How to Apply

The application period for admission in Autumn 2020.

The applications for Autumn 2021-22 will open in September 2020 and will be available on the Biosciences Admissions website.

In light of the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford reaffirms its commitment to perform individualized, holistic review of each applicant to its graduate and professional programs. We recognize that students may have faced significant challenges during the period of disruption caused by the pandemic, and we will take such individual circumstances into account during application review. Importantly, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Credit/No Credit and other grading options during this unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruption, whether they are made by institutions or by individual students. Our goal remains to form graduate student cohorts that are excellent and encompass a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that enrich the graduate educational experience.

Application Instructions

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

Eligibility for the Neurosciences Program

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, and statement of purpose. Research experience is very important, but the exact disciplinary area is not critical. The program does not have specific requirements for the GPA or undergraduate courses taken.

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.


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.



Please see the Graduate Admissions page "Required Exams" web page for information regarding COVID-19 and special TOEFL Test accommodations. 

Final Official Transcripts

Graduate Admissions only requires admitted applicants who accept the offer of admission to submit official transcripts that shows their degree conferral. More details on this can be found on the following Graduate Admissions webpage. Please do not send or have sent any official transcripts to our office.


Biosciences PhD Admissions Temporary Mailing Address

Biosciences PhD Admissions

Stanford University

3165 Porter Drive

Palo Alto, CA 94304-5261


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.

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.