Master’s Program

Lin Lin and Zhen Yan, PhD.

Master’s students are assigned an academic adviser who assists the student in tailoring a course curriculum. Pictured are master’s student Lin Lin (left), and Zhen Yan, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics.

Our program offers studies in cell biology, advanced neuroscience, topics in neuroscience, advanced statistics and neuroanatomy research.

The neuroscience master’s degree is a two-year (four-semester) program requiring completion of 30 credits. The core, required neuroscience courses are NRS 520, 524, 601 and 602 and PMY 516. At least one additional (three to four credit) elective course is required. Recommended neuroscience electives include BMS 501 (Cell Biology), PSY 513 (Biological Basis of Behavior) and BIO 517 (Neurobiology).

Students entering the master’s program will consult with the neuroscience program director, who will assist students in tailoring a course curriculum.

Students are also encouraged to register for research rotation (NRS 560) in their first semester. This will enable them to select a laboratory and mentor and begin their thesis research before the beginning of their second semester. Students may also elect to take NRS 523 to develop familiarity in basic laboratory techniques. After the first semester, students can register for research credits with their selected mentor.

Students are required to form at least a two-person committee from members of the Neuroscience Faculty, in addition to their mentor. Ideally, these should not be in the same Primary Department as the thesis advisor. The thesis advisor and the student select the members of the Committee. Students are strongly encouraged to consider the inclusion of women when selecting members of their committees, as it is imperative that our trainees are mentored by a diverse group of faculty members.

Other requirements: Grade of B or higher on all required courses, overall GPA above 3.0. 

For more information, please view the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual, which contains details relating to admissions, registration, grading, student records, degree requirements and academic integrity.

The following lists show required courses for the master’s program in neuroscience and a sample schedule of coursework for three semesters.

Core Master’s Courses



Suggested Electives:

Sample Schedule, By Semester

Semester 1

One of these three:

And all of these:

Selection of thesis adviser  

Semester 2

Summer — advancement to candidacy

Semester 3

Semester 4

Financial Assistance

Domestic master’s students do not qualify for departmental stipends or scholarships. However, they can apply for some assistance through federal loans or grants (see FAFSA). Some students may also qualify for assistance through their advisers.

Highly qualified underrepresented minority candidates may be eligible for assistance through the Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship.

International students are not eligible for financial aid and must document ability to pay all of their costs.

How to Apply

You can apply online. You'll need to submit scanned copies of all required supporting documents before your application will be reviewed. You may save and edit your application as you go.

Official documents will be required if you are offered admission.

Once your application is ready, you must formally submit it and upload your documents.

Check Your Status

You may log in at any time to check your status.

The online checklist is your best source about the status of your application during the review process; please check it frequently. 

You will receive an email when your admission decision is available in the portal.

Special Note for International Students

If you are applying from outside the United States, apply as early as possible to ensure time for application and visa processing.  Regardless of your program’s deadline, it is recommended that you apply at least 6-9 months prior to the term start date (depending on your country of origin).  Check with your program’s application coordinator for specific guidelines.


The following credentials are required for application consideration:

  • transcript(s) from every institution you have previously attended
  • three letters of recommendation
  • a resume
  • a personal letter stating career objectives and research experience. Research experience is highly desirable.

English Proficiency Requirement

International applicants must present a valid TOEFL or IELTS score. It is university policy that test dates be no older than two years when students enter a program.

  • Institution code: R2925 (SUNY-University at Buffalo)


Applications for the master’s program must be completed and supporting documentation must be received by April 30. 


Once you submit your application online for formal review, you will be provided with a link to our online payment system, where you can pay the application fee.

International Students

Please visit the International Student Services website if you have any questions regarding immigration status.

If you do not have access to the technology to be able to upload a copy of your transcripts or any additional application materials on your application, please send them to:

Neuroscience Program
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
955 Main Street, Room 6134 
Buffalo, NY 14203