Understanding the functional organization of the nervous system, its capacity to produce perception, thought, language, memory, emotion, and action, remains the ultimate challenge for biology. Neural circuits, the complex synaptic networks of the brain, hold the key to understanding who we are, why we behave the way we do, and how the debilitating effects of neurological and psychiatric disorders can be ameliorated.

Program Overview

The Integrative Biology doctoral degree program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has joined forces with Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI), the first U.S. institute of the world-renowned Max Planck Society, to offer students a Ph.D. with an emphasis in neuroscience. The program, known as IBNS (Integrative Biology and Neuroscience), is based on FAU’s Jupiter, Florida campus. IBNS students explore cutting-edge questions in neuroscience through the integration of multiple disciplines, different model systems, and a broad spectrum of technologies. Rotations through various research labs in combination with coursework in cell and molecular biology, scientific communication, statistics, and neuroscience give IBNS students exceptional training in practical and theoretical neuroscience.

  • Education requirement – Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Language requirement – Participants must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in the program. [22 CFR 62.10(a)(2)]

Partner University

MPFI partners with Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for the Integrative Biology and Neuroscience (IBNS) PhD Program. FAU is the oldest public university in southeast Florida with research interests spanning from the molecular and cellular level to systems, behavioral, and cognitive neuroscience, including theoretical and computational levels of analyses. Together, MPFI and FAU foster an interdisciplinary overview of the different brain functions in health and disease, integrating the understanding of sub-cellular processes in single neurons, signal integration by different brain regions, and higher cognitive functions.

Curriculum overview

The first-year curriculum includes classroom and laboratory instruction in cellular, molecular, and systems neuroscience, courses in scientific communication and statistics, and laboratory rotations at MPFI. The IBNS PhD program requires at least 80 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree (a Master’s degree is considered equivalent to 30 semester credits).


For more information or to apply, click here.