Application and
Admissions Information

Neuroscience is considered by many to be the "last scientific frontier."
Our large multidisciplinary program provides a wonderful opportunity to study Neuroscience in a rich, supportive environment. Our coursework provides students with a solid foundation in each of the major areas of neuroscience, plus the opportunity to do cutting edge research with world famous neuroscientists. With over 100 faculty, and an environment that thrives on collaboration, the opportunities for students to partake in multidisciplinary research are abound. Our graduate students come from a variety of backgrounds and have diverse scientific interests. Therefore, we do not have a specific set of coursework prerequisites for admission into our graduate program. However, experience tells us that the most appropriate background includes coursework in biology, chemistry (including biochemistry), psychology, mathematics, and physics.

Requirements for Admission

We require all students to take the general GRE . Students whose native language is not English are required also to take the TOEFL and obtain a minimum score of 625 on the paper based exam, 107 on the internet based exam, or obtain 6.5 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination. Comparison scores for other TOEFL exams are available here. To give you a realistic view of the strength of your application, on average a GPA of 3.5 and GRE scores reaching at least the 80-85th percentile for all three sections are typical of students accepted into our program. In addition, the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota has set a minimum GPA of 3.0 for admission into any graduate program. All prospective students are required to fill out an application, and as part of your application, we require three letters of recommendation and a personal statement about your ambitions and motivations for a research career. Your personal statement should indicate why you are interested in Neuroscience in general, and why you are interested specifically in our Graduate Program in Neuroscience.

Research Experience

Our admissions committee looks for students who have shown strong initiative, creativity, productivity, and a passion for discovery. The majority of our students had research experience during their undergraduate or post-undergraduate education, experience that has often helped them clarify their research interests. We have found that previous research experience outside of regular coursework is the greatest indicator of success in our graduate program, and we encourage all students to work in a research environment prior to graduate school.

Campus Visit and Financial Support

In late February or early March, we invite our top candidates to the Twin Cities, and introduce them to our program, faculty, and students. These prospective students are provided an opportunity to sample the research environment by visiting labs from their areas of interest. This trip also allows prospective students the chance to explore the campus and the Twin Cities area. Candidates accepted into the program will be notified shortly after the campus visit. Once accepted into our program, we provide a considerable stipend, full tuition benefits, and health care benefits during their first year in the program. Once students have selected a PhD advisor, their advisor provides financial support until completion of the PhD. The program is strongly committed to training students of diverse backgrounds and welcomes all applications.

Filling out the University of Minnesota Graduate School application

All students applying to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience should fill out the application form provided by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate School. In order to simplify completion of this form, we hope the following instructions will be useful to you.

The general application form requests two "applicant statements" and a statement of extenuating circumstances if applicable. Relative to our program, the first is the most important.

Statement 1
Please provide a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to Neuroscience. If there is a particular faculty member with whom you wish to study, please give that person's name and explain why you want to study with that person. You may also wish to include other information, such as any undergraduate research experience, internships, abstracts/publications, or other experiences you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in Neuroscience.

Statement 2
Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.

Extenuating Circumstances (if needed)
If your grades and/or test scores are not strong, and you would like to provide an explanation, please do so.

While the University of Minnesota Graduate School asks that the first two statements be completed, Statement 1, describing your research experience, why you are interested in our program specifically, as well as your long term goals, are of primary importance to our program and our selection process. Statement 1 (research experience and goals) will be weighted most heavily in the admissions process and should be written accordingly.

Financial Aid section

The Graduate School uses a common application form. We would like to make it clear that all matriculated neuroscience PhD students receive financial support during their graduate career, including a generous stipend, fully-paid tuition, and health care benefits. Therefore, please just check "yes" to the first question on the Financial Aid section (that you have applied for a fellowship). You do not need to fill in any of the other questions in this section.

APPLICATION DEADLINES
Domestic Applicants
(United States Citizens and/or Permanent Residents and Residents of Puerto Rico)
December 5
International Applicants
(Non-U.S. Citizens and Non-Permanent Residents)
December 5

If you require an extension of the deadline, please contact John Paton via e-mail at neurosci@umn.edu or phone at 612-626-6474.



Please Note: You must submit specific materials to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota. Any materials submitted through ApplyYourself will automatically be delivered to both groups, and do not need to be sent twice. See below for more details.


APPLICATION MATERIAL TO SUBMIT TO
THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN NEUROSCIENCE
Submit the following items through ApplyYourself or by mail to: Graduate Program in Neuroscience
University of Minnesota
6-145 Jackson Hall
321 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Transcripts. Original or photocopy. Submission through ApplyYourself is preferred. (If accepted, an official copy will be requested)

Current registration information. If you are currently enrolled at an academic institution, you should provide a separate sheet listing all courses you expect to complete as part of your present program. (This can be submitted in ApplyYourself, or via email to neurosci@umn.edu)

GRE Results. Initially, a photocopy of an official report is acceptable. However, we must receive an official ETS report before acceptance into the program. Request ETS to forward your score to us as soon as possible (Institution Code 6874, Dept. Code 0213)

TOEFL or IELTS Results. For non-native speakers of English only. Initially, a photocopy of an official report is acceptable. However, we must receive an official ETS report before acceptance into the program.
(TOEFL: Institution Code 6874, Dept. Code 99 for Not Listed)

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation. The letters do not have to be in a specific format, but the following form is provided for your convenience click here. Letters should be uploaded through the ApplyYourself system, but they will also be accepted if addressed to the Admissions Committee at the above address. The envelope should be sealed and signed on the flap.

 

APPLICATION MATERIAL TO SUBMIT TO
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

Submit the following items through ApplyYourself: Graduate School
University of Minnesota
309 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Application for Admission.

You must complete the application form online. When completing the application, please note the following:

The proposed major for Neuroscience is "Neuro. PhD - 059060208"

The proposed term of entry is "Summer" and the year you wish to enter.

Application fee. $75.00 USD for Domestic Applicants, $95.00 USD for International Applicants.

Statement of purpose. (See above descriptions for more details)


QUESTIONS / MORE INFORMATION
If you have any questions about our application process or require more information, please contact our office:
Graduate Program in Neuroscience
University of Minnesota
6-145 Jackson Hall
321 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Tel. 612-626-6474
Fax 612-626-6460
neurosci@umn.edu