College or School: 
College of Science and Mathematics
Master of Science
Program Type: 
Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology
Program Description: 

The program provides students with both a broad knowledge of physiology and neuroscience as well as concentrated experience in one specific area of specialization. The department offers a variety of graduate courses including human physiology, membrane transport, intercellular communication, ion channels, and human neurophysiology, as well as seminar and special topics courses.

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.

Admissions Requirements: 

Physiology and Neuroscience - The requirements for admission are:

  1. B.A., B.S., or equivalent degree
  2. Overall GPA of 3.00-plus or GRE total of 310 (minimum 153 verbal; 153 mathematics)
  3. Suggested prerequisite courses: general biology (one year), organic chemistry (one year), general physics (one year), mathematics (one year through introductory calculus), and one year of advanced study in biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science
Program Requirements: 

Physiology and Neuroscience – In order to qualify for the Master of Science degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Graduate School as well as program requirements. 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 second semester of the first year. 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.

I. Required Courses Hours
P&N 6420 Introductory Neurophysiology 3
BMB 7500 Molecular Biochemistry 3
ANT 8600 Principles of Biomedical Research 1
P&N 8000 Physiology Seminar I 1
P&N 8000 Physiology Seminar II 1
P&N 6100 Human Physiology 4
P&N 6990 Lab Rotation 1-5
P&N 7760 Intercellular Communication 3
P&N 8990 Physiology Research 1-10
II. Electives  
8000-level Seminar inside or outside the Department of NCBP. 1
6000-level or above course related to program of study. Approval of Program 3
Director is required for electives taken outside the Department of NCBP.  
Total Credits 30




Nancy Bigley, Herpes simplex virus, interferons and immune pathways

Robert Fyffe, Spinal cord—cells and circuits

Gary L. Nieder, Medical and graduate education; Educational technology

John C. Pearson, Educational media development; Neuroscience

Associate Professors—Anatomy

Larry J. Ream, Medical and graduate education; Histology

Dawn Wooley, Virology, HIV-1, AIDS; Biosafety; Biodefense

Assistant Professor—Anatomy

Barbara Kraszpulska, Graduate and medical education; Educational technology

Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience

Timothy Cope (Chair), Spinal cord plasticity; Motor systems

James Olson, CNS injury; Brain edema; Blood-brain barrier function

Robert W. Putnam, Central respiratory control; Cell signaling; Neuroscience

Mark Rich, Synaptic plasticity; Critical illness myopathy

Associate Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience

Thomas L. Brown, Cell death; Differentiation and development

Adrian Corbett, Brain neurogenesis in response to injury

Kathrin Engisch, Neurotransmitter release

Melvyn D. Goldfinger, Theoretical neuroscience

Dan R. Halm, Epithelial physiology; Secretory signal transduction

Assistant Professors—Physiology & Neuroscience

J. Ashot Kozak, Ion transport pathways in T lymphocytes; Calcium signaling; Ion channels in nociception

David Ladle, Development of spinal cord reflex circuits

Christopher Wyatt, Cellular mechanisms of oxygen sensing; Peripheral respiratory control