Frequently Asked Questions


We no longer require submission of the GRE.

How will the Admissions Committee take into account the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Admissions Committee is deeply aware of the challenges that the pandemic has placed on all students interested in pursuing a career in neuroscience. These include a diminished or lack of research opportunities due to lockdowns, graded courses switched to Pass/Fail, or an inability to take standardized tests (e.g., TOEFL). Accordingly, all of these factors will be fully considered by the Admissions Committee for the 2022 cycle.

The Admissions Committee encourages applicants who would like to highlight how the COVID-19 pandemic has uniquely affected their education or research experiences to include an optional Extenuating Circumstances Statement as a part of their application under the “Other documents” tab.

What are the particular strengths of the University of Minnesota's Neuroscience program?

Breadth of Scope. The Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota includes the study of topics such as molecular, cellular, systems, developmental, computational, and behavioral neuroscience, all of which can lead to the Ph.D. degree. This variety of research interests is represented by over 125 faculty members from 30 University departments. This provides the opportunity to study an enormous variety of neuroscience related aspects.

A list of faculty and student research interests can be seen here.

Collegial Atmosphere. The rapid growth at the University of Minnesota over the past decade has brought in a number of faculty from many of the country's other top research institutions. This, together with the fact that the Neuroscience program spans many departments, has created an atmosphere wherein faculty and students are encouraged to collaborate across disciplines for everyone's mutual benefit.

There are also many social events that occur throughout the year to foster program interaction. This includes a weekly colloquium during the school year that allows faculty and students to get together and discuss ongoing neuroscience research, while enjoying a lunch provided by the program.

More information about the University of Minnesota itself can be found here.

How long does it take most graduate students to complete their Ph.D. degree?
Most students take about 5.3 years to graduate.

What employment outcomes can our graduate students expect once they obtain their Ph.D. degree?
To date, over 200 students have completed the program and those that have chosen to stay in research have obtained excellent postdoctoral positions to pursue further training. At the completion of their postdoctoral training and entrance into the job market, they have thus far competed very well for jobs in academia, industry, and research institutes. More details regarding current alumni careers can be found here (updated when available).

Comments from alumni can be seen here.

How are graduate students supported in the Neuroscience program?
All students are fully supported. During the 2022-23 academic year, full support was $34,000 in direct aid for a twelve-month year plus full health-care benefits for students (and some dependent-care coverage) worth more than $3000 per year. We provide full support for our trainees all the years of training, assuming the student is in good standing and making progress towards their PhD degree. Students receive an additional amount of more than $8000 in the form of tuition and fee support. For the current stipend level please go here.

More program specifics can be found here.

Does the Neuroscience program have M.D.-Ph.D. students?
Approximately 10-15% of our graduate students are also working towards an M.D. degree or already have one. M.D.-Ph.D. students are admitted through the M.D.-Ph.D. program.

Does the program require GRE exam scores?

We no longer require or use GRE exam scores in our Admission process.

Does the program offer a M.S. degree?
No, we only admit students seeking a Ph.D. degree.

Where do the graduate students typically come from?
The majority of our students are from the United States and matriculate from both large universities and small colleges all over the country. We also have students from various countries including Nepal, Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, and Jamaica.

When do students pick an advisor?
In general, each student does four 7-week long lab rotations during their first year and then chooses an advisor.

Can dissertation projects incorporate research from more than one lab?
Because of the interdisciplinary aspects of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, it is not uncommon for students to have more than one advisor or combine training from multiple labs to complete their research projects.

How can I get additional information about the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota?
An electronic copy of our brochure can be downloaded from here. A hard copy of our brochure may also be requested.

What do the Twin Cities offer in the way of entertainment?
The Greater Twin Cities area and the state of Minnesota provide a broad selection of cultural and recreational opportunities. The Minnesota Orchestra and the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre are very well known, and tickets for their performances are available at special student rates. In addition, there are all the other cultural activities associated with a metropolitan area and a major urban university. There is also a full complement of professional and amateur athletic activities. In the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” the opportunities for outdoor recreation are exceptional. The nationally famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area is only one example of the variety that is available.

More information about the Twin Cities can be found here.

Correspondence and Information may be sent to:
John Paton, Department Administrator
University of Minnesota
Graduate Program in Neuroscience
6-145 Jackson Hall
321 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
Telephone: 612-626-6474
Fax: 612-626-6460

Additional contact information can be found here.

How do I apply?
You may complete the Graduate School application form online. When completing the application, please note the following:

The "Major Code" for Neuroscience is "059060208"

Check the box for "Summer" and write in the year you wish to enter the program.

Additional information about the application process can be found here.

What is the deadline for applying to the program?
The deadline for completing an application is December 1 for both domestic and international applicants.