PhD in Neuroscience

Research-Intensive Program

The PhD in Neuroscience is a research-intensive program to train students for independent research careers in higher education, industry, and government agencies.

Integrated Graduate Program

  • Common core curriculum. Graduate students take common courses in biomedical ethics, responsible conduct, experimental design, and deconstruction of research. Most core and elective courses are taught in a 5-week microcourse format that have a precise focus on a topic of timely and intense interest to students and faculty.
  • 8-week lab rotations. Choose three labs and work alongside faculty researchers to discover your research interests and choose a mentor.
  • Professional development. Attend ongoing academic and career development training in our Leadership and Professional Series to enhance communication, mentoring, diversity, and leadership skills.
Three campuses (Spokane, Pullman, Vancouver ), one goal map of Washington state

Graduate students have the ability to work with leading faculty from multiple departments, colleges, and campuses across Washington State.

Complete Your Neuroscience PhD in Spokane

WSU College of Medicine in Spokane is home to more than a dozen faculty members who are affiliated with the Neuroscience PhD program. These researchers recruit and mentor graduate students, providing outstanding opportunities for scientific training, scholarship, and collaboration. As the university’s health sciences hub, it is home to world-class health science facilities, faculty, and expertise, as well as partnerships with local and regional hospitals and research facilities.

Research Areas

Completing your studies through the Spokane campus provides a range of options for research areas of focus, with faculty who specialize in the following research areas:

  • Sleep
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Brain injury
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Aging
  • Feeding and metabolism
  • Neuroimmunology

Rotate with Labs

Students complete three 8-week lab rotations during the first year to gain experience on different topics, learn a variety of techniques, and find the right mentor for continuing their research.

Living in Spokane

Spokane has the benefit of being located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest region, with ample options for outdoor sports and recreation; local shopping, dining, and events.

How to Apply

1. Contact our Faculty

Across our faculty, we have expertise and active research programs spanning a wide range of topics. We encourage applicants to contact faculty members whom they may be interested in working with prior to applying. They can answer questions about their work as well as whether or not they are recruiting new students.

2. Apply

Complete the WSU graduate school application process.

In your personal statement, be sure to indicate that you are interested in studying Neuroscience in Spokane, along with which Spokane-based faculty mentors you are interested in working with and why. A single application to the WSU PhD in Neuroscience program is used for all WSU campuses, so you are also able to indicate in your application if you are interested in completing the Neuroscience PhD program at the Spokane, Pullman, and/or Vancouver, WA campuses.

Neuroscience Students

Sofia Fluke
Advisor: Dr. Brieann Satterfield

Elizabeth Medina
Advisor: Dr. Lucia Peixoto

Rachael Muck
Advisor: Dr. Brieann Satterfield

Caitlyn Ottaway
1st year student doing laboratory rotations


For questions specific to the Spokane Neuroscience PhD program at the College of Medicine, contact Kimberly Honn

For general questions about the Neuroscience PhD program, contact Becky Morton