Master’s of Biomedical Sciences – Neuroscience Track

The Neuroscience Track in the Master’s of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program is a non-thesis option for students who want to further their knowledge in the neuroscience field and who may pursue doctoral training or professional education focused on medicine and neuroscience.

Students interested in research and thesis work should apply to the Master of Science in Biotechnology program.

CURRICULUM Total Credit Hours Required: 33 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master’s Degree

The Neuroscience Track in the Biomedical Sciences Master’s of program requires a minimum of 33 credit hours of courses that includes a capstone experience. This non-thesis program addresses the need of students who want to further their knowledge in the neuroscience field and who want to pursue doctoral study or professional education in medicine and neuroscience. Students take 18 credit hours of required core courses, 12 credit hours of elective courses relevant to neuroscience, a capstone project focusing on neuroscience, and an oral comprehensive exam.

Non-thesis students are not considered for departmental graduate assistantships or tuition assistance.


Required Courses: 18 credit hours

  • ZOO 6737 – Clinically Oriented Human Anatomy (4 credit hours)
  • PCB 6595 – Regulation of Gene Expression (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6226 – Molecular Diagnostics (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5837 – Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 6407C – Laboratory Methods in Molecular Biology (3 credit hours)
  • or
  • BSC 5418 – Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 6938 – Seminar 1 Credit Hour (to be repeated by all students) or
  • MCB 6314 – Industrial Perspectives Seminar (1 credit hours)

Elective Courses: 12 credit hours

  • SPA 6417 – Cognitive/Communicative Disorders (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5275 – Signal Transduction Mechanics (3 credit hours)
  • ZOO 5748C – Clinical Neuroanatomy (5 credit hours)
  • ZOO 5749C – Clinical Neuroscience (5 credit hours)
  • CAP 6616 – Neuroevolution and Generative and Developmental Systems (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5838 – Cellular and Molecular Basis of Brain Functions (3 credit hours)
  • BSC 5418 – Tissue Engineering (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5709C – Laboratory Virtual Simulations in Physiology (3 credit hours)
  • MCB 5225 – Molecular Biology of Disease (3 credit hours)
  • PCB 5834C – Advanced Human Physiology (4 credit hours)
  • EXP 5254 – Human Factors and Aging (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 6916 – Simulation Research Methods and Practicum (3 credit hours)
  • EXP 5208 – Sensation and Perception (3 credit hours)
  • PSB 5005 – Physiological Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • EXP 6116 – Visual Performance (3 credit hours)
  • EXP 6506 – Human Cognition and Learning (3 credit hours)
  • PSB 6348 – The Neuroanatomical Basis of Psychological Function (3 credit hours)
  • PSB 6328 – Psychophysiology (3 credit hours)
  • PSB 6352 – Neuroimaging Design and Analysis Methods (3 credit hours)
  • Other elective courses must be approved by the Program Coordinator.

The Capstone Process

Students are encouraged to contact faculty as early as possible in order to identify a faculty whose research focus complements the student’s interest. The student and the mentor should select two additional faculty members to serve on the capstone evaluation committee. Students must submit a signed Capstone Committee form to the Program Coordinator for approval as soon as the registration for the course is complete. The form must be submitted to the Program Office. When you are ready to defend your Capstone project, you must register for the capstone course (MCB 6026) for three credit hours. It is important that the student register for the capstone course with the intention of completing the project at the end of the semester.

The Capstone Report

Evaluation of the capstone project requires a written report (in the format of a mini­review manuscript) and a presentation (project defense) in front of the capstone committee. No visitors are allowed during the capstone defense. Students may ask for advice and guidance from the project mentor/chair. The average capstone report ranges from 10 to 15 single-space pages in a manuscript format with proper citations. The student’s Committee Chair will be responsible for checking the report for plagiarism using either Turnitin or iThenticate before the report is shared with the committee. The committee must receive the report at least one week before the time of presentation. Note: The defense (presentation) must be held no later than one week before final exam week.

The Capstone Defense/Comprehensive Exam

The capstone defense and comprehensive exam evaluation is designed to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the project and other relevant subjects in the field. Questions asked by the capstone committee to evaluate the student as competent in the field will satisfy the requirement of the comprehensive exam. The oral presentation will take place in the form of a 30­-40 minute seminar and will be followed by questions and discussion. The student will be evaluated on performance in all three sections (written report, oral presentation and ability to answer questions). Should the student fail, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in the course and dismissal from the program.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass an oral comprehensive exam to qualify for the Master’s of Science. The oral comprehensive exam tests the student’s understanding of the basic concepts in the field and relevant applications. The comprehensive exam will be conducted during the capstone defense and will be administered by the capstone committee. Should the student fail this exam, a second opportunity will be provided within two weeks of the first attempt. A second failure will result in dismissal from the program.

Teaching Requirement

Students without significant prior teaching experience, such as, but not limited to, a minimum of a year in secondary schools or colleges, are required to serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants for a minimum of one semester (one semester in at least one lab section).

Research Shadowing (Optional)

Students are encouraged to discuss with their capstone mentor the possibility of joining the lab for research shadowing of other graduate students. Acquired lab skills should assist students with the capstone project and with future endeavors.

Independent Learning

In the final semester of study students will complete a capstone course that requires an in-depth current literature research report on a relevant subject, which will serve as the independent learning experience. The student will select a faculty adviser to chair a faculty committee of three members for evaluation of the report.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or related area.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A written statement of research experience, area of interest, and immediate and long-range goals.
  • Personal interviews are helpful but not required.

Applicants who do not have a competitive GPA may occasionally be accepted if there is other convincing evidence of potential for high achievement and success. Applicants who hold a Bachelor’s degree in unrelated fields are expected to have the equivalent of 16 semester hours of credit in the biological sciences including a course in general microbiology, biochemistry or molecular biology or cell biology, plus one year of organic chemistry, one year of physics, basic university mathematics and statistics, and laboratory skills equivalent to the minimum required of our own undergraduates.

View Program Handbook Here


*Non-Thesis students are not considered for departmental graduate assistantships, or tuition assistance.

For more information, please visit the graduate catalog here

View the program handbook here