Neuroscience education at NYU has a decades-long history of excellence and strength. Historically focused in two separate doctoral programs, the Doctoral Program in Neural Science (Faculty of Arts and Science) and the Doctoral Program in Neuroscience & Physiology (Sackler Institute, School of Medicine), neuroscience education is now harmonized and engages faculty across multiple departments, inter-disciplinary centers, and campuses. Students receive a comprehensive, interdisciplinary neuroscience education, and they have the opportunity to sample different research experiences before they commit to a topic area and laboratory. Training strongly emphasizes research at the highest level throughout graduate school.



There is a single joint application for the graduate program. Our goal throughout the admissions process is to help you match with the research area that best fits your interests. The program establishes a single set of academic requirements and research and training opportunities for all students. All students receive a PhD from the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science after successfully defending a thesis. You will have the option to indicate on the application if you have a preference for joining either the Neural Science program or the Neuroscience and Physiology program. While we prefer applications to be submitted through this portal, applications made to the Sackler program directly will also be reviewed. You can read more about the similarities and differences between the two programs here. Applicants should indicate in their essays the research areas and faculty that most interest them. Please note, that you also have the opportunity to list as many research areas and faculty members as you like in the application. Applicants that are selected for interviews will be notified in late December and invited to one of two on-campus Open Houses: January 23-24 or February 6-7. Download a copy of our most recent brochure for more information on neuroscience research and graduate education at NYU.

Applicants interested in applying to the Shanghai track of the Doctoral program in Neural Science can also apply using the above application link, and should select the Shanghai campus on the first page of the application form.

MD/PhD applications are handled by the Medical Scientist Training Program.

For those who may be eligible for a fee waiver, please see the GSAS website and apply PRIOR to submitting your application. Please contact Rachel Weintraub-Brevda at with any questions. 



The application for fall 2020 is now open. Please review Information about requirements before applying. Select 'Neural Science' from the program list to be considered by joint neuroscience admissions committee.




Faculty for Research Training

During the first year, students participate in two or three laboratory rotations with graduate program training faculty. At the end of the first year, students will generally select a primary advisor and laboratory from this pool for their thesis work. Students can choose from approximately 80 faculty mentors for their thesis research. Look through a complete list of our program's faculty trainers, which includes links to their individual or lab webpages.


The neuroscience core curriculum provides a necessary breadth of knowledge across major areas of neuroscience and accommodates students with diverse academic backgrounds. In addition, students select an area of specialization based on their research interests. The two areas are: Molecular, Cellular, and Translational (MCT) or Systems, Cognition, and Computation (SCC). By choosing an area of specialization, students are able to delve deeply into the subfields of neuroscience they are most interested in. Visit the curriculum page to learn more about requirements and electives available to our students. 

Mentoring and Milestones

In addition to classes, students learn necessary skills to be successful scientists by having the opportunity to do research rotations, public talks, TA, qualifying examinations, and thesis research before completion of the program. Throughout this process, guidance from program leadership and training faculty is key to each student’s success. To learn more about specific milestones and the commitment of faulty to education, visit our mentoring and milestones page.

Additional Activities and Programs

The program offers numerous opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in communicating scientific concepts and findings, which are essential skills for a future career in biomedical research. In some cases, these entail structured courses or seminars, but in many cases experience comes through community-wide events and student-led groups where students also form important connections with other neuroscientists at NYU and throughout the vibrant New York City neuroscience community. 

Training Grants

Neuroscience graduate students at NYU benefit from a number of NIH-funded institutional training grants. Although graduate students are guaranteed full support throughout their study, independent of their home program, we strongly encourage students as well as postdocs to begin establishing a track record of independent funding as early as possible during their research careers.

Graduate Program Trainees

Trainees in neuroscience education at NYU come from a wide-range of backgrounds including biology, physics, engineering, psychology and work on research questions that encompass molecular, cellular, developmental, systems, cognitive, behavioral, and computational approaches to address the most important questions in the field. Learn more about our current students and recent alumni.

Shanghai Track

NYU's portal campus in Shanghai is recruiting doctoral students through the Shanghai track of the Doctoral Program in Neural Science. NYU Shanghai and its partner East China Normal University jointly operate an Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science. IBCS has a broad vision, the areas of research include neural circuit mechanisms of cognitive function (such as decision-making and human language), and inter-disciplinary computational neuroscience. For more information about IBCS and its faculty, see the program website. Candidates interested in applying to the Shanghai track of the Doctoral program in Neural Science can apply here and select Shanghai as their campus directly on the Neural Science program application.