VCUPharmacology and Toxicology
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Prospective students


Pharmacology and Toxicology Graduate Program


VCU's graduate program in Neuroscience provides an integrated interdisciplinary course of graduate study in the neurosciences while retaining the benefits of training in the more traditional basic science disciplines.

The program is a joint effort involving four departments:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Physiology

Once admitted into the program, students in their first year complete courses in physiology, biochemistry and neuroanatomy. In addition, students take an introductory neuroscience course, attend research seminars and carry out a neuroscience laboratory rotation. These core studies establish a foundation for future study. At the end of the first year, students in the neuroscience program select a faculty adviser and matriculate into that adviser’s home department. The second year of study is tailored to the Ph.D. requirements of the adviser's home department and provides more specialized training. At the end of the second year, neuroscience students take written and oral qualifying exams for advancement to candidacy. Each student must conduct an original research project, prepare a written dissertation and defend his/her dissertation research in a final oral examination.

Completion of the program, usually within four years, culminates in a Ph.D. degree from one of the above four departments. While neuroscience research at VCU spans a wide range of topics, the school has particular strengths in drug and substance abuse, epilepsy, neural trauma, visuo/motor systems and neurotransmission/signal transduction research.



Virginia Commonwealth University   |   School of Medicine   |   Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
1112 East Clay Street, Suite 100, P.O. Box 980613, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0613   |   Phone: (804) 827-0375
E-mail:   |
Updated: 9/9/2013