Graduate Program in Neuroscience



Application Information

  • The deadline for ALL applicants is November 28th. Applications submitted for this deadline will be reviewed for matriculation in Autumn Quarter, 2024.
  • Please turn in your application materials as soon as possible, 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.

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.
  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.
  • Please list your research experiences in bullet points, including summer research internships, academic year research, post-baccalaureate, and/or work-related experiences. 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 interesting or rewarding research experience in a lab environment. (Response limit 3,000 characters)
  • Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience? (Response limit 2,000 characters)
  • Why do you want to attend the University of Washington? (Response limit 2,000 characters)
  • What does Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion mean to you? What can be done to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in science and society? (Response limit 2,000 characters)
  • Describe a time you navigated a challenging obstacle, scientific or otherwise. (Response limit 2,000 characters)
  • Which University of Washington Neuroscience research labs particularly interest you and why? Please discuss at least three (3) labs. (Response limit 3,000 characters)
  • Optional: Is there anything else relevant to your application that you would like to share that was not covered in the questions above? (Response limit 2,500)

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 do not accept paper copies.
  • 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 13-14, 2024
  • February 14-15, 2024

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 or accepted for the Graduate Program in Neuroscience.

English Proficiency

English Language proficiency (ELP) is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency as outlined in Graduate School Policy 3.2.
The Neuroscience graduate program requires non-native English speakers to submit an official score demonstrating the “recommended score” for the accepted tests.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience follows the Graduate School GPA policy: a minimum 3.0 grade-point-average on a 4-point scale (or equivalent measures of performance if a graduate of an institution with no grading system) for those credits earned at the institution awarding the bachelor’s degree OR at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4-point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.

Admitted In-Person Visits

  • March 19-20, 2024

Students who receive an offer of admission are invited to come visit campus. Limited spots are available, and they are granted on a first-come, first- serve basis. We want to offer additional opportunities to connect our potential students to a community they can interact with in our Program, the UW, and Seattle. During admitted visit days the School of Medicine offers a specific recruitment activity for applicants who identify themselves as being from traditionally underserved populations.

Transferring To The Program

Students who are currently enrolled in a PhD program elsewhere and want to transfer to our program will need to apply trough our annual application process.

If a potential transfer student is accompanying new faculty, we follow the graduate school policy Alternate Standards for Doctoral Students Accompanying New Faculty

Once admitted, transcripts and course syllabi will be reviewed to identify which course from the curriculum can be waived based on prior coursework completion.