Graduate Program in Neuroscience


Is the Graduate Program in Neuroscience part of the UW medical school?

No. We are an interdisciplinary neuroscience program through the Graduate School. We do have a number of faculty who are in departments within the Medical School, but we are not limited to those faculty and our degree does not lead to an MD which is a clinical degree, but rather a PhD in a research training program.

Does your program use rolling admissions, or are all applications considered at the same time after the deadline?

We only accept applications during the open application period and we only review applications after the deadline of December 2nd.

Are there any prerequisites or requirements to apply to your program?

The Neuroscience program has a holistic approach to our admissions process but we do have certain characteristics that we look for. These include:

  • A solid sustained academic record of basic sciences including life sciences, chemistry, physics, and calculus
  • At least 6 months to a year of Neuroscience research experience with an output of presentations, posters, or publications listed on your CV
  • 3 strong letters of recommendation
  • A strong level of communication as exampled through our short answer questions

What are your average test scores and interview/acceptance rates?

As an interdisciplinary program we do not have a “cut-off point” or minimums on GRE scores or GPA. We try to balance the application review by looking at the overall picture of the student’s application.

  • We usually interview 40-45 applicants.
  • We make offers to about 35 applicants.
  • Usually 8-12 applicants accept.
  • Average applicant GPA is 3.50
  • Average applicant GREs are in the 80-90’s percentiles for verbal and quantitative

Can I get my application fee waived?

There is a fee-waiver process and it is means-tested. When submitting your application you will get to the part where you put in your credit card information, at that point you can request a fee waiver. You will need to provide financial information, etc. The waiver can take 4-5 working days so you need to submit your application in advance of our deadline.

Do you share my applications with different departments?

Yes, we do share applications with other departments with your consent.

Do I need to take the GRE to complete my application?

No, GRE scores are optional and therefore not needed to apply to our program.

If I decide to take the GRE, do I need official scores to submit my application?

Self report GRE scores are accepted if your official scores have not yet been made available.

If I decide to take the GRE, do I need to re-send my GRE scores for a different cycle then the one I originally applied for?

Yes, you need to re-send the scores for the current application cycle. When the admissions committee reviews applications they only look at the current applications; there is no way to link information from past applications to the current one.

The UW Neuroscience program requires three rotations, what are some things I should be considering when choosing a lab?

Choosing a lab requires a lot of consideration and it is helpful to attend our interviews with thoughts about possible labs you would feel comfortable and content to work in. Many of our labs require animal handling from zebra fish, to mice, and all the way up to primates. If you want to go into a computational Neuroscience lab (which requires less animal handling) a more mathematical background, coding, and programming may be required to enter. Lastly, it is important to understand that many students switch their focus or field based on newly acquired interests upon arrive and learning about other Neuroscience areas.

Can I qualify for the program without Neuroscience/Research (lab) experience?

The research experience is to make sure that you understand what you are getting into and that you have the background to be successful in a graduate research-training program. What your hands-on experience is and it’s value to your foundational education can really depend on what you choose as your dissertation research project.

What is grad housing like?

There is graduate housing available, but most Neuro grad students live off campus.