Prospective Students

Why Stanford Neuroscience?

How to Apply

Application Instructions

To access the application form and obtain information about requirements and procedures please visit the Stanford Biosciences Admissions page

Prospective students may also be interested in the Knight-Hennessy Scholars, which develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. This year, the program will award up to 75 high-achieving students with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including PhD's in Biosciences. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars by September 12, 2018, and separately apply to the Biosciences Department by November 14, 2018.


Because of the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience, students with biological and computational backgrounds are equally appropriate for the program. Students from traditional biology backgrounds are expected to show strong achievement in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and neuroscience. Students from more quantitative backgrounds should demonstrate considerable competence in mathematics (calculus, differential equations, linear algebra), physics, probability theory, and statistics. Students from psychology backgrounds should be well versed in cognitive science, experimental psychology, neuroscience and statistics.

Selection for admission to the Stanford Neurosciences Program is based on a student's academic achievements, letters of recommendation attesting to research and academic skills, statement of purpose, and Graduate Record Examination scores. Research experience is very important, but the exact disciplinary area is not critical.

The program is committed to training a diverse group of neuroscientists who come from a wide range of ethnic, cultural, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Qualified applicants who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents are eligible for admission.

Financial Support

Students admitted to the Neurosciences Program are funded by training grants or predoctoral fellowships that provide for stipend, tuition, and health insurance. The University also offers a limited number of fellowships to outstanding admitted students. All students (entering and continuing) are strongly encouraged to apply for extramural predoctoral fellowships, and our students have been very competitive for prestigious fellowships in past years.



  • September 2018: Applications available
  • November 28, 2018: Applications due
  • Early January: Interview invitations sent
  • February 27 - March 3, 2019: Interviews
  • April 15, 2019: Deadline to accept offer

Frequently Asked Questions

For general information about application procedures, documents, test scores, and more, visit the Biosciences Admissions page.

For answers to questions specific to the Neuroscience program, see our FAQ's here.

International Applicants

Applicants who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents are eligible to apply. Stanford offers a limited number of fellowships to outstanding admitted students, and international applicants may be nominated for these fellowships.