Thank you for your interest in the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) at the University of Michigan.  Our diverse student population comes from a wide range of educational, scientific and geographic backgrounds.  Many questions are answered in the following FAQ's.  For additional questions contact






Which Way Should I Apply?
Accordion Body: 

There are 2 ways to apply.  Which one is best for me?

The Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) allows students to apply directly to the NGP, through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) and through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) for those interested in dually pursuing an MD/PhD degree.

Applicants choosing to apply DIRECT are typically interested solely in Neuroscience and have an undergraduate career that has been targeting a graduate research program. Many applicants coming from a psychology or behavioral biology background prefer to apply via this route.      H Applicants choosing to apply through PIBS are allowed maximum flexibility through an interdisciplinary gateway that encompasses 13 degree programs.   
The Direct Application deadline is DECEMBER 1st. Click here to apply H The PIBS Application deadline is DECEMBER 1st. Click here for additional information about PIBS and the Application Process










It should be noted that the differences in Direct and PIBS admissions is purely one of timing and not content. Both routes of admission will complete the same neuroscience courses with the NGP. Students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States will receive identical packages of financial support, regardless of route of admission.

*The GRE is NOT required for either Direct or PIBS admissions

Applicants interested in pursuing a dual MD/PhD should apply through the MSTP program. More information including application requirements and timing is available here. 

What if I'm an International Student?
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All International applicants are REQUIRED to apply through PIBS. International applicants must submit scores from the TOEFL exam unless the program verifies that English is their native language or they have obtained a Bachelor or Master degree from an English speaking institution. (Institution code 1839) Click here for additional information about the international application process.  

Do You Offer Application Fee Waivers?
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Most fee waivers are administered by the Rackham Graduate School and more details are available on their website. In addition, the NGP is happy to provide further information about fee waivers and encourage those who need fee waivers to reach out to us through this "request for information form", including Neuro specific fee waivers. Please click here for further details. 

Who Makes Admissions Decisions?
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Applications are evaluated by an Admissions Committee (members shown under "Admissions Committee" below) comprised of Neuroscience faculty and student representatives who represent areas within the program. The most important criterion for admission to the Program is a demonstrated aptitude for and commitment to laboratory research in neuroscience. A Bachelor's degree or its equivalent is required. All applicants must meet Rackham's Minimum Requirements for Admission. 

What are the Typical Courses Applicants Take Prior to Applying to NGP?
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Prior to admission many of our applicants take courses in:

  • Introductory biology (or other courses such as cell biology, physiology, or genetics)
  • Introductory neuroscience, physiological psychology or animal behavior
  • Mathematics through calculus
  • Physics
  • Chemistry (organic, inorganic or biochemistry)

These courses are not required and are only an example of typical courses that many of our applicants take.                                                                                                                                     

All applicants are required to upload a scanned copy of their transcript (official or unofficial issued to student) with the online application for review by the admissions committee faculty.           

The GRE test is NOT required for either route of admission and any scores submitted will not be reviewed by the admissions committee.

Is the GRE Test Required?
Accordion Body: 

The GRE test is NOT required for either route of admission and any scores submitted will not be reviewed by the admissions committee.

How Are Applications Reviewed?
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The NGP is committed to a holistic review process and gives careful consideration to the entire application packet, including (but not limited to) the personal and educational statements and letters of recommendation.  The following categories are evaluated for each applicant: 1.) research experience, 2.) academic preparation, 3.) research potential and growth-capacity, and 4.) motivation and perseverance,  Each applicant is reviewed by multiple members of the Admissions Committee (members shown below).  The committee then collectively discusses the applications and decides who will be invited for interviews.

Are Students Interviewed During the Admissions Process?
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Yes, applicants who are strong candidates for admission will be invited to interview with NGP faculty members, members of the admissions committee and NGP administration and current NGP students. Recruits will spend time learning about the Graduate Program and Ann Arbor and getting to know our graduate students. Interviews for the Fall 2021 cohort will be taking place in early 2021 and will all be held virtually due to Covid-19.

When Will I Know About My Admissions Decision?
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Applicants who are being considered for interviews will begin hearing from us in mid to late December. All final admissions decisions will be communicated to applicants no later than March 30th.

If Admitted, How Will I Be Funded and What Courses Will I Take?
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All NGP students receive an annual stipend, tuition and health insurance while in good academic standing. This funding comes from a variety of sources depending on your year of study, eligibility for training grants and faculty mentor. In addition, at least one term of support while you are a student will come from a teaching experience.  Direct or PIB applicants that are admitted to NGP are guaranteed funding for their entirety, as long as they remain in good academic standing.  The program is unable to offer paid leave of absences.

NGP students take a number of classes in the first year to prepare them for careers in teaching and basic and applied research. Our current curriculum can be found here, 

The 2021 - 2022 Admissions Committee
Accordion Body: 

The 2021-2022 NGP Admissions Committee 

Dr. Carol Elias, NGP Director, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 

Dr. Shelly FlagelCo-Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment, Neuroscience Institute; Psychiatry; Psychology 

Dr. Michael Roberts, Co-Associate Director of Admissions,  Otolaryngology

Dr. Audrey Seasholtz, NGP DEI Representative and R25 Director, Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Kenneth Kwan, Human Genetics, Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Joanna Spencer-Segal, Internal Med, Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Patrice Fort, Opthamology; Physiology

Dr. Sam Kwon, MCDB

Dr. Omar Ahmed, Psychology

Dr. Michael Sutton, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience Institute

Dr. Kamran Diba,  Anesthesiology

Dr. Mattias Truttmann, Physiology

Dr. Peng Li, Life Science Institute, MIP, Dental

Dr. Zhongming Liu, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Jillian Hardee, Psychiatry

Dr. Maria Castro, Neurosurgery, CDB

Dr. Giancarlo Vanini,  Anesthesiology

Dr. Monica Dus, MCDB

Dr. Wenjing Wang, Chemistry, Life Sciences Institute

Dr. Anuska Andelkovic-Zochowska, Neurosurgery, Pathology

Emma Huels, NGP Student Representative

Jenn Jaime, NGP Student Representative