How to Apply

Admissions Requirements

2024 Hopkins Neuroscience Graduate Program Virtual Open House Registration

Late October or Early November 2024 (exact date/time coming soon)
Please register below to receive the zoom link:

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins. We use a holistic approach to evaluating applicants and look forward to reading your application. We are most enthusiastic about applicants who have taken full advantage of the opportunities available at their undergraduate institution and through other summer or postbac experiences. Our class size is typically 14-16 students per year.

Applicants are expected to have received a B.S. or B.A. prior to enrolling in the graduate program. Laboratory research experience prior to enrollment is also desirable. If you have research experience, please describe your research in your Statement of Interest and Career Objectives and indicate the number of months engaged in full-time and part-time research on your CV. Students who do well in our program typically have a strong academic foundation in areas of biological or physical sciences. Some of the courses that prepare students well include general biology, neuroscience, mathematics through calculus, general physics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics, engineering, or computer science.

Vivien Thomas PhD Scholars at JHU
The Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative (VTSI) is a new endowed fellowship program at Johns Hopkins for PhD students in STEM fields. It provides full tuition, stipend, and benefits while also providing targeted mentoring, networking, community, and professional development opportunities. Students who have attended a historically black college and university (HBCU) or other minority serving institution (MSI) for undergraduate study are eligible to apply. More information about the VTSI program is available at this link: To be considered for the VTSI, all application and supplementary materials must be received by December 1, 2024.

NOTE: The Neuroscience Program DOES NOT require GRE scores. 

Application materials requested in the online application include:

1. Transcripts. Applicants will need to list all colleges and universities they attended. A transcript will need to be uploaded from each school attended. 
2. Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum). Please include the length of time for any full-time or part-time research experiences, any work experience, any abstracts, poster presentations or manuscripts authored in your CV.
3. Statement of Interest and Career Objectives (1 page maximum). The statement should include your motivations for pursuing a graduate degree in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins and should describe your scientific preparation (research experiences) and your long-term career goals. The statement should enable the admissions committee to determine that: 1) you are committed to pursuing a PhD in neuroscience and understand what is needed to succeed in graduate school, 2) you are intellectually engaged in science and your research, and 3) that the program in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins is a good fit for your research and career interests. Please name faculty whose work you find particularly interesting and with whom you would like to complete your thesis research. If you are interested in our joint program with the Janelia Research Campus, please indicate your interest by including one to four Janelia Group Leaders with whom you would like to complete your thesis research. For more information visit Janelia research.
4. Personal Statement (1 page maximum). Our program is dedicated to creating an inclusive scientific environment for all scientists. Please describe how your personal background has prepared you to operate in a diverse environment, as well as your contributions to support and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in science. In this section, you may include information such as the following: 1) Your efforts to address the barriers to equitable access in higher education faced by racial minorities, persons with disabilities, first generation and low-income students, LGBTQIA+ individuals, women, and other historically underrepresented individuals in higher education; 2) What you have learned from the barriers that others face; 3) If you are comfortable, the barriers you have overcome throughout your academic journey; and/or 4) Your involvement in organizations, research, or related work in supporting historically underserved populations and how that influenced your outlook on science, and/or any plans you might have to be involved in these efforts at Hopkins. 
5. Letters of recommendation. Applicants must identify three people who are familiar with the applicant’s work and provide contact info for these references. The contact info will be entered into the application, and SOM will contact the references and ask them to submit letters of recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Letters should preferably come from faculty members or other professionals who are in a position to comment on the applicant’s aptitude for independent research and motivation for applying to the program.
6. International students whose native language is not English are required to complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). When taking the exam, applicants should request official scores be reported to Institution Code 5316 (the Department Code is not necessary). To report official IELTS test scores, please include the Test Report Form (TRF) verification number on the application. Scores must be received before the application deadline. The TOEFL requirement is waived for students who have studied at a university within the U.S. or if you received your degree from an institution where English was the primary language of instruction. Students who studied in Puerto Rico do NOT have to submit a TOEFL score. All transcripts, letters of recommendation, and parts of the Admissions application must be in English. The approved transcript service for use by international students is WES
7. Additional material. There is an option for uploading additional information including a description of any special considerations or additional documents that may support your application.
8. Application fee. Fee waivers are available for applicants who are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and meet additional eligibility criteria as described in part below. These include: 1) military service, 2) low income status, and 3) participation in programs such as the Johns Hopkins Basic Science Institute Summer Internship Program including the NeuroSIP and Kavli SIP programs, Johns Hopkins Doctoral Diversity Program, Johns Hopkins Post-Baccalaureat Research Education Program (PREP), Johns Hopkins Neuroscience Scholars Program, Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, Minority Access Research Careers (MARC), Minority Access Research Support Program (RISE), attendance at ABRCMS or SACNAS, or attendance at a Neuroscience Outreach Program, among others. 

For a complete description of the fee waiver process, please see the Application Fees and Fee Waiver Instructions on the On-Campus Admission website.

All students accepted into the Neuroscience Training Program will receive a living allowance in the form of a stipend, full tuition waiver, and health and dental insurance. Funding for International students is more limited as only U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and U.S. permanent residents are eligible for U.S. NIH funding. International students who apply for and receive outside support for their graduate education often exhibit the characteristics of successful applicants to our program. Although not required, it can be advantageous for international students to secure such funding.

Inquiries regarding the program and its admissions requirements:

The deadline for submission of completed applications including letters of recommendation is December 1, 2024. NOTE that this is an earlier deadline than for other graduate programs at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

The neuroscience program will host an interview event in February 2025 (date TBD). Attending the interview event is by invitation only. 

All candidates will be notified of the Admissions Committee's decision by April 15, 2025. All Johns Hopkins graduate students will undergo criminal background checks as is the policy of the School of Medicine.

We recognize that it can be financially burdensome to relocate to a new city to attend a PhD program. Students who are admitted to PhD programs at JHU can apply to receive a $1500 need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to JHU. These grants provide funding to a portion of incoming students who, without this money, may otherwise not be able to afford to relocate to JHU for their PhD program. This is not a merit-based grant. Applications will be evaluated solely based on financial need. For more information, visit the Office of the Provost webpage on Need-based Relocation Grants for Incoming PhD Students

Application Portal (2024-2025):
Link will be available September 1st, 2024