The NACS program offers a wide range of research and training opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing doctoral-level research in a variety of areas within neuroscience and cognitive science. Faculty research interests extend from molecular and cellular neuroscience to studies of language and cognition. Research approaches include both the theoretical and experimental, with several laboratories doing both. The experimental work includes state of the art, cutting-edge methodologies, such as human fMRI and MEG imaging techniques available in the new Maryland Neuroimaging Center. Theoretical approaches include neural, behavioral, evolutionary, mathematical, computational, and engineering. Research and training activities of NACS take place within the laboratories of faculty in 20 participating departments and units: Aerospace Engineering, Animal and Avian Sciences, Bioengineering, Biology, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, English, Entomology, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Human Development, Kinesiology, Linguistics, Nutrition and Food Science, Philosophy, Psychology, and Public & Community Health, as well as the Center for Advanced Study of Language, the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, the Institute for Systems Research, the Maryland Neuroimaging Center, and the Second Language Acquisition program. The NACS program requires the completion of two required core courses and three out of five core courses, including introduction to neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, cellular and molecular neuroscience, and cognitive science. The goal of the Program is to bring together the diverse perspectives and strengths of all the included disciplines in order to understand the working of the nervous system, the mind, and behavior. For more information, please visit our web site: http://www.nacs.umd.edu.
Admission to the NACS Program requires a bachelor's degree from a recognized undergraduate institution. Course work in calculus is strongly recommended, as is some background in neuroscience, computational science, or cognitive science. Students with strong academic records but missing relevant coursework will be allowed to make up deficiencies. The Program requires the Graduate Record Examination scores; transcripts; statement of goals, research interests, and experiences; and three letters of recommendation.
Type of Applicant Fall Spring
Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents with foreign credentials; International Applicants seeking admissions under A, E, G, H, I and L visas and immigrants
Deadline: December 1
International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
Deadline: December 1
- GRE General
- Statement of goals, research interests, and experiences
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The NACS Program emphasizes research training and thus requires only 27 credits of course work over the first four years. Specific requirements include two core courses--a scientific ethics course and a foundational readings course--and three out of five core courses from among introduction to neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, cellular and molecular neuroscience, and cognitive science. A formal qualifying examination is given at the beginning of the third year to ensure that all students have a core knowledge of basic neuroscience and cognitive science, and that each student has the knowledge and skills necessary to develop a dissertation proposal. By the end of their fourth year, students formally present their dissertation proposal and are admitted to candidacy. The dissertation is normally completed within one year of the proposal defense.
The Program, by virtue of its breadth, has access to the facilities of all the departments, institutes, and centers of its faculty members. These include the Institute for Systems Research, the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, the Center for Advanced Study of Language, the Maryland Neuroimaging Center, and the various well-equipped research laboratories and department facilities of the faculty. Animal facilities are available where necessary. NACS has developed a very close collaboration with the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the NIH. NACS students can conduct research in cellular and molecular neurobiology and imaging of the human CNS with mentors at NIDCD, most of whom are NACS adjunct faculty. Thus, the NIDCD-NACS relationship extends research and training opportunities for students while they get their degrees from the NACS program. NACS has also developed a similar joint research program with researchers at the Children's National Medical Center (CNMC).
Graduate fellowships are available on a competitive basis to both entering and continuing students, while qualified students may also receive teaching assistantships. In addition, some faculty have graduate research assistantships for their students. There are also NIH graduate training grant fellowships for students interested in studying auditory neuroscience.
Program Director - Robert J. Dooling
2123D Biology/Psychology Building, College Park
Telephone: (301) 405-5925
Fax: (301) 314-9566
Graduate Director - Rochelle Newman
0141BB LeFrak Hall, College Park
Assistant Director - Pam Komarek
2131 Biology-Psychology Building, College Park
Related Programs and Campus Units
Hearing and Speech Sciences
Engineering: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Education: Human Development