Jul 21, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 
University of Alberta Calendar 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Programs in Neuroscience

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Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute
2-132 Li Ka Shing  Centre for  Health Research Innovation
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H5
E-mail: nmhi@ualberta.ca

General Information

The Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute at the University of Alberta is a group of more than 170 neuroscientists from approximately 27 departments across eight faculties, two schools, and three colleges. The Institute offers a graduate program that is designed for students who desire a broad training in various experimental and theoretical aspects of neuroscience while maintaining a research program that may be more specialized. This can be achieved by drawing on the expertise of specialists (members of the Institute) from various departments throughout the University who have research interests in neuroscience. The graduate program in Neuroscience offers both degrees of PhD and MSc through thesis research. Applicants not having a MSc degree will initially be admitted to the MSc program for the first year, after which they may transfer to the PhD program, provided their thesis proposal has been accepted and appropriate courses passed.

Inquiries about this program should be directed to the Graduate Administrator in the NMI, nmhi.edu@ualberta.ca. Complete details of the programs and their requirements are available in the Neuroscience Graduate Program Manual.

Entrance Requirements

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Program’s minimum admission requirements are an undergraduate degree with an admission GPA of at least 3.0 on the 4-point scale from the University of Alberta, or an equivalent qualification and standing from a recognized institution. The admission GPA will be calculated on the last 60 units of graded coursework completed, or on the equivalent of the last two years of full-time graded coursework.

Students already possessing a master’s degree will be considered for the PhD program provided they meet the minimum requirements for the MSc degree in Neuroscience.

In exceptional circumstances, a student may be considered for direct entry to the PhD program without a master’s degree if there is evidence that the applicant is able to successfully meet the rigor and requirements of the PhD program. In addition to the minimum admission requirements, the applicant should possess exceptional qualifications in neuroscience or a related discipline at the undergraduate level, as demonstrated by GPA, awards, research experience, publications and/or very strong letters of references. Demonstration of distinguished life achievement and/or work-related life experiences would also be considered.

Applicants to the MSc program are expected to have completed the following courses or their equivalents:

Students deficient in this area may be expected to take these courses as extra-to-degree as a condition of admission.

Applicants to the PhD program who do not have a sufficient Neuroscience background may be required to take additional courses to ensure an adequate background. These will be considered extra-to-degree.

The NMHI Graduate Program Committee (GPC) evaluates the background in Neuroscience of each prospective student and selects appropriate courses.

English Language Proficiency

Where applicable, applicants must provide proof of English Language Proficiency (refer to English Language Requirement ). Any one of the following is acceptable:

  • a TOEFL score of at least 100 (Internet-based) with at least 21 on each of the individual skill areas
  • an IELTS score of 7.0 overall with 6.0 in each subtest
  • equivalent scores on other language proficiency tests approved by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research

Other Requirements

Applicants are also required to submit the following:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A personal statement of interest
  • Applicants must arrange for three letters of academic reference


As the Neuroscience Graduate program is thesis-based, applicants must have a supervisor and funding in place before they can be accepted into the program. Applicants must have previously corresponded with an NMHI faculty member and have agreed to a tentative supervisory arrangement. Without a supervisory relationship identified, applications will not be considered.

Acceptance by a supervisor does not guarantee admission into the program. Applications are reviewed by the NMHI Graduate Program Committee. The final decision is administered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research (FGSR).

Applicants wishing to change their program to Neuroscience from other graduate programs within the University of Alberta will be considered upon receipt of a letter from the student outlining the reasons for the program change, letters of reference, transcripts, and a letter of support from the proposed supervisor. Students who have already completed the PhD candidacy examination in another program will not normally be considered.

Application Deadlines

For Canadian and US citizens (including Canadian permanent residents), the application deadline is:

  • July 1 for September admission
  • November 1 for January admission

For international students, the application deadline is:

  • May 15 for September admission
  • September 1 for January admission

Academic Standing Requirements

To remain in the program, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance in the form of Graduate Research Assistant Fellowships from supervisor operating funds is normally available to students in good standing. Students may also be eligible for awards from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Exceptionally qualified applicants may be nominated for University of Alberta entrance scholarships. Other funding is provided by scholarships awarded to students by various agencies including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Provincial Government of Alberta. Students will be expected to apply for such external funding.

Graduate Program Requirements

Master’s Programs

Doctoral Programs

Graduate Courses

Course Descriptions

Descriptions of these courses can be found in Course Listings , under the relevant subject headings:

Biomedical Engineering (BME)
Cell Biology (CELL)
Educational Psychology (EDPY)
Neuroscience (NEURO)
Pharmacology (PMCOL)
Physical Therapy (PTHER)
Physiology (PHYSL)
Psychiatry (PSYCI)
Psychology (PSYCH)

Additional courses offered by other departments that are deemed relevant to the student’s research interests may be approved on an individual basis.

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