Please contact the Neuroscience Program administrator:
A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test score
is required. The test must be taken within 5 years of
application. A subject test score is recommended, but
not required. Test scores are one of several criteria
used to make admissions decisions.
We do not accept MCAT scores in place of GRE scores.
Department Code: 0299
You must submit an official and current TOEFL score
if you have not completed a minimum of two years of
study at an institution located in an English-speaking
country. A current score is one received within 2 years
of application. All applicants must comply with the
stated guidelines and no waivers are possible.
We welcome applicants from many different areas of training
who are committed to a career in research. Training
in natural, physical or engineering sciences is the
most common, but others are encouraged for consideration.
The strongest applicants have had significant research
experience and a strong undergraduate record in their
area of concentration, and in related disciplines. Courses
in Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, or Neuroscience are
required. A course in Calculus is recommended.
No. All students admitted to the Division automatically
receive a full stipend
plus health coverage and tuition remission. For more information, see the Division Guide to Student Policies and click on Administrative Support.
The division now allows video conferencing interviews. These are reserved for
occasions when it is not possible for the student to come in person.
We ask for a personal interview in order to meet competitive
applicants, and to allow them to see the Program, visit
the University and interact with current students. A
typical interview visit is ~ 2 days and includes meeting
with 5 or 6 professors in your area (s) of research
interest, as well as informational sessions and social
gatherings with current students. See Candidate
Interview for more details.
For domestic applicants, the Neuroscience program will
cover all travel costs for the interview trip, as well
as costs for lodging and meals. For international applicants,
the Neuroscience Program will cover the same costs,
except for travel to and from a US point of entry.
Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, as
soon as possible after the individual applicant completes
the interview process.
There are many applicants for each position available
in the graduate program. Several criteria are used to
assess an applicant's potential for success. Letters
of recommendation from faculty members are very important.
The applicant's responses to essay questions on the
application form, especially the research description,
are also heavily weighed in assessing an applicant's
potential for graduate study. In addition, each applicant's
academic background and test scores are closely reviewed.
Most successful applicants to the Division score at
or above the 80th percentile in the Graduate Record
Examination general test and have grade point averages
of 3.3 - 3.8.
The number of students entering the program averages
12 people a year.
The average time from start to finish is about 5.5 years.
Graduates of the Neuroscience program find success in
post-doctoral appointments, industry, and faculty positions
in both research and undergraduate institutions. Several
recent graduates have also pursued neuroscience-related
careers in journalism, government and law.
Ph.D. students contribute one semester of teaching assistance
in undergraduate and/or graduate courses. This provides
a necessary experience in the fundamentals of teaching
that is often a component of a successful scientific
career. Should you be interested in further experience,
there are resources to help you develop a teaching portfolio
and opportunities to teach topics at a variety of levels.
Laboratory rotations give you the chance to learn about
a specific lab and professor in more depth before choosing
to stay in a particular lab for thesis work. Three rotations
during the course of the first year are encouraged.
The goal of rotations is to help you find a laboratory
environment and a project that will excite and challenge
you as you develop in your career.
While you can rotate with any professor you wish, because
the goal is to find a thesis lab, rotations should be
with members of the DBBS, and with professors who have
space for you in their lab should you want to stay there
for your thesis.
St. Louis is a great place to live. For a student the
cost of living is low, and there are many activities
going on in and around the city. Applicants get to experience
this first hand during the interview process. The number
of exciting resources and opportunities in the St. Louis
area is far greater than the number of hours a student
has to enjoy them. The weather is moderate with long
springs and falls, and a generally mild winter.
Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences is actively
engaged in the implementation of University-wide efforts
to recruit and retain exceptional students of color.
Additionally, DBBS is involved in extensive
outreach to the community via research programs designed
to provide summer laboratory experiences for pre-college
and college students. Rochelle Smith coordinates diversity
initiatives for the Division through the Office of Diversity
Programs and Community Outreach. For more
information regarding diversity efforts and/or living
in St. Louis, please contact Ms. Smith as indicated
Manager, Diversity Programs & Community Outreach
Campus box 8226
660 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110-1093
Phone: 800.852.9074 or 314.362.7963
Neuroscience students live all over the city and suburbs
of St. Louis, in apartments, houses, and condos. Students
often choose to live in the artsy Central West End,
which is an active and pleasant neighborhood adjacent
to the medical campus of Washington University, and
on the free shuttle route.
You can survive without a car in St. Louis but it is
extremely helpful to enjoy full access to the city.
There is, however, an extensive free shuttle bus service
that besides traveling between the undergraduate campus
and the medical school also provides service to a nation-wide
grocery store, Target, specialty shops and a large fashion
mall. In addition, St. Louis is home to a Metrorail
system (Metrolink) that runs from the airport through
the medical campus and to many points downtown.
Access to the Metrolink is free of charge to Washington
University students. There is also a more extensive
bus system (also free for Washington University students) throughout the city.
Student health insurance is guaranteed with your admission
to the university. While there is no prescription or
dental plan, you have the option to join a low cost
dental program ($10/month) and $100 worth of prescriptions
are covered every year. For details see
For details see http://wusmhealth.wustl.edu/
The Olin Fellowship is available by application to women
entering all graduate programs and departments of the
university. Four years of stipend and tuition funding
is awarded, and the Olin Fellowship also offers numerous
social and educational activities including a yearly
conference planned by fellowship members.
The Lucille P. Markey Special Emphasis Pathway in Human
Pathobiology is a two-year course of study which supplements
the Ph.D. programs in the Division of Biology and Biomedical
Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine.
It consists of a course (Pathobiology of Human Disease
States), an individualized Clinical Mentorship, and
the Annual Educational Retreat. Each year six to seven
students currently enrolled in the Division of Biology
and Biomedical Sciences graduate programs are selected
as Markey Students and two to four postdoctoral fellows
within the School of Medicine are selected as Markey
Fellows. Please see the DBBS
website for more information.
The Cognitive, Computational, and Systems Neuroscience
Curriculum Pathway (CCSN) is a specialized curriculum
that is available to students who are pursuing the Ph.D.
degree in Neuroscience, Psychology, or Neural Engineering
(this includes students in the MSTP program who are
seeking a Ph.D. in one of these areas). Traditional
anatomical, physiological, and behavioral techniques
are combined with cutting-edge engineering approaches
to non-invasive neuroimaging as well as computational
strategies essential for modeling brain function. The
CCSN curriculum helps students develop the critical
thinking skills necessary to tackle problems using interdisciplinary
The Imaging Sciences Pathway offers the opportunity for additional training in
the biology, physics, and chemistry of imaging. The coursework covers an array
of imaging modalities, including optical microscopy, magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and positron emission
tomography (PET). Students can elect to receive advanced training either in
instrumentation or in contrast agent development. See Imaging Sciences Pathway website.
are encouraged to apply for nationally competitive fellowships. Click here for information on an enhanced stipend.