School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies




“Right from the day I started my PhD at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies, it felt like family. The camaraderie and support you get is amazing – not just from other students, but from faculty and staff as well. The academic, administrative, and technical facilities are also impressive. I have no regrets choosing this program at Queen’s and would highly recommend it to anyone considering a career in neuroscience.”


Alicia Peltsch, PhD Candidate

Program Contact

Lucy Russo-Smith
Graduate Assistant
Botterell Hall, Room 234
Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000, ext 77274


Program Overview

The multidisciplinary graduate program in Neuroscience is educating the next generation of leaders who will build on our progress in reducing the impact of neurological disorders. Top students from across North America and beyond come to the Centre to learn in a collaborative environment where they can learn from the best minds in the field. The Neuroscience graduate program is firmly rooted in research because our objective is to produce highly-trained graduates who will continue our efforts to prevent and treat neurological diseases. Our program offers studies at the master’s and doctoral levels spanning the full spectrum of neuroscience research, from cellular/molecular to clinical studies.



Students have the opportunity to work in an intensely collaborative, multidisciplinary research environment with state-of-the-art facilities. More than 60 to 70 faculty members from 13 departments across the university can supervise our neuroscience graduate trainees. We currently have exchange opportunities with the University of Western Australia for trainees at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. In addition, supervisors are encouraged to provide neuroscience trainees the opportunity to attend internationally recognized scientific meetings worldwide.

Career paths – employment opportunities

  • Post-doctoral study/Academia
  • Outreach Education
  • Scientific Writing
  • Biomedical Industry
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Medical School
Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

M.Sc.: 2 years

Ph.D.: 4 years

Acceleration into the Ph.D. program via a Mini-Master’s is reserved for students who meet the criteria of the School of Graduate Studies.

Method of Completion

M.Sc. and M.A.Sc: Course work, research project, thesis & defence

Ph.D.: Course work, research project, thesis & defence, seminar series

Fields of study and Supervisors

We strongly recommend you contact potential supervisors during the application process. An application that meets all the requirements but does not have an identified supervisor may not be offered admission into the program. In addition to contacting supervisors directly, you must submit a Statement of Interest Form indicating supervisors you are interested in working with. Offers will be made pending supervisor availability.

  • Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience  – Research interests of faculty in this field include neuronal plasticity, neuronal degeneration  and repair, neurophysiology and neuropharmacology
  • Systems Neuroscience – Research interests of faculty in this field include neural control of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function, sensorimotor  control mechanisms, pain and analgesia, neural and signal transduction and neuroendocrine regulations
  • Cognitive/Behavioural Neuroscience – Research interests of faculty in this field include neural substrates of behavior, age-dependent cognitive decline, cognitive and behavioural deficits arising from prenatal brain injury, effects of drugs on cognition and behavior and the effect of disease and injury on cognition and behavior
  • Clinical Neuroscience – Research interests in this field include Stroke, ADHD, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Disease, psychotic illnesses and spasticity
Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

M.Sc. Students: $21,000/year minimum

Ph.D. Students: $23,000/year minimum

The Centre for Neuroscience offers numerous academic awards: $1,000 Outstanding Achievement Award, $300 Travel Awards, $2,000 M.Sc. Award for Excellence, $3,000 Ph.D. Award for Excellence.

The Centre does not guarantee the opportunity for a teaching assistantship. Financial assistance is available from several internal and external sources. Queen’s automatically issues a $5,000 (Masters) or $10,000 (PhD) top-up award to all incoming federal government Tri-Council award winners.

Academic Prerequisites

For M.Sc.: Second-class standing with and overall B average after completing:

  • Honours bachelor degree in Arts or in Science (or 4-year degree with lab experience)
  • Bachelor degree in Applied Science
  • Doctor of Medicine

For Ph.D.: A Master’s degree in Neuroscience, or in a field with a strong neuroscience and research component.

Other Requirements

  • Statement of Interest
  • Current CV

Test Requirements

For international students, if required, a TOEFL total score of at least 600 (paperbased) or TOEFL iBT minimum scores of: writing (24/30); speaking (22/30); reading (22/30); listening (20/30), for a total of 88/120. Applicants must have he minimum score in each test as well as the minimum overall score.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: To be eligible for internal awards, you must submit your application by February 1st. Applications received after the deadline will be accepted based on supervisor availability.

Learning Outcomes
NEW - Combined BScH/MSc (Neuroscience) or BAH/MSc (Neuroscience)

The Centre for Neuroscience Studies is very excited to launch a new initiative which offers a combined program of a BScH/MSc (Neuroscience) or BAH/MSc (Neuroscience). This program offers an opportunity for students in the 4th year of their Honours program to take up to 2 courses in neuroscience at the graduate level which would then allow these students to enter the graduate program with advanced standing. Research begun in the 4th year thesis project could be carried forward as a foundation for the graduate thesis, which would create an opportunity for exceptional students to complete the graduate degree within 4 terms.

Admission to the combined program is a two-step process.

Step 1:

  • Normally, students will have the option to apply for admission to the combined program (permission to take graduate level courses) in the winter term of the 3rd year, in parallel with the process for admittance to the Honours year and the thesis research project. All applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee of the Centre for Neuroscience Studies. Students admitted to this program must have an overall A- average in the previous 4 completed academic terms of their undergraduate program.
  • If accepted into the combined program, in Year 4 of the BSc/BA (Hons) program students will be permitted to take up to two 3.0 graduate level courses for a total of 3 or 6 credits towards the 12 credits required for the MSc degree. It is the student’s responsibility to gain admission to these graduate courses following acceptance into the program. These courses will be counted as electives or science options towards completion of the degree requirements in the BSc/BA (Hons) program. Only 1 of these courses may be a combined undergraduate/graduate (400/800) level course. The second (and all subsequent) graduate courses must be graduate only (800 and/or 900 level).

Step 2:

  • For admission to the MSc program in Neuroscience with advanced standing, students will be expected to complete the standard SGS application process, have an overall A- average in the previous 2 years of their undergraduate program, and have demonstrated significant research productivity in the 4th year thesis project. In order for the student to be granted advanced standing in the M.Sc. degree program, they must have received a final grade of at least B+ (B plus) in the graduate course(s) taken during the 4th year and meet all other requirements for admission to the MSc program in Neurosciences.


Students should apply in writing via email to Dr. Alastair Ferguson ( with a copy to Ms Lucy Russo ( and at that time should provide a copy of their transcript, a brief description (1 Paragraph) of their research project, the name of their Project Supervisor, and identify the graduate level courses they hope to enroll in during their 4th year.

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