Ph.D. Medical Sciences Degree

The Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) participates in the College of Medicine (COM) interdisciplinary Medical Sciences graduate program that leads primarily to the Ph.D. degree. The interdepartmental training program offers broad-based instructions in the wide field of medical sciences, and encourages interactions among students and faculties in different COM departments. The graduate students choose a home track based on their primary research interests. The NExT department is heavily involved in the Neurotrack which focuses on all areas of neuroscience, with emphasis on molecular and cellular mechanisms of the brain during development, aging and neurological diseases, and drug receptor interactions. Our interdisciplinary approach provides the strong conceptual framework in molecular, cellular, and systems-level biomedical sciences and cutting-edge research methods essential to the modern scientist. The Department's objective is to train students to become biomedical scientists pursuing professional careers as teachers and researchers in academic, industrial or governmental positions, who can make significant contributions in their chosen field.For students interested in our Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program, which includes all of the Basic Sciences Departments in the College of Medicine, please visit the Office of Graduate Studies.

The Ph.D. program in medical sciences requires a minimum of 96 semester hours composed of at least 32 hours of formal course work. The first-year of the program consists of required and elective courses planned in consultation with a graduate adviser, who takes into account the student's previous training and interests. Typically, students in the Neurotrack will take neuroscience courses starting in the first semester, other graduate-level courses related to biomedical sciences, laboratory rotations, statistics and seminars. Elected courses in the second year include advanced topics in molecular, cellular, developmental, and structural-functional neuroscience and molecular mechanisms of drug and toxin action, as well as central nervous system pathobiology. Students are also encouraged, with the consent of their advisers, to enroll in special-topics courses or audit courses that are related to their own developing interests. Cooperative programs with other departments in the College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, and other components of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) are also possible. Students in the neurotrack strongly interact with neuroscience students at TAMU, and actively participate in TAMIN-related activities including the weekly neuroscience seminars, annual poster competition and TAMIN symposium.

Research Facilities

The NExT Department is located in the modern Medical Research and Education Building (MREB) on the Texas A&M HSC campus in Bryan, TX. The MREB houses faculty offices and labs, an AAALAC accredited vivarium, and core facilities which include behavioral rooms, a confocal microscope and a mass-spectrometer. Graduate students have the opportunity to work in faculty laboratories with specialized state-of-the-art equipment.

Financial Support

Financial support is currently $27,000 per year during the first two years. Tuition and fees are also covered by the program. During their graduate training students are supported by graduate assistantships which most full-time graduate students receive. These assistantships and other graduate student fellowships are available from the College of Medicine, federal grants, and private sources. More information can be found on our website:

Student Group

Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, has about 100 graduate students enrolled, with women representing 50 percent of the student body. Students come from all regions of the United States and a number of other countries. Graduates of the program have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral fellowships that have led to both academic and research positions.


Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, is located in Bryan, TX. The twin cities of Bryan and College Station have a combined population of approximately 150,000. The communities offer excellent school systems, a regional shopping mall, and a variety of other retail outlets. Students can take advantage of the cultural and intellectual activities associated with an academic community. The two cities maintain forty parks, six swimming pools, a golf course, and numerous tennis courts. Also, the Gulf Coast is approximately 150 miles from BCS. The nearly year-round warm climate of the area makes Bryan/College Station a desirable place to live.

Bryan/College Station yearly ranks as one of the least expensive cities in the United States, and several nationwide rankings have listed Bryan/College Station among the best places to live in America.

The University

The College of Medicine is part of Texas A&M University, which is the state's oldest public institution of higher learning, founded in 1876 as a land-grant college. It is one of sixteen sea-grant colleges in the nation and in 1989 became a space-grant college. It is also the home of the George H. Bush Presidential Library. The main campus of Texas A&M University is situated on 5,200 acres. Its recreation facilities include an eighteen-hole golf course, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a polo field. Texas A&M University is a member of the Southeastern Conference, and its intramural offerings constitute one of the best all-around sports programs in the country.

MD/Ph.D Program

The Texas A&M University College of Medicine offers a combined training program leading to both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The purpose of this program is to provide research training for highly motivated medical students planning careers in academic medicine. To accomplish this, our program integrates the studies and requirements for both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees, providing students with many opportunities to relate their study of clinical medicine with basic biomedical science. Such training produces medical scientists with unique insights into human disease processes. Entry into the program is competitive and based on a selective process.