Admission Requirements

Four students disecting a brain

To be considered for admission to the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Penn State - University Park, students must have the following:

  • An appropriate academic background, including a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) during the last two years (junior/senior) of a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university.
  • A degree in a biological, physical, or behavioral science, and courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Neuroscience courses are desirable but not essential.
  • Research experience is an advantage.

Students also must complete the forms and send in the materials outlined in the instructions on how to apply.

Admission is based on evaluation of:

  • Undergraduate transcript(s)
  • Description of academic preparation for a career in the neurosciences
  • Comprehensive description of research experiences and technical skills
  • Letters of recommendation

With some exceptions (noted below), international applicants need to take the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and submit the results of the test with application for admission. The Neuroscience Program requires a score of at least 600 on the paper test, a score of 250 on the Computer-based test, or a total score of 100 in the Internet based test with a reading component score of at least 23. The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 7.0.

  • Institution code: 2660
  • Department code: 30

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a master's degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Belize
  • British Caribbean and British West Indies
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • England
  • Guyana
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Ireland
  • Scotland
  • United States
  • Wales 


Application deadline is December 15, but application review will begin before that deadline.


Qualified applicants generally will be requested to visit Penn State - University Park for an interview prior to acceptance decisions.