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 center around seven main areas: Cellular & Molecular, Sensory & Motor Systems, Computational Modeling & Theory, Language & Speech, Cognition & Emotion, Development & Aging, and Disorders & Treatment. Research approaches include both the theoretical and experimental, with several laboratories doing both. Research and training activities of NACS take place within the laboratories of faculty in 23 participating departments and units: Aerospace Engineering, Animal and Avian Sciences, Behavioral and Community Health, Bioengineering, Biology, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, English, Entomology, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Human Development, Kinesiology, Linguistics, Nutrition and Food Science, Philosophy, Psychology, and Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, 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 neurosciences, 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
Deadline: December 1
International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas, as well as those seeking admissions under A,E,G,H,I and L visas and immigrants.
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 close collaborations with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Children's National Medical Center (CNMC), and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC). NACS students can conduct research in laboratories with NACS adjunct faculty at these institutions. Thus, these relationships extend research and training opportunities for students while they get their degrees from the NACS program.
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 research assistantships for their students.
Program Director - Jens Herberholz
2123H Biology/Psychology Building, College Park
Telephone: (301) 405-5902
Admissions Director - Matthew Roesch
2123G Biology-Psychology Building, College Park
Graduate Director - Richard Payne
3220 Biology-Psychology Building, 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
Nutrition and Food Science