Why Choose UVA?

The NGP at UVA is a premiere internationally recognized PhD program in Neuroscience. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. The NGP is designed to provide a uniquely interdisciplinary graduate training environment. We have a large number of faculty members (>70) in 14 Departments across the College of Arts and Sciences and the Medical School. About 1/3 of our faculty have appointments in clinical departments, 2/3 in basic science departments.
  2. We train our students to be the best scientists they can be, whether they choose to pursue a career in academic research, teaching-centered positions, science policy, science writing, industry, or working at research foundations.
  3. Students are actively involved in running the graduate program by having representation on most NGP committees, including admissions, seminar speaker selection, selection of the Director and many more.
  4. Students run their own journal club, sponsor a student-selected speaker, organize a program retreat, participate in community outreach through Brain Awareness Week, and organize a career day.
  5. Professionalization and the acquisition of strong communication skills are part of our teaching and training mission. Grant writing is part of our training. A student seminar series where students present their research annually to their peers provides the opportunity for them to hone in their presentation and science communication skills.
  6. The NGP consists of internationally recognized research labs in NeuroImmunology, Pharmacology, and Biology.
  7. The curriculum was redesigned recently to emphasize the integrative, interdisciplinary nature of today’s research. First year NGP students take the core curriculum in the fall semester along with all the other first year Biomedical Science students. In the spring, first year NGP students take a comprehensive Neuroscience curriculum, followed by selection of one of three specialized track curricula: Neuroimmunology; Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience and Systems & Circuit Neuroscience. In the second year, NGP students take Statistics, Research Ethics and topical courses of their choice from an interdisciplinary offering. Throughout their graduate career, students are welcome to take classes of interest or need at any point, and across schools and departments.
  8. First year students start a summer rotation before the start of classes, and complete two more 6-week rotations before deciding on a dissertation lab in the spring. NGP students can join any NGP-associated lab and receive a PhD in Neuroscience regardless of the primary department affiliation of the mentor.
  9. Qualifying exams at the end of the second year and in the fourth year provide crucial training in critical reading of the literature, independent thinking, research design, and effective written and oral communication skills.
  10. Guaranteed full financial support for the duration of the students’ time in the PhD program in good standing.
  11. Generous stipends for PhD students that compare favorably to other top institutions, along with coverage of tuition, academic fees, and health insurance.
  12. UVA is consistently ranked among the top 3 public universities in the country, and as the top value among all public universities by U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, and the Princeton Review.
  13. Charlottesville is located near the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a wealth of outdoor recreational opportunities, world-class art, music, and entertainment, historical attractions, and excellent local restaurants, farmers markets, breweries, and vineyards.
  14. Charlottesville is frequently ranked among the top cities in the country for food culture, outdoor recreation, health, and a variety of other attributes reflecting high quality of life.