How to Apply


All applications must be submitted online. Candidates interested in applying for the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown University must complete an online application at the Brown Graduate School website. Candidates interested in applying for the Brown-NIH Graduate Partnership Program must complete an online application at the NIH Graduate Partnership Program website. Any student wishing to apply to both the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Brown-NIH Graduate Partnership Program will need to submit an application to both Brown University and the NIH by the December deadline.

Neuroscience Graduate Program Application Checklist

  • Personal Statement - All applicants are required to submit a personal statement. The statement helps the Graduate Program understand who you are, what motivates you, and what you hope to gain from a Ph.D. You should also include a description of your research experience, current research interests, and explain why you are applying to the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Brown. You should limit your statement to no more than two pages, single spaced. The document should be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Short answer questions - See prompts below.
  • Graduate Record Examination Scores for the General Aptitude Test - GRE scores are not required.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Score - International students must submit scores of the TOEFL unless they have completed their undergraduate studies in the United States, another country with English as its principle language, or attended a baccalaureate-granting institution that has its primary instruction in the English language. The TOEFL reporting code for Brown University is 3094 and the department code for Neuroscience is 30. Test results are valid for 2 years.
  • Undergraduate transcripts (and others where applicable) - Brown accepts unofficial, self-reported transcripts and TOEFL scores for the initial submitted application. Official TOEFL scores are required for Brown's Graduate School to offer admission, an event that typically occurs after applicant interviews. Brown's Graduate School requires official transcripts for matriculation before the first Fall semester.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Application Fee of $75 - US citizens or permanent residents who can demonstrate either financial need or participation in certain specialized programs may apply for an application fee waiver. Please see the Fees and Financial Support page for more information.

Short Answer Prompts

Brown University Graduate School Questions:

Applicants will choose one of the following prompts: (1) Discuss specific examples of how your background, knowledge, and life experiences would influence your ability to both benefit from and contribute to Brown’s inclusive academic community or (2) Discuss how you aspire to contribute to our mission to promote diversity and inclusion through your research, teaching, or service. 

NSGP Prompts:

  1. Troubleshooting and failure are inherent parts of research. Consider the most significant failure in your academic or research career. How did you handle this failure and what helped you cope with it?
  2. Undertaking scientific research requires both the ability to collaborate with others and work on a team. Discuss your most important strengths and weaknesses in this arena.
  3. To obtain a Ph.D., you must make an independent intellectual contribution to your chosen scientific field. Describe the most significant intellectual contribution that you have made to a research project thus far.

Dates and Deadlines

Applicants interested in the Brown Neuroscience Graduate Program must submit all application materials by the application deadline, which is usually December 1st. Applicants interested only in the Brown-NIH GPP must submit their application to NIH by the same deadline, specifying the Brown-NIH program. After interviews, selected GPP applicants will be invited to submit a formal application to Brown University. Applicants wishing to receive full consideration for both the Brown and the Brown-NIH programs should submit all application materials to both Brown and NIH by the posted December deadline.


Interviews for prospective students applying to the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Brown-NIH Graduate Partnership Program take place in late February.