Biological Sciences - Neuroscience and Physiology
Students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty comprising the Neuroscience and Physiology (NP) group emphasize an integrative approach to the study of these two important and related sub-disciplines. Neuroscience identifies the neural substrates of behavior, whereas Physiology investigates organismal functions.
Research within Neuroscience and Physiology spans broad organization levels within Biology, from genes and molecules and cells to tissues, circuits and behaving animals. We employ a variety of experimental approaches, including genetic, molecular, cellular, and whole-animal techniques such as microelectrode recordings, microscopy, optical imaging, EEG, mathematical modeling, and behavioral observations. Current research asks fundamental questions in molecular neuroethology, cellular, systems, and human neuroscience, and cellular and transport physiology.
The Neuroscience and Physiology sequence is an option for students enrolled in the Ph.D. degree program within Biological Sciences. We offer a comprehensive curriculum to graduate students interested in Neuroscience and Physiology. Sequences provide an exciting and challenging academic environment, by combining research excellence with a strong commitment to education, and are tightly integrated into laboratory research.
Discover what life as a Illinois State graduate student is like with an Online Graduate Student Information Session.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a doctoral program must:
- typically have earned a master's degree or equivalent in a discipline appropriate to the specific doctoral program
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work (approximately the junior and senior years)
- have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for all graduate-level coursework
- provide official scores from the GRE general exam (use institution code 1319)
- provide three letters of recommendation
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
The first step in the application process is to ask about working in a lab. We do not admit graduate students unless they have at least one faculty member who is willing to have them in their lab.
Contact a member of our faculty who works in your area of interest. Discuss whether they are taking new students, whether your interests sufficiently overlap with theirs, and what research topics are being pursued in their labs.
Curriculum Vitae or Resume
Submit your vita in the application system. It should include any information that will help assess your potential as a student in our graduate program. Also include:
- your educational background
- previous employment or positions related to science and your current status
- research activities, including publications
- memberships in professional societies
- any honors and awards you have received
Statement of Academic and Professional Goals
Write a one-to-two page statement of your academic and professional goals and submit it in the application system.
Your statement should include:
- area of research in which you are interested
- faculty member(s) with whom you have corresponded with in regard to serving as your possible dissertation advisor
- your plans after completing graduate school
Letters of Recommendation
Spring and summer applicants: Provide three letters of recommendation. Letters should come from faculty members or others who are familiar with your academic record and can evaluate your potential for graduate study. Send your letters to:
Director of Graduate Studies
School of Biological Sciences
Illinois State University
Normal, IL 6179--4120
Fall applicants: Submit names and email addresses of references for letters of recommendation within the online application.
GRE scores are not required for your application. However, if you wish to submit them, you may.
Scores do not play a significant part in our decision-making process for admission. GRE scores may help your application if you did not have strong undergraduate grades but have strong GRE scores.
Use institution code 1319 if you want to submit your scores. It will not be held against you if you do not submit GRE scores as part of your application.
- Fall (August) Term — February 1
- Spring (January) Term — Not accepting applications
- Summer Term — Not accepting applications
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs) are available for qualified students.
Teaching Assistantships in the Ph.D. program currently receive $1,982 per month for nine months plus tuition waivers. Opportunities for up to three months per year of additional support are available.
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.