Application Information

Thank you for considering the Neuroscience Graduate Program at OHSU as one of your potential destinations for advanced studies. We're thrilled to have you on board, and we invite you to explore further by using the dropdown menu below to learn more about our application process and the enriching graduate student life that awaits you in our program.

Dates Information
Sept 1, 2023 Application opens
Sept 20-Nov 20, 2023 Recruitment & Admissions Info Sessions (*Please visit the Info Session page, see link below chart, for more information and exact dates/times)
Dec 1, 2023 All application materials due
Mid-late Dec Admissions Committee review completed; invitations for interview sent by email
Feb 12-16 2024 Interview weekend (virtual)
March 14-15 2024 In-person visit
Mid-March Admission decisions are announced
April 15, 2024 Final date for accepting offer of admissions

Please visit the following pages for Instructions for Domestic Applicants or the Instructions for International Applicants for more detailed information on the application.

The $70.00 application fee is due by December 1st, along with all other application components. Fee waivers are available and approved by the Graduate Studies office. Applicants who are economically disadvantaged can request a waiver by contacting and (in the same email) before submitting their applications. Fee waivers are also approved for applicants who have participated in the following:

  • Murdock Undergraduate Collaborative Research Program
  • McNair Scholars Program
  • Meyerhoff Scholars Program
  • NGP/Vollum Summer Research Program
  • NIH Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP)
  • OHSU Summer Equity Program
  • Annual Biomedical Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)
  • SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference
  • American Indian Science and Engineering (AISES)

Waiver requests from applicants (and/or programs on the applicant’s behalf) with extenuating circumstances will be reviewed.

We use a holistic admissions approach during our admissions process, which means we take into account multiple aspects of the applicant’s application, including experiences, skills, and personal characteristics. Please visit our What We Look For in Prospective Applicants page for a detailed description of the 9 key metrics we use for application evaluation.

GRE score submission is optional and scores are not used as a component in the NGP’s application review process. If you wish to submit GRE scores, OHSU's ETS institutional code is 4865.

The NGP does not have a minimum cumulative GPA requirement. However, if an applicant’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 or if individual course grades fall below a B- (in the course categories listed What We Look For in Prospective Applicants page), we ask for an explanation in the application portal. For more information, please visit our What We Look For in Prospective Applicants page.

The 2022/23 entering stipend is $35,803. Based on a tentative agreement between the Graduate Researcher's Union and the School of Medicine, stipends will increase to $40,000 in July 2024. The renewal of the union contract moving forward will determine stipend levels. In the first year, the program covers tuition, fees, and health insurance from training grants and institutional funds. Incoming students will also receive a $1,000 travel allowance for the first year. In addition, students receive a $1000 travel allowance after passing the qualifying exam to be used in years 3-5. 

Tuition, fees, and health insurance is entirely covered for students. After the first year, students join a lab and are funded through the lab or the department. Though we encourage students to be teaching assistants after their first year, there are no teaching requirements tied to funding. Students are expected to continue to work on their research in the lab and make good progress towards their degree. Funding is guaranteed for students until they graduate. 

For international students, it is important to join a lab that has ample funding. All of our international students have been successful finding labs and have not had funding issues related to their citizenship status.

NGP students have been very successful in securing external grant funding. We currently have 2 HHMI Gilliam Fellows, 4 NSF GRFP recipients, 5 NRSA recipients, and 1 NRSA-DSPAN recipient, with approximately 24% of the current students having secured external funding. Students in their 2nd and 3rd year are strongly encouraged to apply for individual NRSAs. Our qualifying exam is based upon an NRSA application, which allows students to receive ample feedback for a top-notch NRSA application.

Our program is uniquely arranged to provide a good foundation and introduction into graduate school in late summer followed by an intense fall semester of core courses. The core curriculum is presented as a 12 week block from the last week in September until the first week in December. An exam at the end of that block serves as the Written Comprehensive. You can come in early summer and do a rotation, but there are no required rotations during the12 weeks of the fall term. However, during the core course there are a number of activities to introduce new students to a large number of labs so you can make informed choices on rotations. Students will then enter full time rotations to complete the 3 required rotations (minimum length 2 months) and choose a lab by late spring of the 1st year. The deadline for the Oral Qualifying Exam is April of the 2nd year. Once you pass the Oral, you advance to candidacy. 

The average graduation time is just over 5 years, facilitated by proactive measures to keep students on track. Crucially, we ensure regular meetings of Dissertation Advisory Committees, occurring at least every 6 months upon entering a thesis lab. Traditionally, most graduates pursued postdocs, leading to careers in academia or industry. Our program has garnered a stellar reputation for assisting graduate students in securing competitive postdoctoral positions. Additionally, our prior graduates have excelled in roles outside of formal research in various positions, including program officers, health policy analysts, science writers, patent attorneys, educators, clinicians, and more.

Established in 1992, our first graduates emerged in 1998. Given that the majority of our alumni graduate less than 25 years ago, most of our alumni are still early in their careers. Check our list of  NGP graduates and their current locations.

There are several resources available to students that help promote health and wellness: 

  1. The Student Health and Wellness Center supports the health and well-being of students during their time at OHSU.
  2. The Racial Equity and Inclusion Center is available to help NGP students navigate and manage challenging personal and interpersonal aspects of graduate training. They are available to: 
    1. Help students find a therapist 
    2. Discuss how to find the right therapist fit
    3. Strategizing on resolving PI/lab member conflict 
    4. Strategizing solutions to achieve life balance (also known as work-life balance)

We understand that COVID-19 has created significant and unique challenges for prospective students. Our admissions committee reaffirms its commitment to a holistic application review process. Most importantly, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Credit/No Credit and other grading options during this unprecedented period of COVID-19 disruption, whether they are made by institutions or by individual students. Our goal remains to form an NGP cohort from a diversity of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that enrich the graduate educational experience.

OHSU strongly recommends that all OHSU members, regardless of their work location or job function, remain “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccines, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under the revised policy as of June 12, 2023, all students must be “fully vaccinated” or “up-to-date” with COVID-19 vaccinations OR they must submit a declination form via Enterprise Health and adhere to Student Health’s current requirements designed to minimize COVID-19 transmission. To submit declination forms, please contact for step-by-step instructions. New students wishing to submit a declination should do so when they receive their network login credentials (usually about 30 days before the start of your program).

Review OHSU Policy 03-30-150 and Policy 02-90-010, and remain in compliance for the duration of enrollment at OHSU.

If you have other questions pertaining to the Neuroscience Graduate Program or would like additional information, please email us at

Please direct technical questions regarding the online application to:  or call Customer Service 857-304-2017 Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm EST.