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 after August 15th, 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.
  • 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 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 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

We are currently accepting TOEFL scores and Duolingo scores, per the Graduate School Policy 3.2.

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.