NBB Research Groups

Graduate Program

You are here

Overview

Cornell’s Ph.D. program in Neurobiology and Behavior (NB&B) is unique.  Our program integrates the study of neurobiology with behavior at all levels of analysis.  Our research approaches the field from the study of ion channels through neural networks all the way to the behavior of animal societies. We draw from faculty in a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, Entomology, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Medicine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Neurobiology and Behavior. 

Training:

The background and interests of our graduate students is broad and varied. Because of this diversity, each student’s course of study is tailored to his or her needs and background.  In addition to a wide variety of neurobiology and behavior classes, we offer laboratory courses to get the training you need for your thesis project.  These labs include neurophysiology, molecular neurobiology, bioacoustics, modeling behavioral evolution, computational neuroscience, animal behavior, and patch clamping.  

Academic Environment:

NeurotechWe have a weekly seminar series in which internationally renowned scientists are invited to present their research.  Following each seminar, graduate students are encouraged to have lunch with the speaker.  This provides a great opportunity to meet other scientists from around the world and talk science. Two separate weekly journal clubs are also offered in different focus areas.  The topics in neural basis of behavior links neural networks and behavior, and lunch bunch examines topics in animal behavior. The Cornell Neurotech initiative between the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering was launched in 2015 thanks to a multimillion dollar seed grant from the Mong Family Foundation. The initiative funds collaborative interdisciplinary research at the cutting edge of brain imaging and manipulation technologies.

Applying:

Our graduate program is for academically talented undergraduates with a strong interest in neurobiology and/or behavior. Students admitted into the program are guaranteed 5 years of support in the form of either training grant fellowships, research assistantships, or teaching fellowships. The deadline to apply is December 1.   apply, simply click on this application link.

Contacts and Faculty:

Director of Graduate Studies
Michael S. Webster
W361 Mudd Hall
607 254-4389 (slf42@cornell.edu)
 

Click here to browse a list of all faculty at NBB

Click here to browse a list of all faculty in the graduate field

Requirements

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include:

  • a survey course in neurobiology and behavior
  • annual meetings with the faculty advisory (special) committee
  • one semester of teaching experience
  • Admission to PhD candidacy (A-exam) by end of second, or beginning of third year
  • Research proposal for thesis research to special committee by end of third year
  • successfully complete and defend a thesis research project (B-exam)

The field has no formal language requirement, but one can be imposed by the student's Special Committee. The field also requires each student to give a publicly announced seminar as part of the dissertation defense.

The Field of Neurobiology and Behavior does not formally offer a Master’s degree.

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

The Graduate Field of Neurobiology and Behavior

Prospective graduate students apply to Graduate Fields of Study at Cornell University, rather than to specific departments. Most Graduate Fields – Neurobiology and Behavior included – involve members from more than one Department, bringing together faculty and students with shared intellectual interests irrespective of their ostensible departmental homes.

The Graduate Field of Neurobiology and Behavior integrates the study of neurobiology with behavior at all levels of analysis. Our research approaches the field from the study of ion channels through neural networks all the way to the behavior of animal societies. We draw from faculty in a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, Entomology, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Medicine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Neurobiology and Behavior.

The background and interests of graduate students in this field are broad and varied. Because of this diversity, each student’s course of study is tailored to their needs and pre-existing training. In addition to a wide variety of neurobiology and behavior classes, NBB offers laboratory courses to provide the training necessary to complete thesis project work. Lab courses include neurophysiology, molecular neurobiology, bioacoustics, modeling behavioral evolution, computational neuroscience, animal behavior, and patch clamping.

Ph.D. Program Funding Information

Our graduate program is for academically talented undergraduates with a strong interest in neurobiology and/or behavior. Students admitted to the program are guaranteed 5 years of support, typically a combination across years of training grant fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching fellowships.

Applying to the Program 

The deadline for fall admission is December 1. There is no spring admission. The application for Fall 2020 will be available online in early September.

For more information about applying, go here. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Graduate Field Assistant Saundra Anderson. If you have questions about the graduate program as a whole, please contact Director of Graduate Studies Mike Webster.

If you’re ready to apply, click here to apply now.