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Application Procedure

Students must be admitted to The Graduate School (TGS) before they can be enrolled in the MS Program in Neurobiology. Please follow the TGS Admissions GuideThe Departmental application deadline is March 1.


Before starting the application process, please be sure to familiarize yourself with the Neurobiology MS Program.


GRE scores

GRE scores are recommended. Please note that:

Although GRE scores are preferred, MCAT scores will be accepted in lieu of GRE scores.

Additional details are provided at TGS Test Scores.


International applicants whose first language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS examination.

To submit your score:

The program will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirements for students that receive bachelor degrees from certified institutions where the primary language is English. Most accredited American universities will meet this requirement.

Additional details are provided at TGS Test Scores.


The Neurobiology MS Program requires three letters of recommendation. We are interested in letters of recommendation from individuals who are best able to assess your academic and research accomplishments and potential.


While completing your online application, you will be required to submit a scanned copy of your transcript or academic record from each school you have attended. For more details, visit TGS Transcripts.


See Preparing an Academic Statement for details.


A current resume or curriculum vitae which exemplifies your professional and/or academic achievements. 

Please note: Materials submitted in support of an application become property of The Graduate School and cannot be released for other purposes or returned.


When you apply, please refer to this information to ensure that your application is free of filing errors:

You will be given an application PIN and User ID via Apply Yourself.



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What is the application deadline each year?

For full consideration have application materials submitted no later than March 1; after March 1, there will be a rolling admissions based on availability of openings.

Is there a GPA requirement for admittance into the program?

No, but students enrolled for academic year 2018-19 have an average GPA of 3.43.

Are GRE and MCAT scores required?

No, they are not required, but if you have taken these exams, we ask that you send in your scores. The ETS code for Northwestern University is 1565.

What kind of research experience is required?

We look for students who have worked closely with a professor in a lab on a scientific project for a significant period of time - a period of at least nine months. We take particular interest in those who have demonstrated high aptitude for work in research laboratories.

If I don’t have research experience, will it hurt my chances of getting into the program?

Yes, since this is a one-year research-intensive program, we look for students with a research background.

Can I still submit my application even if all my materials have not been sent in?

Yes, please go ahead and submit your application. Once we receive all of your materials, you will get an email notification that your application is complete.

On the application, there is a section for a diversity statement. Is the diversity statement required?

The submission of the diversity statement is optional for all applicants. The Graduate School at Northwestern University considers having a diverse student population a key element to the educational experience of its graduate students. Diversity presents itself in many different forms such as: socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or place of origin, disability, unique work or life experience, etc. We invite you to use this space to tell us how you may contribute to the diversification of The Graduate School, your program and Northwestern University.

I have a publication, where can I upload it?

Uploaded publications will not be read. Instead, please discuss in your own words your research when completing the Statement of Purpose, where you can make reference to any of your published work(s).

What is the cost of attending the program?

The tuition cost of the program can be found here.  This does not include housing costs.

Do you offer any assistantships?


What are your requirements for international students?

  • The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required
  • You must take the exam within two years of application to the program
  • Once accepted, the Versant English Test is required for non-native English speakers

Is there a waitlist?

We do have a short waitlist some years. If you are waitlisted, you will be notified in late May/early June.