Neurosciences (NE75)

The Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego offers an outstanding opportunity for graduate training in one of the most highly interactive scientific environments available in the United States. The program brings together world-class research institutions and laboratories at UCSD, the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Sanford-Burnham Institute, to create one of the largest and most diverse neuroscience environments for graduate training. The program combines this environment with a rich, progressive curriculum covering multiple neuroscience disciplines, mentored research with leading faculty investigators in nearly 150 laboratories, and collaborative opportunities across clinical and academic settings. The program is frequently ranked as one of the top neuroscience graduate programs in the country.

Program Info

Area of Study Health Sciences
Program Overview The Neurosciences Graduate Program at UC San Diego is an interdisciplinary program that covers a broad spectrum of sub-disciplines in neuroscience including medicine, cellular and molecular biology, psychology, cognitive science, engineering and mathematics. Participating faculty come from various departments across the UCSD campus as well as the Salk Institute, the Scripps Research Institute, and the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. The enormous breadth of research interests represented among our faculty provides integrated training that encompasses molecular, cellular, developmental, systems, computational, cognitive, behavioral, and clinical neuroscience.

Anthropogeny, Computational Neuroscience and Multi Scale Biology

Department Neurosciences
Major Neurosciences
Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Admissions Terms Fall
Application Deadlines December 1, 2021 (Fall 2022)

Basic Requirement

Admissions Tests
Beginning with the fall 2020 application GRE scores are no longer used in our admissions process.
English Proficiency Exams

(international applicants only)

A test of English language proficiency is required for international applicants whose native language is not English and who have not studied full-time for one uninterrupted academic year at a university-level institution in which English is the language of instruction and in a country where English is a dominant language.

The following test(s) are accepted by this department:

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
PTE (Pearson Test of English)

Letters of Recommendation

Minimum of 3 recommendations required.

Statement of Purpose


From your Statement of Purpose, we hope to get a sense of what drives and motivates your passion for neuroscience research. To that end, writing about how your interest in the field developed can be insightful. In addition, please feel free to take this opportunity to discuss both the ups and downs of your path into scientific research or any perceived shortcomings in your application.

How did your life trajectory lead to applying to graduate school at UC San Diego? What drives your interest and passion for neuroscience?
(750 words max.)

Note that you are also required to submit a Research Statement (see details below).



Additional Requirements

Research Statement: If you have research experience, describe how this has shaped your scientific thinking. What are the neuroscience research questions you have worked on in the past? What outstanding questions in neuroscience would like to address with your future research? Focus on the science and approach. Assume an ideal scenario in which money, resources, etc. are not a concern. (750 words max.)

In your research statement, try to refrain from listing all the techniques you have learned. Instead, tell us about what questions you have focused on, how you addressed them experimentally or analytically, and how your findings fit into the broader knowledge base of the field. Discuss experiences when your experiments answered a question (i.e., “worked”), as well as how you experienced times when experiments failed or offered ambiguous results. Describe the type of neuroscience research you would like to pursue during your PhD. As appropriate for you, contextualize these goals in terms of your past research, course work, life experience, and/or the environment at UC San Diego.

Contact Info

Campus Office CNCB, Room 100
Phone (858) 534-7875
Fax (858) 534-8242
Mailing Address
University of California, San Diego
Neurosciences Graduate Program
9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0634
La Jolla, CA 92093-0634