USC Neuroscience Educational and Research Programs

University of Southern California (USC) has neuroscience undergraduate and graduate programs in addition to its USC Keck School of Medicine.

USC has numerous neuroscience related research centers and labs including: USC Imaging Genetics Center; LONI Laboratory of Neuro Imaging; Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute; USC Brain and Creativity Institute; USC Davis School of Gerontology; and
USC Neurorestoration Center.

USC Neuroscience Undergraduate Program

Offers three different undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience, plus a Minor. Please click on the links below to see details of the BS in Neuroscience, the BS in Computational Neuroscience, the BA in Neuroscience, and the Minor in Neuroscience.

USC Neuroscience Graduate Program


Students and faculty in the USC Neuroscience Graduate Program come from a variety of academic backgrounds to study questions spanning the entire spectrum of modern neuroscience research. Key questions include:

  • how do molecules work together in time and space to build functioning nerve cells?
  • how do individual neurons and their interconnections lead to the emergent properties of neural circuits?
  • how do the information processing functions of neural circuits lead to complex behaviors, memories, emotions, and thought?

Departing from the traditional focus on individual disciplines, USC Neuroscience is characterized by collaborative interactions between faculty and students who have undergraduate or graduate degrees in biology, engineering, mathematics, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, molecular biology, behavior, cell biology, genetics and other disciplines.  They work at many different levels of analysis, including research on cell-molecular neurobiology, systems-level analysis of normal and disrupted neural circuits due to disease, neural engineering, and cognitive and computational neuroscience.

USC Keck School of MedicineUSC Neuroscience Educational and Research Programs

Department of Cell & Neurobiology

The department conducts a wide range of educational activities, including core courses in pharmacology, gross anatomy, cell biology, histology, and neuro-anatomy for the medical and graduate programs. Some of the advance graduate courses are interdisciplinary in that they are team-taught by faculty in several basic science departments.USC Keck School of Medicine

Department of Neurology

The Department of Neurology is committed to excellence in neurological care, research and education. The department offers an array of clinical activities in inpatient and ambulatory care of patients, and features four teaching hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC, LAC+USC Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center.

Department of Neurological Surgery

The Department of Neurological Surgery is comprised of 15 full time clinician/scientists dedicated to patient care, scholarly activities and education. Our departmental faculty serve as prominent figures in clinical and academic neurosurgery on an international level, with diverse subspecialization in cerebrovascular, neuro-oncology, spine, endovascular, functional, pediatric, radiosurgery, and trauma neurosurgery. In addition, our faculty serve in prominent editorial positions in both major Neurosurgical journals. Five of our faculty have been recognized among “The Best Doctors in America” list. The department is based in three major hospitals: The LAC+USC Medical Center, Keck Hospital of USC, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Department of Neurosurgery at USC has a strong commitment to clinical and basic science research, as well as training academic neurosurgeons.

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at the USC Keck School of Medicine is committed to excellence in three equally important areas: clinical care, education, and research.

We are proud of our long record of clinical service to the residents of Los Angeles County. Much of our clinical activity is in the public sector, particularly at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center. In addition, we provide private outpatient and inpatient care through the USC Faculty Practice Plan and the USC University and Norris Hospitals.

Research Centers & Labs

USC Imaging Genetics Center


USC Imaging Genetics Center

The USC Imaging Genetics Center, led by Dr. Paul Thompson, is a diverse research team of neuroscientists, medical doctors, computer scientists, mathematicians and engineers, all involved in studying brain imaging, genetics, brain development and disease, and the connections among them.

We develop mathematically innovative and highly computationalmethods to use the dense detailed data available from imaging and genomics to map variation in the brain and expand our understanding of brain health and disease.

LONI Laboratory of Neuro Imaging

Laboratory Director Dr. Arthur W. Toga and his large multi-disciplinary staff have over 15 years of experience in neuroimaging and analyses of brain mapping data. The Laboratory is continually developing, refining and validating neuroimaging strategies that accommodate different data acquisition methods, populations, laboratories and species.

Neuroscientists claim rare pair of grants in brain research

USC Neurorestoration Center

The USC Neurorestoration Center creates new strategies for the restoration of an injured or diseased nervous system by developing new technologies that harness advances in basic neuroscience and neural engineering. These strategies are driven by patient needs and further refined within our world-class clinical programs.

Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute

The scientists of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California have an extraordinary and unwavering dedication to understanding the complexities of brain diseases and disorders that afflict millions of children and adults.  Through scientific discovery, we aim to improve the lives of these individuals by embracing the core values of the ZNI that include:

  • Pursuing scientific knowledge with creativity and purpose
  • Disseminating information to scientists, practitioners, families and community leaders
  • Facilitating discoveries by ZNI scientists
  • Translating knowledge into practice

USC Brain and Creativity Institute

The USC Brain and Creativity Institute was established in 2006 with the arrival of Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio at USC. Results from the ongoing work at the Institute have applications in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases as well as in education.

USC Davis School of Gerontology

Founded in 1975, the USC Davis School of Gerontology is the oldest and largest school of its type in the world. We offer the most comprehensive selection of gerontology degree programs found anywhere, a variety of outstanding research opportunities and a challenging yet supportive academic environment.

A pioneer in distance learning education, all of the USC Davis School of Gerontology master’s programs and graduate certificate program are available in their entirety online.

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