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Graduate and professional students are producers of knowledge. Our understanding of the world grows as a direct result of their research and discoveries. That’s one of the reasons that Reuter’s maintains a ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities — the institutions that are doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries. Ohio State is one of those select universities, where the knowledge producers are invited to push boundaries and explore horizons. If you’re excited by the notion that your ideas could lead anywhere, then the neuroscience graduate program at Ohio State is designed for you.


What Does the NGP at OSU Look For in an Applicant?


Qualified U.S. and international applicants are eligible for admission, though international students follow a different application procedure (see below).


Selection for admission into the program is evaluated based upon the below criteria. The NGP currently evaluates students on a 20 point scale

  • Research experience (6 points):
    • Research Experience carries great weight with the admissions committee and may be the single most important determining factor in assessing a candidate's qualifications for graduate school.  Research experience(s) should be detailed in your statement of purpose and your CV.
  • Undergraduate GPA (4.5 points):
    • The Graduate School at OSU requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The NGP Admissions committee does also take into account any GPA in an already completed Master's degree.
  • Previous Curriculum (3 points):
    • It is preferred that students have a strong life and/or natural science background, but the program also values students with a primarily behavioral neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, or computational background. The strongest candidates will have taken basic biology and chemistry and one or more of the following: biochemistry, physics, molecular and cellular biology, neurobiology, genetics, or other life science courses.
  • Letters of Recommendation (3 points):
    • Three letters of recommendation are required attesting to your research experience/potential and academic accomplishments. We strongly encourage you to prioritize letter writers who can speak to your research capability.
  • Personal Statement (2.5 points):
    • Your personal statement should answer each of the questions asked below. We recommend you use your personal statement to show why the NGP is a good fit for you and your research interests.
  • Leadership/Volunteerism/Service (1 point):
    • The NGP Admissions committee looks for evidence of leadership/volunteerism, and/or evidence that you are a responsible and valuable member of the communities to which you belong.

In addition to these 20 available points, there is a "bonus point" that is awarded to students who have evidence in their application of an ability to overcome challenges or obstacles.


How to Apply

Applications to the Neuroscience Graduate Program must be submitted online through Graduate and Professional Admissions. All materials must be submitted by December 1 in order for your application to be considered complete for the review process.

  • The Graduate School requires a minimum average undergraduate GPA of B (3.0). Exceptions to this might be made in rare cases if there are counterbalancing strengths in the application (e.g., exceptional research experience and outstanding recommendations). In evaluating candidates, emphasis will be placed on grades in science coursework.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required attesting to your research experience/potential and academic accomplishments.
  • Official Transcripts
    • Applicants must have or will have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Statement of Purpose (1000 Words Maximum) - In compiling your statement of purpose, please include responses to the following:
    • How have your research, educational, and personal experiences shaped your interest in a PhD in Neuroscience? 
    • What are your long range professional goals?
    • Why do you want to study neuroscience at The Ohio State University? 
    • Which area of neuroscience and which NGP Faculty at OSU most interest you? 
    • Please discuss challenges you have faced in your personal and/or professional career, and how you have overcome them
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
    • ​​​​​​​Please include any leadership/volunteer/community service activities 
    • Please ensure that you include all of your research experience, with associated dates/approx. hours per week

Note: We no longer require the GRE general exam for admission into the program.

International students:

International applicants who are currently living outside the US are typically directly admitted into an NGP Faculty member's lab (instead of being admitted and then rotating with various faculty). In contrast, international applicants who currently live in the US are processed similar to domestic students.

International applicants who are currently living outside the US are strongly encouraged to reach out to NGP faculty members with complementary research interests and to secure their endorsement for your application as a direct recruit. For example, those international applicants who have an NGP faculty member reach out to the NGP Admissions Committee on their behalf are much more likely to be successful in their applications. 

Additionally, international students from non-English speaking countries (and who have not earned an undergraduate degree from an English speaking country) must provide:

  • Proof of English Proficiency -
    • TOEFL Exam
      • a minimum TOEFL score of 79-80 iBT is required
    • IELTS Exam
      • 7.0 on the IELTS Academic test or IELTS Indicator
    • Duolingo