Graduate Program in Neuroscience



Application Information

  • The deadline for domestic applicants is November 28thThe same deadline applies for international applicants (see International Student for further details). Applications submitted for this deadline will be reviewed for matriculation in Autumn Quarter, 2023.
  • Please turn in your application materials as soon as possible after October 1st, in case we encounter a problem with your application and need to contact you.
  • Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) students will not be accepted.
  • Undocumented individuals are eligible for admission; those with DACA status should refer to the DACA Students page for further details.
  • The UW Graduate School application fee is $85.00 (fee waivers are available upon request via the application site. Fee waivers can take up to 5 business days to process. For more information on Fee Waivers visit, the Graduate School Application Waiver Page.
  • More information about the application process can be found here.
  • Application is online only via the University of Washington Graduate Admissions site.

Start your Application Here

Application Instructions:

  1. Begin by going 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 website.
      • Please note that the Neuroscience program will not appear until the application is open
    • Fill out the online application form.
  2. Prior Schools and Unofficial Transcripts
    • Please report and upload all transcripts from colleges and universities you previously attended.
  3. Online recommendations:
    • Type in the recommender’s names and make sure you have selected “Online”.
    • Once you submit the names and emails, your recommenders will receive an email directing them to a website to upload (or copy/paste) the recommendation(s).
    • After they have submitted the recommendation, you will receive an email stating that the recommendation process has been completed. Please do not choose “Postal”; all letters should be submitted through the online system.
    • You can monitor the status of each recommendation on the application website.
  4. Resume or CV
    • Please include all research experience, posters, presentations, and publications on your CV.
  5. Short Answer Questions 
    • Please provide answers to the questions below, staying within the indicated character limits, which include spaces. We recommend that you write out answers to each question in a separate word-processing program and copy/paste them into the application. Make sure to review each question after pasting, as character counts may vary.
      • Using bullet points, please list your previous research experience including summer research internships, lab research during the academic year, post-baccalaureate, and other work-related experience. Please limit your response to 2,000 characters.
      • How many total months of research experience do you have?  (20 hours per week for 1 year = 6 months full-time). The answer box will only take integers. Please make sure to list these in Full Time Months!
      • Tell us about your most successful or interesting research experience in a lab environment. Please limit your response to 3,000 characters.
      • Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience? Please limit your response to 2,000 characters.
      • Why do you want to attend the University of Washington? Please limit your response to 2,000 characters.
      • We at the UW Graduate Program in Neuroscience value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We believe these core values provide an essential foundation for both scientific innovation and social progress. Neuroscience is a global and multicultural discipline – we want to reflect those perspectives within our program. Having diverse perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve complex problems. As an educational program, it is also our responsibility to combat structural inequalities embedded in our society by providing opportunities for historically underrepresented groups.
        • What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean to you? How could you, as a graduate student, contribute to improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in science and society? Please keep your response to 3,000 characters.
      • Describe a time you navigated a challenging obstacle, scientific or otherwise. Please limit your response to 2,000 characters.
      • Which University of Washington Neuroscience research labs particularly interest you and why? Please discuss at least two labs. Please limit 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, 2,500 character limit)
  6. Faculty List
    • Please provide a rank-ordered list of 12 Neuroscience faculty members you would like to meet during an interview (Note that you will likely be formally interviewed by 5 faculty during your visit). Neuroscience Faculty list

Additional Notes:

  • At least two letters of recommendation are required. Students may submit a third letter if they wish, though full consideration will be given to students who submit two. We cannot guarantee that your letters will be seen by the Admissions Committee if you mail us paper copies.
  • 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 recruitment activities for applicants who identify themselves as underrepresented minorities. Although we respect the decision of applicants not to disclose personal information such as ethnicity or disability, having this information helps us introduce applicants to a community they can interact with in our Program, the UW, and Seattle.
  • Applications are reviewed by an Admissions Committee consisting of faculty and students. All committee members use an evaluation rubric that rank the following criteria: Academic Preparation; Self-motivation, Perseverance, and Teamwork; Conscientiousness and Broader Impacts; Research Experience; Program Fit; Letters of Recommendation. 

Interview Process

  • We are still working on logistics for this upcoming interview cycle. We will provide more details once decisions have been made regarding interviews.
  • It is important to us that the interviews are accessible and inclusive. We will provide resources and technical support to help prospective students participate.

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

  • February 14-15, 2023
  • February 15-16, 2023

No exceptions to these dates will be made. Applicants should keep these time periods fully available, as we will have events distributed across both days.

Requirements and Prerequisites

  • We encourage students from a broad range of academic backgrounds to apply, including those with undergraduate or a Master degrees in neuroscience, biology, math, physics, computer science, or engineering.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of 6 months of research experience, preferably in neuroscience.
  • Although not required, we do recommend that prospective students have taken calculus before entering our program.

GRE Scores

  • GRE scores are not required for the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.
  • You may still send in your GRE scores, but they are no longer part of the application evaluation rubric.
  • If you do choose to submit GRE scores, they can be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to the Office of Graduate Admissions: (Use UW GRE code = 4854 only.) 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  website for detailed information on English proficiency standards. We are currently accepting TOEFL scores and Duolingo scores, per the Graduate School policy. Please also see Memo 8 for English Language Proficiency requirements.

Please note that the Graduate School standards for a TOEFL iBT score is a 92 or above. The Neuroscience graduate program requires international applicants to have a speaking score of at least 24 and at least a 92 total score on the TOEFL exam.

Applicants who are using Duolingo must have a minimum Duolingo English test score of 105 per the Graduate School Standards. Any applicant who uses the Duolingo English test of the TOEFL ITP Plus for China will be required to take all sections of the Academic English Language Program Placement Exam.