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Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Physiology (NCBP)

Master of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience

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Why Choose the Physiology and Neuroscience Program?

Programs of graduate study leading to a Master of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience provide students with a broad knowledge of physiology and neuroscience as well as concentrated experience in one specific area of specialization. The first two semesters involve 17 credit hours, which include required departmental and other courses determined in consultation with the student’s advisor. Research activities begin in the spring of the first year with a lab rotation. The second program year involves 13 credit hours with emphasis on research. Completed research is presented in written thesis form at the end of the second year, with a public oral defense.

The purpose of the master’s degree is to provide the student with a strong research-oriented background in one of several areas of physiology, biophysics, or neuroscience. A program of study is designed for each student by the student’s faculty advisor and an advisory committee. The second year is devoted almost exclusively to research and culminates in the writing and oral defense of a thesis based upon original research performed while enrolled as a graduate student at the university. The degree requires successfully completing a minimum of 30 credits of graduate-level course work offered by the College of Science and Mathematics and defending a research thesis.

Academics and Curriculum

View Master of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience program information and degree requirements in the Academic Catalog.

NCBP Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)

Opportunities for Advanced Study

While the department does not offer a Ph.D. in physiology and neuroscience, a continuation of graduate studies with our faculty — by students from this or any other graduate program— may lead to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree in Biomedical Sciences. This is offered in conjunction with the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program at Wright State University.

Program Goals

The goals of the graduate program are to provide the opportunity for graduate students to apply their knowledge of physiology and neuroscience to solve an original problem through laboratory research and to achieve a high level of professional competence.

All graduates of the program develop a depth of understanding of human physiology and neurobiology, are afforded the opportunity to prepare for a career in researchand are prepared for further professional study following graduation.

The graduate program:

  • Prepares you for a research career in the biomedical sciences
  • Serves as a transition to a Ph.D. program or other professional program
  • Features courses taught by full-time Graduate School faculty
  • Provides a strong academic foundation in physiology and neuroscience


Applicants must have a baccalaureate (B.S., B.A.) or equivalent degree from an accredited institution and should have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above to be adequately prepared for graduate work in anatomy. Although there are no required prerequisite courses, applicants should have completed at least one year of biology and two years of chemistry, including organic chemistry.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) should only be submitted if the applicant’s GPA is less than 3.00. The GRE total should exceed 305 (minimum 153 verbal, 152 quantitative). An international student’s TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score should exceed 550, or a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL-IBT exam. This program does not accept the International Language Testing System (IELTS).

A graduate application must be completed and forwarded to the Graduate School. Transcripts from all institutions attended, an application fee, a personal statement and two letters of recommendation, preferably from college faculty who are familiar with your academic ability and potential for success in a graduate program, must be submitted. An interview is required. 

The application deadline for fall semester is August 1.

Graduate application forms and instructions are on the Graduate School website.

For more information, contact:

Graduate School
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(937) 775-2976 or (800) 452-4723 (toll free)
Fax: (937) 775-2453

Additional questions? Contact Kim Hagler, Program Secretary at (937) 775-4496 in the NCBP Graduate Program Office located in 105 White Hall.

Success Stories

Physiology and neuroscience graduate student Ryan Rakoczy hopes to develop better treatments for prematurely born infants and others with breathing ailments.