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We will be accepting applications for 2025-2026 academdic year beginning in August 2024.

Application Deadline will be December 1, 2024

THE APPLICATION PORTAL IS NOW CLOSED:  Go to the  Graduate School Admissions Online Application form (SLATE platform). Read the Application Procedure section below thoroughly. Send additional questions about the Neuroscience PhD Program to our Program Manager at

Application Checklist:


✓ Online Application
✓ Personal/Research Statement
✓ Curriculum Vitae (CV)
✓ Transcripts
✓ Letters of Recommendation
✓ English Proficiency Scores: TOEFL/IELTS/DUOLINGO Score (international students only)

Competitive applicants should have a science background and research experience. 


Graduate School Admissions Online Application form (SLATE platform): First-Time Users will need to "Create an Account" and register to begin the  application process. Please make sure to save your login information to get back into your application.

  • The application fee for the Neuroscience PhD Program is $55 for domestic applicants and $65 for international applicants.
    • The application fee must be paid in order to consider your application complete.
    • Application fee waiver codes are program and citizenship status specific . Data entry errors or codes created by other programs or codes entered that do not match the applicants citizenship status will not be honored or credited.
    • Eligible applicants may enter a specific application fee waiver code in the field at the bottom of the Additional Materials page.
      • Fall 2024 Domestic applicant code: NPUTAHPHD
      • International applicant fee waiver is not available for Fall 2024 class.
    • The University of Utah and the Neuroscience PhD Programs cannot refund or reverse application fees paid by the applicant.
    • Faculty and departments are not able to provide or sponsor application fee waivers for international students.


  • Documents Required
  • Application Timetable
  • Criteria for Admission
  • MD-PhD Program info

  1. SLATE Online Application Form:
    Fill out the Graduate School Admissions Online Application Form completely and submit as early as posssible. All completed applications (which MUST include letters of recommendation) received through December 1st are guaranteed to be reviewed on this schedule for entrance for the Fall 2024 semester. Applications received after the December 1st deadline will need to reapply for the following year.All students admitted to the program receive scholarships and tuition waivers, so a separate application for financial support is not required.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV): upload a .pdf copy your CV in the CV/Resume field. A sample CV can be viewed here.
  3. Personal/Research Statement:
    A few pages usually suffice including a description of your present academic interests and long-range career goals, a summary of previous experience including laboratory research, reasons for applying to the program, information about your background and academic preparartion you feel would be relevant to the Admissions committee and a description of your scientific interests with a list of faculty whose research interests are compatible with your own. (Although it is not essential to have specific research interests at this point, it is important that students admitted to the Program have several potential research advisors.  See our list of Training Faculty )
  4. Official Transcripts: upload your transcripts in the Academic History section.
    Official transcripts from each college or university attended will be required once you are admitted.
  5. Letters of Recommendation:

    In the “Recommendations” section, please add the contact information for three providers of recommendation letters. Add people familiar with your research potential. 3 letters of recommendation are required, but up to 4 may be submitted. The letters must be on letterhead, have a valid signature, and be submitted through the Slate Recommendation system.

    Your recommenders must submit your letters of recommendation by the December 1 deadline. Please note that notification emails will indicate "The University of Utah Office of Admissions" as the sender and will come from If your recommenders use a spam-blocking tool, please ask them to add this email address to their list of known/safe addresses.

    We recommend adding the deadline of December 1 in the personal note section at the bottom when you add a recommendation provider. You can log back into your application and resend the recommender notification. You can also add new recommenders and make some edits to previously added recommender provider information.

  6. English Proficiency scores: Can I waive the TOEFL exam? English Proficiency Requirement guide 

    University policy states that applicants must have one of the following :

    • Meet one of the specific criteria listed on , for example if you are a native English speaking citizen of an approved country.
    • Duolingo 105 or higher, log into your duolingo account, select the "Send Results" button next to your test results, and select the University of Utah as the receiving institution.
    • iBT/TOEFL 80 or higher,  Institution code: 4853. Use institution code ONLY.
    • IELTS 6.5 or higher, contact your testing center to have the score sent directly to the University of Utah.

All completed applications (which MUST include letters of recommendation) received through December 1st are guaranteed to be reviewed on this schedule for entrance for the fall semester. Applications received after the December 1st date will need to reapply for the following year.

December 1: Application deadline.
December 15: Review of completed applications begins.
December-January: Invitation for interviews issued.
January - February: Interview visits for applicants residing in North America.
March 15-April 10: Applicants are notified of admissions decision.
April 15: Decision date for acceptance of admission offers by applicants.

All Ph.D. students in the Neuroscience Program are awarded financial support (living stipend, health insurance and tuition waiver) for the duration of their thesis work, provided their progress is satisfactory. First year students are supported by the Neuroscience Program. (The living stipend amount is $37,000 for the 2024-2025 academic year). After their first year, students are supported from individual departmental resources, by graduate training grants (in genetics, developmental biology, and cancer research), or by research or teaching assistantships. Stipend levels, regardless of the source of support, are the same in all participating departments. This financial support is for all accepted students, regardless of citizenship.


The University of Utah does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, status as a disabled individual, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information or protected veteran's status, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services. Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities. Inquiries concerning perceived discrimination or requests for disability accommodations may be referred to the University's Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 201 South Presidents Circle, Rm.135, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112,801-581-8365 (voice/tdd), 801-585-5747 (fax), or online at:

Admission decisions are based on the following factors (not necessarily listed in order of importance):

Educational Background:

Applicants should have some undergraduate training in the life sciences, but students with strong chemistry, physics, engineering or mathematics backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Deficiencies in basic undergraduate courses can be remedied in the first year of graduate school.

Undergraduate Performance:

Ideally, the undergraduate record should be strong in all areas. However, evidence of ability to perform well in all science courses, particularly those stressing quantitative skills, is most important. The graduate school requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission.

Research Experience:

Many successful applicants have worked in a laboratory and have obtained an experience-based commitment to a research career. Research months or person months is an important metric to demonstrate research experience. Please visit the link below on how to calculate part time effort in to full time person months. How Do You Convert Percent Effort into Person Months?


Strong statements of support from persons in a position to evaluate the applicant's potential for success as a graduate student have significant impact on admissions decisions. Letters from instructors supervising research are strongly encouraged. (We do not require a letter of recommendation form).


We no longer require the GRE. Please do not submit scores. Any scores submitted will not be reviewed by the admissions committee.

TOEFL scores (for International students):

International applicants are required to submit an official TOEFL for students whose first language is not English. Can I waive the TOEFL exam? English Proficiency Requirement guide

Personal/Research Statement:

The personal/research statement should be articulate and give evidence of a strong commitment to research. Mention of specific, well-focused interests is useful, but not essential; overly vague statements may be detrimental. The statement offers the applicant a unique opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking ability.

Personal Interview (North American residents only):

Promising applicants are invited to visit the University of Utah to meet graduate students and faculty members and to learn more about the graduate program, the University, and the local environment. Travel, food, and lodging costs are paid by the Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program.


MD-PhD Program

Last Updated: 6/7/24