neuroscience subdiscipline such as memory and cognition, addiction and motivated behaviors, sensory processing and integration, or nervous system changes following injury or in disease. Our program’s success is facilitated by a robust advisory structure for student guidance and mentorship, and an outstanding collaborative environment maintained by our diverse faculty.

Training Snapshot

  • Time to PhD completion is 5 years, faster than the national average (5.6 years).
  • The average number of publications/student is 4.8 (Averaging 2.5 as 1st author).
  • From 2007 to present, our graduate students contributed to at least 275 publications (135 as first author).
  • 100% of students who earned PhD’s in the past five years have obtained postdoctoral training positions or are employed in research-intensive positions. 70% moved onto postdoctoral positions, many at prestigious centers/ universities, including Chicago, Vanderbilt, Salk Institute, MIT, UCLA, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins. All had positions arranged prior to graduation.
  • The Neuroscience Program has 77 faculty members across 16 departments and all WFU campuses that participate in training in neuroscience research or related clinical work.
  • Neuroscience Training Faculty attracted over $21 million in federal funding for FY19 with PhD students as the driving engine of research.