Graduate Program in Neuroscience


Fall 2021 Cohort Application Due Date: November 30, 2020 (5PM PST)


Application Information

  • Applications are accepted for Autumn Quarter admission only.
  • Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) students not accepted.
  • Undocumented individuals are eligible for admission; those with DACA status should refer to the DACA Students page for further details.
  • Graduate School application fee is $85.00.
  • Domestic applicants have a deadline of November 30, 2020 considered for Autumn 2021 admission.
  • International applicants have a deadline of November 30, 2020 considered for Autumn 2021 admission. (see International Student tab for further details)
  • Application is on-line only via the University of Washington Graduate Admissions site.

    Start your Application Here

Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Washington.

Please turn in your application materials as soon as possible after October 1st in case we have questions or there is a problem with your file.

Application Instructions:

  1. Go to the UW Grad School application site:
    • If you have not already done so, create a Login ID and password.
    • Follow the Neuroscience application instructions through the Graduate School web site.
      • Please note that the Neuroscience program will not appear until the application is open
    • Fill out the on-line application form.
  2. Prior Schools and Unofficial Transcripts
    • Please report and upload all transcripts from prior colleges and universities you previously attended
  3. Online recommendations:
    • Type in the 3 recommender’s names and make sure you have selected “Online”.
    • Once you submit the names and emails, your recommenders will receive an automatic email telling them which website to go to for uploading or copy-and-pasting the recommendation(s).
    • After they have submitted the recommendation, you will then receive an email stating that the recommendation process has been completed. DO NOT choose “Postal”; we do not accept written letters.
    • You can monitor the status of each recommendation on the application web site.
  4. Resume or CV
    • Please make sure to include all research experience, posters, presentations, and publications in your CV
  5. Short Answer Questions 
    • The Graduate Program in Neuroscience is dedicated to finding prospective students who are prepared, excited about Neuroscience, and have a dedication to the University of Washington. Please take the time to provide answers to the questions below and stay within the indicated character limits, which includes spaces. We recommend that you save your answers and then return to the question section to review before submitting your application as word processing programs may calculate character count differently than this application. Character limits indicated after each question.
      • Using bullet points, please list the different research experiences you have had including summer research internships, academic year research, post-baccalaureate, and/or work-related experiences. How many total months of research experience do you have?  (20 hours per week for 1 year=6 full time months). Please keep your response to 2,000 characters.
      • Tell us about your most successful or interesting research experience in a lab environment. Please keep your response to 3,000 characters.
      • Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience? Please keep your response to 2,500 characters.
      • Why do you want to attend the University of Washington? Please keep your response to 2,500 characters.
      • We at the UW Graduate Program in Neuroscience value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and believe it needs to be the foundation for scientific, philanthropic, and cultural innovation and progress. Innovative Science is a global, diverse, and a multicultural word – we want to reflect those perspectives inside our program. Having diverse perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve complex problems.
        • What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean to you? How could you, as graduate student contribute to our values and goals to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Please keep your response to 3,000 characters.
      • Describe a time you encountered a challenging obstacle, scientific or otherwise. how did you handle it? Please keep your response to 3,000 characters.
      • Which UW Neuroscience Faculty member’s work particularly interests you, and why? Please keep your response to 2,000 characters.
      • Is there anything else relevant to your application that you would like to share that was not covered in the questions above? (Optional)
  6. Faculty List


  • Three letters of recommendation are required. We cannot guarantee that your letters will be seen by the Admissions Committee if you mail us paper copies.
  • Part of the on-line application allows you to insert your CV, and your answers to the Short Answer Questions into the actual application.
  • The Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Washington sees the diversity of our students as one of its most important assets. During our interview process we schedule specific activities for applicants who belong to underrepresented minorities in the sciences. Although we respect the decision of applicants not to disclose their ethnicity, disability or any other personal information that identifies them as an underrepresented minority, having this information helps us introduce applicants to a community they can interact with in our Program, the University, and Seattle.

Interview Process

All interviews will be virtual for the 2021 application cycle–no exceptions.

  • Interviews will be taking place online for the first time in the history of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.
  • We are still working on logistics for this upcoming interview cycle and will have more details once invitations to interview go out to prospective students.

Application finalists will be invited to virtually interview during one of these two time periods:

  • February 9-10, 2021
  • February 10-11, 2021

It is necessary that applicants keep these time periods open as we will have events throughout those three days.

Requirements and Prerequisites

  • We encourage students from a broad range of academic backgrounds to apply, including those with undergraduate or master’s degrees in math, physics or bioengineering.
  • Must have a minimum of 6 months to 1 year of research experience, preferably in neuroscience.
  • Although not required, we do recommend prospective students take calculus before entering our program

GRE Scores

  • GRE scores will be fully optional for the Autumn 2021 Application cycle!
  • You may still send in your GRE scores if you would like, but we cannot guarantee that they will have any impact on your application.
  • GRE scores can be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the Office of Graduate Admissions: (Use UW GRE code = 4854 only.)  ***Sign up early for testing as the October/November test dates fill up fast.
  • GREs must be taken by mid-November in order for scores to reach the Neuroscience Program office by December 1.
  • Scores must be less than 5 years old.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and Duolingo testing

Please see the UW Graduate School COVID Admissions FAQs website for detailed information on english proficiency standards. We are currently accepting TOEFL scores and Duolingo scores, per the Graduate Schools policy. Please also visit Memo 8 for English Language Proficiency requirements.