Students studying in the Library

How to Apply

Application Deadline

Prospective graduate students may apply for admission to our Ph.D. program. 

Applications are accepted for fall quarter admission only and should be submitted as early as possible. 

The Neuroscience program application deadline is December 1st. The application system for this graduate group will shut down at midnight on this date, US Pacific Standard Time. Admissions review will start promptly after the deadline, and incomplete applications will not be considered. Please ensure that all supporting materials (transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation) are submitted by the deadline as well.

Holistic Review

The Neuroscience graduate group evaluates applicants using holistic review. Many criteria are considered when reviewing individual applications for admission into the Neuroscience graduate group:

  • Academic Preparation: Are you prepared to pursue a degree in neuroscience, including success in related/foundational coursework? Is there evidence of self-directed study, etc.?
  • Research Interest and Experience: What research questions interest you and why? Do you have experience conducting original research? If so, what research question did you and your team tackle, and why? What did you learn from that experience, and how does that inform your future goals?
  • Potential/Promise: Do you have the work ethic, motivation and ability to achieve goals? Is your creativity, perseverance, and balance between focus and flexibility in alignment with the graduate program?
  • Leadership and Service

Application Process - What You Need to Know

  • As of 2020, the Neuroscience Graduate Group no longer requires the GRE for admissions.  
  • The Neuroscience Graduate Group joins the campus community in supporting the values and goals contained in this Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision for UC Davis.
  • The application fee may be paid by credit card. The appropriate fee must be paid before the application will be considered complete, and a fee must be paid for each application submitted.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application.  Do not have recommenders send letters in hard copy, but rather to submit all recommendations online once the online service is available.
  • UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended. You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application. For more details visit
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students. For more information visit: 
    • TOEFL scores please indicate Institution Code 4834, the department code you select is not important.  UC Davis will not accept unofficial score reports or score reports sent directly to us by the applicant. 
    • IELTS Scores- Please send your test scores directly to the University of California, Davis Graduate Studies
  • Statement of Purpose/Personal History and Diversity Statement prompts can be found here
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Required Documentation for a complete application: 

  • Completed online application 
  • Paid Application Fee
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Copies of all college transcripts reported in application
  • TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable)

Visit Grad Studies website to begin the application process

The graduate group cannot review an application until all of the above components are received. Inquiries concerning application procedures or any other aspects of the program should be directed to: