Questions about Education in the Department of Physiology can be directed to the Vice Chair of Instruction, Dr. Nancy Wayne email:

Paths to a PhD in Physiology

Graduate programs in Bioscience 

UCLA offers recruitment, admissions, and first-year graduate program in the Biomedical and Life Sciences through the Graduate Programs in Bioscience (GPB). Students in this program who become interested in Physiology can then enter one of the GPB Home Areas in which our faculty mentors are members.

Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology

Many graduate students in Physiology Department Labs are completing their doctoral studies in the Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology (MCIP) Home Area. The MCIP is currently placed at the top of the National Research Council's list of PhD in Physiology programs.

Home Areas


The Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology

The Biochemistry, Biophysics & Structural Biology (BBSB) Home Area offers training and research opportunities to foster future leaders in both academia and industry. Our world-class faculty and students use cutting-edge technologies to study fundamental biological processes and tackle a wide range of diseases.


The Neuroscience Home Area trains students to be conversant in all levels of analysis in neuroscience, from the molecular and cellular to systems, behavior, translation, and disease, while specializing in their chosen field of research. 

Dual Degree Programs

Medical Scientist Training Program (MTSP)

UCLA offers a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) for students who aim to earn an MD-PhD under a single training program.

Specialty Training & Advanced Research (STAR)

MDs who want to earn a PhD can apply to the Specialty Training & Advanced Research (STAR) program. 

Jennifer S. Buchwald Graduate Fellowship in Physiology 

A member of the Department since 1966, Dr. Buchwald retired in 1991 and is currently Emeritus Professor of Physiology at UCLA. Although her early research focused on motor learning, her primary area of research was development and plasticity in the auditory system and in vocal behaviors. This research was based on electrophysiological studies in cats, kittens, humans and elephant seals and also included studies of these behaviors in autistic and Alzheimer's subjects.