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MA or Ph.D in Neuroscience


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I bet several people have asked this already individually and pardon me for asking it again, but I am having a hard time trying to decide if I should go for an MA or a Ph.D in Neuroscience. I will be applying Fall 2013 at local schools, mainly in FL. Here are my top schools from greatest to least interest.


1) University of Miami - Ph.d in Neuroscience or MA in Mental Health Counseling

2) FAU - Ph.d in Complex Systems and Brain Sciences

3) University of FLorida - Ph.D Neuroscience

4) Nova - MA in Mental Health Counseling

5) FIU - MA in Behavior Analysis


Here is my background:


1) GPA - 3.0 undergrad

2) GRE - 150 (V) 149 (Q) 3.5 (A)

3) Research: 2 years = 1 year RA in a Memory Cognitive Lab, 1 year RA in an Adaptive Neural Systems Lab in Biomedical Engineering Dept. at FIU

4) Presented and published own abstract, conducted own memory experiment, publication of final paper in progress.

5) Was a counselor for young adolescents at a church, was also a peer facilitator for a class at a Developmental Psych. Lab during undergrad.


Here is my problem, since UM is my top priority I dont know if I should go for MA in MH Counseling since my focus is Neuroscience but dont know if my background is sufficient enough for the Ph.d programs. I understand I should not settle for the top school but the first three choices are all Ph.d programs so I dont know if my background is sufficient enough for them. I dont really want to focus straight into Mental Health Counseling though but just backups. We dont have that many neuroscience graduate programs down here in Miami except the ones outlined. Any feedback or help will do on this decision.



Thank you.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there's a world of difference between MHC and Neuroscience. If you're interested in neurscience (ever considered neuropsych?), a Master's in MHC is not a good stepping stone to get you there, even as a back-up in case you don't get into a PhD program.


A Master's in Experimental Psych would be a better back-up than MHC, especially if you're not really interested in counseling.


Limiting yourself geographically makes it difficult.

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Hey thanks for the reply! Yes your right, MHC is different so I should eliminate that. Yes I have considered Neuropsychology but schools down here do not offer them, I would need to go out of state. 


So what would be the adequate track for Neuropsychology? An MA in Exp. Psychy.

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