Graduate Program in Neuroscience

International Students

We are proud of our growing international body of students. Please note, international students are guaranteed funding, including salary, tuition, benefits, and are sponsored with an F-1 Visa. 

For a complete guide about accepting your offer of admissions, please read: Admitted International Graduate Students. Also, check with your Graduate Program Advisor whether you need to attend any International Student orientations or other programming before the first day of classes.  

For more information on being an international student, please contact International Student Services.

Enrollment Information 

Full-Time Enrollment 

In general, F-1 students must be registered full-time. This is defined as at least 10 credits each quarter (2 credits only in the summer) for graduate students. To understand more about full-time enrollment and exceptions for international students, please review the ISS Full-Time Enrollment and Exception page. Also, registration schedules and deadlines can be found on the Academic Calendar 

Funding Information 

International students are fully guaranteed funding, including salary, tuition, and benefits, and are sponsored with F-1 Visa. Finances and Student Support has information for Neuroscience students on maintaining full time status and satisfactory progress. International students also receive tuition waivers, which includes basic tuition for Tier I graduate students, but does not include the student activity & building fees (averaging around $250). Incoming students will have to pay a deposit when accepting their offer and this payment will pay for most of the student fees their first quarter enrolled. Each student’s tuition bill will include any additional charges selected during registration. Students’ payment is ALWAYS due at the end of the 3rd week of the quarter.   

International students are unable to be funded through some funding sources, such as training grants and other federal fundings.  

Loans such as the Shih International Student Loan and some scholarships found in the UW scholarship database can provide additional financial assistance to students. 

Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS)  

The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) offers a Blog that posts applications as well as one-on-one meetings to discuss funding opportunities ( 

Additional resources: 

Tax Information 

Every international student has an obligation to complete a tax form once per year for the first five calendar years that you are in the U.S. The Glacier Tax Prep, a tax software program, will count how many days you have been in the U.S. and determine if you are a resident or nonresident for tax purposes. Glacier Tax Prep (GTP) is used by all international students to correctly file tax returns each year when they have taxable income and can be used for the first 5 years before becoming tax residents. However, if you have worked during undergraduate in the U.S. (for 5 years) you will be ineligible to use GTP even in your first year.  

Please read General Tax Information page on the ISS website for more information. 

Health Insurance 

All international students must maintain adequate health insurance while attending the University of Washington. Neuroscience students will receive insurance through UW’s Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP) as an academic student employee and will NOT have to purchase any additional insurance. However, prior to registration, pre-registration requirements will ask you to enroll in the International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP), which is set up for all international students. Once you are enrolled in GAIP, it will automatically replace the ISHIP plan. You do not need to submit an insurance waiver request to ISS. 

Preparing to Graduate

Optional Practical Training (OPT) 

OPT is a period during which graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for one academic year are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for one year on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their education. Optional Practical Training provides F-1 students with an opportunity for hands-on work experience (work authorization) related to the academic field of study. 

 More information on Optional Practical Training (OPT). 

Pre-Completion OPT 

OPT used while you are still enrolled in your course of study, before your program end date, is called “pre-completion” OPT. Pre-completion OPT is deducted from the 12 months of OPT eligibility, and most students prefer to save OPT for after program completion. You may start the OPT application process up to 90 days before your requested employment start date. 

 For more info and instructions, review Pre-Completion OPT: How To Apply. 

Post-Completion OPT 

OPT authorization that begins after completion of your academic program is called “post-completion” OPT. This is the most common type of OPT. Post-completion OPT is full-time, and it can begin: 

  • after you complete your degree or exchange program* 
  • after you complete all course requirements for your degree, excluding thesis or equivalent** 

* You must apply for OPT based on your last registered quarter. If you missed the graduation application deadline or if you pay the Graduate Registration Waiver Fee, your degree will be awarded in a quarter in which you are not registered. In these situations, the OPT application must be submitted in the prior (registered) quarter. If you are not able to complete your program as expected, contact your ISS adviser immediately to review your options. 

** Graduate students: consult your ISS adviser if you are considering applying for post-completion OPT to overlap with completion of the thesis/dissertation (prior to graduation). 

For more info and instructions, review Post-Completion OPT: How To Apply. 

STEM OPT Extension 

Students in their 12-month OPT authorization period, with a qualifying STEM degree and working for an E-Verify registered employer, may apply for an extension of their OPT. 

More information on UW OPT 

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) 

CPT is used for students on F-1 visas to learn practical skills related to their majors while studying at the UW. CPT serves as a work authorization as students engage in different types of activities related to their major.  

More information on UW CPT