Education & Training

Undergraduate Education in Neuroscience

More than 280 University of Iowa undergraduates are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience degree, an interdisciplinary major administered by the Department of Biology and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, in cooperation with the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. Nearly 70% of neuroscience majors are women and nearly a quarter are first-generation college students. The rigorous, integrated curriculum is strong preparation for continuing to graduate (Ph.D.) or medical (M.D.) school. Summer and honors research opportunities are available in the laboratories of top neuroscientists across campus, including all members of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. 

Graduate Education in Neuroscience

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, supported by an NIH T32 training grant, provides a multidisciplinary foundation in the conceptual and methodological approaches to the study of the nervous system, emphasizing original, independent student research leading to a PhD. Students have opportunities to gain teaching experience, and are fully supported (tuition, fees, competitive stipend) during their entire time in the program, which currently averages five years. Graduates of the program have been highly successful, with many becoming tenure-track neuroscience faculty at top institutions or pursuing neuroscience research in the biotech industry. 

Medical Student Education in Neuroscience

The Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa offers many opportunities for students pursuing the MD to engage in neuroscience research. The NIH-funded Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) provides training for both the MD and the PhD in an environment that integrates graduate research training with clinical studies. Iowa MSTP students can pursue their graduate thesis work in several graduate programs in which Iowa Neuroscience Institute faculty participate, including interdisciplinary graduate programs in neuroscience, genetics, or molecular and cellular biology, and departmental graduate programs. All medical students can participate in summer research through the Iowa Medical Student Research Program (IMSRP), which offers around 200 dedicated faculty mentors who are enthusiastic about working with students in their research activities. A yearly Medical Student Research Day provides an opportunity for students to present their research to the broader scientific community at the University of Iowa. 

Community Education and Outreach

The Iowa Neuroscience Institute sponsors  intensive workshops and seminars for Iowa Neuroscience Institute researchers and visiting scientists of international renown, and public outreach events including artists, writers, and intellectuals whose work touches on how neuroscience can inform and improve the human condition. Iowa Neuroscience Institute faculty also connect with state and local legislators, educators, and community leaders to advocate for the importance of neuroscience research for the promotion of human health and the well-being of our communities.