Master of Science in Veterinary Science – Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience

Program Handbook:
Not available
Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students receiving assistantships:
Priority deadline:

  • Fall December 1


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

  • 600 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 100 TOEFLI Minimum score

Degree Description:

The Master’s program in Veterinary Sciences: Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience (IPN) is a very flexible program ideally suited for those students interested in pursuing master’s level graduate work with a faculty member in IPN but not interested in the Neuroscience program. This often includes (but is not limited to) faculty in the muscle/biomechanical group in the department. Because of the wide range of potential thesis topics, the selection of appropriate class work for an individual student’s program is left to the discretion of the student and their mentor. Classes typically include some background courses as well as graduate seminars, professional development opportunities, and a course in proposal writing and presentation. The primary difference between the MS and PhD programs is that the depth of the thesis project for a MS degree is significantly less than that for the PhD degree. Because of the short time to completion, students pursuing a MS degree do not participate in rotations and must have an identified mentor before they enter into the program. The non-thesis option in Veterinary Sciences: IPN is no longer offered.

Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, CVM and the Graduate School are committed to providing equal opportunity in its services, programs, and employment for individuals with disabilities. Academically qualified students with disabilities are provided with access to the individualized assistance that is consistent with the student’s needs and the essential requirements of the program or course of study in which the student is enrolled. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Use the links on the left to learn more about our graduate Program Details, Faculty Research Areas, and Highlights. Please contact us directly.

Admission Requirements:

Students wishing to pursue a MS in Veterinary Sciences: Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience need to have a strong math and science background with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. Applicants need to submit an application on the WSU Graduate School website to be considered. Application documents must include:

  • College transcripts (unofficial acceptable for initial review–upon admittance official transcripts are required)
  • Three (3) letters of reference
  • Resume or curriculum vita
  • Personal statement describing why you are interested in a MS in Veterinary Science (clearly define which faculty mentor (minimum of 3) you are interested in working with and explain why). If admitted to WSU you will have the ability to refine your choice of faculty mentors while doing lab rotations.  Included in the personal statement describe an achievement that you are proud of and discuss how you reached your goal, and any obstacles you had to overcome to reach it.  Conversely, tell us about a time when you didn’t achieve a goal and what you learned from the experience (maximum word length is 350 words).
  • Writing Statement:  Describe a major finding in biomedicine over the past five (5) years, and explain why you think it was important (maximum word length of 350 words).

Students that choose to pursue a Master’s degree must identify a research mentor from the graduate faculty for the Program in Veterinary Science prior to being admitted. The faculty mentor needs to contact the Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience admissions office to confirm the agreement. The Program  does not fund MS students. Students need to either self-support or identify other sources of support (mentor’s grant or teaching assistantship if available).

Application review begins December 1 each year. Only complete applications with all accompanying documents will be reviewed. Applications are reviewed until all available slots are filled.

If a student is interested in neuroscience they should apply to the MS program in Neuroscience not the MS in Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience.



Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1. To enable students to develop as successful professionals for highly competitive positions in academia, industry, and government, the program aims to provide a variety of  experiences that help students to:
    • Develop expertise in appropriate concepts, theories, and emerging methodologies in neurobiology to fully understand how the brain and nervous system functions  through studies ranging from the molecular (small molecules, peptides, proteins, and other molecules important to the function of the nervous system), through the  cellular (especially neuronal and glial cells), to the systems level (neural regulation of key physiological processes).”
    • Present research to local, regional, national, and international audiences through publications in professional journals and conference papers given in a range of  venues, from graduate seminars to professional meetings.
    • Participate in professional organizations, becoming members, attending meetings, and, where appropriate, taking leadership roles.
    • Broaden their professional foundations through activities such as teaching, outreach, fellowships, and grant applications.
  2. To prepare students to be effective researchers in the field of neurobiology, the program aims to provide a variety of experiences that help students to:
    • Become independent, self-motivated researchers with the ability to recognize problems in their field of expertise and formulate solutions to the problems.
    • Develop comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in their field of expertise and be able to demonstrate that knowledge capability in a review of  the literature.
    • Generate viable questions within their field of expertise and pose problems or hypotheses related to those questions.
    • Apply sound research methods to problems in neuroscience and describe the methods effectively.
    • Perform statistical analyses of research data and present the results in a way that makes clear sense of the data.
    • Discuss the solution to the research problem or the support or lack of support for the hypothesis in a way that effectively documents the contribution of the  research to the area of study.
    • Communicate their research clearly and professionally in both written and oral forms appropriate to the field.
  3. To enhance visibility of the doctoral program in neuroscience nationally and internationally.
    • Attract, secure, and retain high-quality students.
    • Enhance doctoral education by creating advanced courses, providing more support – resources for fellowships, research, travel to conferences, etc. – for doctoral  students, and providing effective mentoring that encourages students to graduate in a timely manner.
    • Place graduates in positions in academics and industry.
    • Attract, retain and support a nationally recognized research-active faculty.

Student Opportunities:

In addition to learning how to read and evaluate scientific literature, students in the MS program will learn the fundamental aspects of experimental design and some technical skills used in neuroscience research. They also have the opportunity to participate in the professional development series administered through the Integrated Programs in Biomedical Sciences (iPBS).

Career Opportunities:

Students completing their MS degree in Veterinary Sciences: IPN can continue on to complete a PhD degree, or enter directly into a research career in a government, academic or industry laboratory (pharmaceutical or other biotech).

Contact Information:

Becky Morton
Pullman, WA