Return to: Keck School of Medicine of USC
Department of Cell and Neurobiology
Bishop Hall 401
1333 San Pablo Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089-9151
FAX: (323) 442-2411
Professor and Chair: Ruth I. Wood
Professors: J. Chen; M. E. Fini; A. McDonough; T.H. McNeill*; J.E. Schechter*; E.R. Seiffert; M. Snow; H. Sucov*; R. I. Wood*; S.Y. Ying
Associate Professors: K.J. Carlson; K. Eagleson; J.A. Garner*; R. Gopalakrishna*; B.A. Patel; D. Sieburth; H. Tao; M. Winfield*
Assistant Professors: A. Bonnin; K. Chang; M. Habib; A.K. Huttenlocker; K.L. Lewton; F. Mariani
Emeritus Professors: G. Albrecht*; Dwight Warren III
*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.
The Department of Cell and Neurobiology provides training in the basic medical sciences to health professional students, and prepares graduate students as future teachers and researchers in the human anatomical sciences and functional morphology.
Cell and Neurobiology Graduate Program
The graduate-level course of study includes in-depth training in core anatomical disciplines: gross anatomy, histology and neuroanatomy, including cadaveric dissection and microscopic study of tissues. In addition, students receive an intensive introduction to fundamentals of bone and dental biology, human anatomical variation, and clinical anatomical correlations. Interested students can receive training in laboratory teaching for gross anatomy, or research training in functional, evolutionary and virtual morphology. Professional and intellectual development is fostered through a hands-on curriculum designed to prepare the student for a lifetime of learning, exploring the limits of research, teaching and creative activities.
Goals of the program are to train students in preparation for:
- Teaching positions in the core anatomical sciences (gross anatomy, histology, neuroanatomy). Instructors in the anatomical sciences contribute to teaching at medical and dental schools, in allied health programs (nursing, physical and occupational therapy, physician assistants, dental hygiene), and in pre-health undergraduate majors at colleges and universities. In recent years, the number of faculty trained to teach in these subject areas has steadily decreased. As a result, finding qualified individuals capable to teach in the anatomical sciences has become increasingly problematic. The CNB master's program is advantageously poised to address this problem.
- Research positions and further doctoral training in functional and evolutionary morphology. While the anatomical sciences are among the oldest (and most fundamental) of the biological and medical sciences, the modern incarnation of morphology is a relatively young and fast-moving field of endeavor. Modern areas of focus in morphology include: mapping the anatomical biodiversity of the planet; understanding the relationships between form (e.g., skeleton) and function (i.e., locomotion; mastication) in living animals; reconstructing the behavior, performance and life history of extinct organisms; elucidating the origin of major groups of animals (including our own branch of the evolutionary tree); and investigating the fundamental properties of biomaterials (e.g., bone). The movement toward quantitative methods in the anatomical sciences and integration of new disciplines to morphology research has also made this field of endeavor more translational. For example, synthetic material design, robotics, aeronautics, cinema, graphic arts, conservation biology and other fields now make consistent use of the data generated by morphologists.
The Department of Cell and Neurobiology selects highly qualified students for admission into its Master of Science program in Cell and Neurobiology. The prerequisite for applicants to the MS program is a bachelor's degree with a science major or equivalent. Applicants should have a superior undergraduate record at an accredited college or university, with a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0. Generally required courses include at least one year of college-level biology, one year of college-level physics and mathematics through calculus. College-level courses in cell biology, developmental biology, organismal biology and physiology are recommended.
Applicants must demonstrate satisfactory performance on the general portion of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). A minimum score of 1000 is expected. GRE Subject (advanced) examination is desirable but optional. Alternatively, Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores may be provided and will be considered in place of the GRE if they are a minimum of 28.
Demonstrated proficiency in the English language is required. Foreign applicants are expected to provide results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Results from Internet-based, computer-based or paper-based tests are acceptable. However, candidates with special circumstances may be considered for admission with continuing registration requirements.
Applicants will need to submit the following for consideration:
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members who can evaluate the applicant's potential for graduate work and independent research.
- Complete undergraduate transcripts.
- Official copies of GRE scores.
- TOEFL scores (if applicable).
- Statement of Purpose (should describe your reasons for seeking a MS degree in the anatomical sciences and describe your career goals).
Special Admission Considerations: Special considerations may be given to students with extensive prior training in human anatomy with cadaver dissection, to students who experienced extenuating circumstances, and to applicants with limited English proficiency that could be corrected by language courses offered by the university's American Language Institute.
Doctor of Philosophy
No longer accepting applications.
MS Program - January 1.
CoursesCell and Neurobiology