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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Neuroscience

Majors Overview April 28, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in neuroscience and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Neuroscience

Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary science of the nervous system, draws from numerous fields, including philosophy, computer science, math, linguistics, physics, chemistry, and biology. A master’s degree in the subject can lead to diverse career options, such as drug rehabilitation, physical therapy, pharmacology, and special education, among others.

Those seeking continuing education in a Ph.D. research program can benefit by enrolling in master’s degree programs in neuroscience, as they would open up career options in academia and research. Schools also offer non-thesis master’s programs. Physicians who want to expand their expertise about the nervous system may also enroll in neuroscience master’s programs.

Coursework is imparted through lab-intensive modes to help students hone their analytical science skills in order to augment their general competence in neuroscience and its sub-areas. Synaptic transmission, developmental neurosciences, and neuropsychiatric disorders are also among the available areas of concentration.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in biological, behavioral, or physical science. Students may complete preparatory courses in neuroscience, chemistry, and biology, in addition to physics and math. Students who already hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) would benefit by enrolling in some programs that are specifically devised to help them seek research careers.

Coursework

Elements of pharmacology, physiology, statistics, and biology can be found in a neuroscience degree program. Core coursework may commonly include topic areas such as the following:

•Psychopharmacology
•Neuroendocrinology
•Language and the brain
•Biostatistics
•Neural mechanisms
•Nervous system function and structure
•Neurophysiology
•Physiology and anatomy
•Embryology
•Neurobiology

Career Choices

Individuals with an M.S. in Neuroscience may seek jobs in the physical therapy, drug rehabilitation, special education, and linguistics fields. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Electroneurodiagnostic technician
•Neuroradiologist
•Product development specialist
•Neurochemist
•Neurobiologist
•Neuropharmacologist
•Research associate

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, over 80,000 biological technicians were employed in the United States doing work similar to that of research assistants (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, average job growth rates of ten percent have been projected for biological technicians; in May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $39,750 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Once they complete a master’s degree program, graduates may seek continuing education by enrolling in a Neuroscience Ph.D. program. A graduate may broaden their career opportunities with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. For instance, a Ph.D. degree holder may seek positions of leadership in research teams as well as college-level teaching careers.

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