Apply to our Neuroscience Program

Required materials, application timeline, and frequently asked questions.

Application deadline: December 1 (applications cycle opens in July each year)

Admission requirements

  • Cumulative GPA (all courses) minimum 3.0
Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are no longer required and will not be evaluated.

How to apply

Required materials

  • WSU graduate school application
  • College transcripts (unofficial acceptable for initial review–upon admittance official transcripts are required by the WSU Graduate School)
  • Three (3) letters of reference submitted directly by the reference writer
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB scores or language waiver for all international applicants from a country whose primary language is not English.
  • Personal statement (350 words maximum)
    1. Describe why you are interested in studying neuroscience and identify faculty mentors (minimum of 3) you are interested in working with and explain why (if admitted to WSU, you will be able to change your choice of mentor during lab rotations).
    2. Describe an achievement you are proud of and discuss how you reached your goal and any obstacles you had to overcome to reach it. Or conversely, tell us about a time when you didn’t achieve a goal and what you learned from the experience.
  • Writing statement (350 words maximum + 350 words for citations)
    1. Describe a major finding in neuroscience and/or biomedicine over the past five (5) years and explain why you think it was important. Be sure to cite references used after the writing statement.
**Submitting a document over the maximum word length may result in your application’s disqualification from consideration

We encourage applicants to contact faculty members who they may be interested in working with prior to review of admissions documents. 

2023-2024 Application Timeline


July – August

  • Application cycle opens

December 1

  • Application deadline



  • Interviews


  • Recruitment and visitation weekend early March (invited applicants only)
  • Admission decisions (neuroscience students are admitted once a year to start fall semester)

April 15

  • Deadline to accept or decline offer


  • Graduate orientation & leadership retreat (dates to be announced)
  • First day of classes

Frequently Asked Questions

No, we accept students from all disciplines. However, we look heavily at the science and math background of any students who are accepted.

No, a MS degree is not necessary to apply for the PhD program.

Applicants generally will be expected to have completed courses in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, calculus, physics, statistics, and a minimum of three (3) courses in different areas of the biological sciences. 

Completed applications will be reviewed until all spots in the program have been filled for the upcoming year.

The faculty you list give the Graduate Studies Committee a better idea of whom you would like to work with and the potential lab rotations if admitted.

Students in the neuroscience PhD program do not have to have a mentor when they begin their program. They can do three laboratory rotations before deciding on their mentor by the end of their first semester.

MS students need to have an identified and agreed upon mentor when they are admitted to the MS program.

We encourage you to email neuroscience faculty directly to express your interest in potentially joining their lab.

Students must remain at the same campus location as their research mentor. If a student needs to be in a specific location, they should find a mentor on that campus (Pullman, Vancouver, or Spokane).

The Program does not provide application fee waivers.

The neuroscience program invites selected students to interview in Pullman during the month of February. The program will cover necessary travel and lodging expenses for this trip.

PhD students who are accepted into the neuroscience program will normally receive a graduate assistantship with a tuition waiver and health insurance as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA and perform satisfactorily in the research laboratory.

No funding is available for MS students, however, there is a possibility the student’s mentor may have funding for a research assistantship or there may be TA opportunities in other programs.

Questions? Contact the graduate neuroscience program or see Graduate School FAQs.