Neuroscience & Physiology


Neuroscience is a burgeoning, highly multidisciplinary field that encompasses research in basic, translational, and clinical areas. The Sackler Institute embraces this diversity in the comprehensive Graduate Program in Neuroscience and Physiology (GPNP), which includes faculty from 15 basic and clinical departments across NYU’s campuses. The GPNP is currently the largest of the 13 training programs within the Sackler Institute with 55 graduate students working towards Ph.D. and M.D./Ph.D. degrees.

The GPNP positions its students for successful scientific careers by providing high caliber research experiences in parallel with broad-based, yet flexible, didactic training. During the first year, students learn the fundamental conceptual principles of neuroscience and subsequently tailor their advanced coursework, as they define their specific research interests. Our students select their dissertation advisors from among more than 80 investigators at NYU, whose collective research spans every major area of neuroscience, covering molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, behavioral, computational, and translational approaches. Seminars, symposia, journal clubs, and retreats encourage students to engage frequently with the extensive NYU neuroscience community, and supplement more formal coursework and research training. Importantly, every student benefits from a rigorous mentoring program that includes a series of milestones to the doctoral degree, typically attained in 5-6 years.


Gordon Fishell
Moses Chao, PhD
Program Director
Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology
Niels Ringstad, PhD
Graduate Advisor
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology


Sample Courses

  • Introduction to Cellular Neuroscience
  • Sensory and Motor Systems Neuroscience
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Grant Writing
  • Scientific Integrity and the Responsible Conduct of Research

Course in Statistical Methods (choose one):

  • Introduction to Biostatistics & 
  • Mathematical Tools for Neuroscience
  • Statistics in Biology

Recommended Elective Courses

  • Topics in Molecular Biology
  • Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Assembly and Function of Neural Circuits
  • Disorders of the Nervous System

Qualifying Exam

When: End year 2 (by August 31st) 

  • Written: NIH NRSA-style proposal outlining the intended research thesis project, with a solid conceptual framework, rigorous experimental plan, and appropriate preliminary data (optional)
  • Oral: 30-40 min presentation defending the written proposal, with additional time for committee questions and feedback