Cell Biology and Neuroscience


The department participates in MSU’s Genetics Minor and recommends this minor to students particularly interested in genetics.

Note: MSU's programs in the biological sciences are distributed across multiple departments.  MSU does not have a single Department of Biology.  For additional options see Biological Sciences at MSU.

Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience

The Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience offers a B.S. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience with options in Biomedical Sciences and Cell Biology and Neuroscience and a minor in Genetics.

Pre-medicine, Pre-dentistry, Pre-Physician Assistant, and Pre-optometry

Students may prepare for admission to medical, dental, optometry, physician assistant and many other health profession and graduate schools by following the option in Biomedical Sciences in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. The Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience provides advising on matters pertaining to the cell biology and neuroscience and the biomedical sciences curriculiums and the genetics minor. Advising on matters pertaining to admission to professional schools is provided by the Health Professions Advising Office.

Requirements for Admission to Upper Division Courses in Biology

For admission to upper division (numbered 300 and above) courses taught by the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, students must have completed at least 30 total university credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.

Grade Requirements for Fulfillment of Degree Options

In order to graduate with a B.S. in the department, students must earn a grade of C- or better for every course required for the specific option, including courses taken to fulfill required elective credits.

Graduation In Absentia

Some professional programs accept students before their degree requirements are completed. It is often possible to transfer credits from the first year of professional school to MSU to graduate in absentia. The mechanics involve sending an official transcript for the first year of professional school to the MSU academic advisor.  The student then writes a letter to the MSU Registrar explaining which credits transfer and how they fulfill the degree requirements. The student then registers in absentia at MSU for the semester in which the B.S. degree will be awarded.

The Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience offers exciting opportunities to work with nationally and internationally recognized faculty on a wide range of research topics, including cognitive neuroscience, neurophysiology, developmental biology, cell biology and biophysics. It is the goal of the faculty to prepare our students for successful careers in academic research, government, and/or the biotechnology industry. Successful applicants to the program will have already established a commitment to excellence through academic achievements and prior research experience.

We offer Ph.D. or M.S. degrees in Neuroscience or Biological Science to our graduate students. The Ph.D. Degree Program is designed for students who are committed to a scientific research career and are willing to commit an average of 5 to 6 years in pursuit of the training that is necessary to qualify for this degree. Prospective students must secure a faculty sponsor prior to applying for admission. 

The M.S. degree is for students who wish to increase their knowledge base in basic research through an intensive 2- to 3-year training period. Students must identify a faculty sponsor prior to submitting an application to the CBN Graduate Program.

Prior to applying, all prospective graduate students need to secure a faculty sponsor. Contact a faculty member to arrange the sponsorship.

Direct your questions regarding the process to Thomas Hughes at thughes@montana.edu.