Graduate Programs

Neuroscience Graduate Program

The Department of Physiology administers the Neuroscience Graduate Program (which is one of the PIBS programs). The Neuroscience Graduate Program admits applicants for the Fall quarter only. For information on the application process and deadline and to download application materials, please visit:

Non-degree postdoctoral programs are also available for individuals who wish to obtain specialized research training in one of the fields of physiology represented by the Department. Applicants interested in non-degree postdoctoral research should contact the individual faculty member with whom they are interested in working.


Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS)

UCSF offers a rich variety of research opportunities in the biological sciences encompassing multiple different disciplines and departments. The graduate faculty at UCSF created the Herbert W. Boyer Program in Biological Sciences (PIBS) in order to give students access to the broadest possible range of research and to encourage interactions among faculty and students in different disciplines.

PIBS has allowed the creation of interdisciplinary graduate curricula rather than limiting students to studies in conventional departments. PIBS currently consists of five distinct programs offering the Ph.D. degree: Biophysics, Immunology, Neuroscience, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and the Tetrad program composed of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology, and Genetics; and one post graduate program - Molecular Medicine.

While the five Ph.D. programs differ in their emphasis and degree requirements, students admitted to any PIBS program can enroll in course work, attend retreats and carry out their thesis studies in any of the 150 labs affiliated with PIBS. Prospective students interested in PIBS should go to the links describing the individual graduate programs to determine which programs best fits their background and research interests.

Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program

The Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program trains students studying for the PhD degree.

The unique curriculum of the BMS program is designed to provide students with a wide range of opportunities for their development as biomedical researchers. In the first year of the program, students take courses, present in journal club, complete three laboratory rotations, and select a thesis laboratory. In the second year, students begin research in their thesis laboratories, take additional courses, present in journal club, serve as teaching assistants, and take their qualifying examinations. In later years students primarily focus on their thesis research and dissertation, although they may opt to take additional elective courses or participate in a wide range of other activities. Details of the academic program are given below.

Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) Graduate Program

The Ph.D. program in Chemistry and Chemical Biology provides a background in modern chemistry that includes molecular thermodynamics, bioorganic chemistry, computational chemistry, structural biology and cell biology. The interdisciplinary study of molecules in living systems at a health science campus helps to integrate the traditional disciplines of chemistry and biology.