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Prospective Students

Carter DGS.jpgThank you for seeking information concerning the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University. Our doctoral program encourages applications from all highly qualified students. Presently, our program has 71 graduate students.

Students holding degrees in the biological or physical sciences, psychology, or biomedical engineering are especially encouraged to apply to the Graduate Program, but applicants from other fields will be considered. Complete applications must be received by December 1st. The Graduate School application fee is $95.00.

Applicants to our graduate program are evaluated on the totality of their scholarly achievements, including previous research experience as well as GPA. Letters of recommendation and a scientific writing sample must be received to complete the application before the December 1st deadline. There is a Graduate School admissions minimum B average in overall undergraduate GPA and GPA in major. GRE scores are not required for applying to the Neuroscience Graduate Program, except for students specifically interested in pursuing the Educational Neuroscience track.

It must be emphasized that many other factors, including demonstrated research abilities, experience and recommendations are highly important in the admissions process.

Due to an excellent faculty-graduate student ratio, extensive opportunities are available for interaction and exchange of ideas in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.

We offer advanced training leading to the Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience. Students have multiple entry paths into the Neuroscience program. For those with an interest in Cognitive and Systems neuroscience, the standard path is to apply directly via the Application Page of the Neuroscience Graduate Program .  For those with an interest in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, there are two potential entry routes. For students with broad biomedical interests, we suggest entry via the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP), which provides a strong foundation in biomedical science prior to matriculation into neuroscience. For this route students should direct their application to the Application Page of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.   For students committed to neuroscience and with a strong academic foundation in the discipline, we suggest that they apply directly via the Application Page of the Neuroscience Graduate Program.

Graduates of our department are superbly prepared for a variety of career options in both academia and industry. Due to an excellent faculty-student ratio, extensive opportunities are available for interaction and exchange of ideas in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere. Each student’s program is designed to provide a broad-based education in neuroscience, yet accommodate individual needs and interests to allow students to become creative, independent scientists. University Tuition Scholarships are service-free awards that pay all or part of tuition costs. The following graduate awards are normally supplemented by a full University Tuition Scholarship, which usually includes student health insurance coverage: University Fellowships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Research Assistantships, Traineeships, and Teacher Training Awards. The current stipend level for 2022-2023 is $35,000. In addition, applicants may be nominated at the time of application for Harold S. Vanderbilt graduate scholarships and other awards, which provide an additional stipend of up to $10,000 per year to students of exceptional accomplishment and high promise.

If you have any questions about the Neuroscience Graduate Program, or the application process, please e-mail Roz Johnson ( or call me at 615.936.3041. I look forward to receiving your application.

Bruce Carter, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies in Neuroscience
Professor of Biochemistry
Vanderbilt University