Neuroscience PhD Program

Neuroscience PhD Program Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose the UTSA Neuroscience PhD program?

Students attending UTSA's Neuroscience PhD program will join an interactive community of scientists working to uncover the mysteries of brain function. The faculty is accessible and the student experience is enriched by UTSA's Neurosciences Institute, Brain Health Consortium, and the NDRB department’s trainee development resources. The program is dynamic and growing, with over 30+ faculty members.

What have previous students done after graduation?

Many students in our program continue their academic careers as postdoctoral fellows. Graduates from our program have become faculty members in academia and have obtained positions in industry, consulting, and data science.

Do Neuroscience PhD students receive financial support during their tenure in the program?

Yes. Neuroscience PhD students receive a competitive annual stipend (currently $31,000) paid in monthly allotments.

Is tuition paid by the program?

Yes. Tuition and fees are paid by the program and do not need to be paid by the student.

Is health insurance paid by the program?

Yes. The program covers health insurance for students in the Neuroscience PhD program.

Will I have the opportunity to attend relevant national or international conferences?

Yes. Neuroscience PhD students are strongly encouraged to attend and present their research in at least one national or international scientific conference each year. Multiple sources of support for student travel and meeting expenses are available from the student's PI, the department, the College of Sciences, and the university.

How long will it take for me to complete the program?

The Neuroscience PhD program is designed to be completed in 5 years. In rare cases, students complete the program in 4 years or take more than 6 years to complete their dissertation.

Will I be required to teach or TA?

Neuroscience PhD students must complete a core course in teaching techniques which includes an exemplary teaching experience (e.g. one lecture). There is no other mandatory teaching requirement. In exceptional cases, PIs experience gaps in research funding and students serve as TAs to offset departmental support. Students may also arrange to TA to gain additional teaching experience.

How will I select a lab for my dissertation research?

Neuroscience PhD students progress through three 10-week lab rotations during their first year in the program and select a PI following those rotations. The PI must have resources to support the student's stipend, tuition, health insurance, and dissertation research project. The Graduate Advisor of Record for the Neuroscience PhD program will assist first-year students in selecting a dissertation PI.

Do I need to communicate with a specific professor before I apply?

No. Selection of a lab for dissertation research is made at the end of the first year following completion of three 10-week lab rotations. But students should feel free to contact faculty to inquire about research opportunities. It is helpful if applicants use their personal statement to identify which faculty they might particularly like to work with and why.

How do I apply for admission?

Applications are submitted online to Graduate Admissions at See the Graduate Admissions checklist.

What is the application deadline?

New students are admitted once per year, with applications received by December 1st reviewed for admission in the fall of the following calendar year.

Can I join the program part-time or while holding another position?

No. Student participation in the Neuroscience PhD program is considered a full-time activity. Students are expected to devote 100% effort to the program. To ensure efficient progress through the program, students cannot continue working elsewhere.