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Neuroscience, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 60 months
University rank #21 (ARWU) San Francisco, CA, United States
The University of California, San Francisco offers an interdisciplinary program for graduate training in neuroscience. The purpose of this program is to train doctoral students for independent research and teaching in neuroscience. Participation in Neuroscience Program activities does not require membership in the Neuroscience Program. 
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  • Our program seeks to train students who will be expert in one particular approach to neuroscientific research, but will also have a strong general background in other areas of neuroscience and related disciplines. To achieve this objective, our students take interdisciplinary core and advanced courses in neuroscience, as well as related courses sponsored by other graduate programs. In addition, they carry out research under the supervision of faculty members in the program.
  • We utilize innovative cellular, computational, electrophysiological, genetic, imaging and molecular strategies to address outstanding problems in neuroscience.  These approaches are employed in an integrative manner to engage in research in all areas of neuroscience, including behavior, biophysics, cell biology, development, neural systems, and disorders of the nervous system.
  • Our curriculum and the system of laboratory rotations expose students to different fields in neuroscience, enabling them to make an informed choice about their thesis research.  The high quality of the research and the collaborative nature of the UCSF environment offer a unique opportunity in which to take advantage of the interdisciplinary nature of research at the frontier of modern neuroscience.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 60 months
    • Duration description

      Typically it takes five to six years to earn a PhD degree.

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Neuroscience. Essential Concepts and Methods
  • Basic Concepts in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Basic Concepts for Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Systems and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Scientific Writing
  • Experimental Design
  • Current Topics in Neuroscience
  • Analysis of Neural and Behavioral Data
  • Topics in Basic or Translational Neuroscience (Mini Courses)
  • Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research

For more information, please visit the programme website.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • GRE 
  • TOEFL: International applicants are required are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreing Language). We will accept an IELTS score in lieu of the TOEFL.
  • Transcripts: The applicant must download transcripts directly to the online application. (Only students who are admitted will be required to submit official transcripts sent directly to UCSF from the institution.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required. Additional letters will be accepted. It is the applicant's responsibility to invite recommenders to submit letters and follow up with the recommenders to ensure that letters will arrive by the December 1st  deadline.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    52689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 52689 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • National

    52689 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 52689 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
  • In-State

    40444 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 40444 USD per year and a duration of 60 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Financial Support
The stipend level is currently $32,500 for the 2014-2015 academic year. The stipend level is set annually by the P.I.B.S. Executive Committee after reviewing the cost of living in San Francisco. The program guarantees support for all of its students as long as they are making satisfactory progress toward their degrees although, in most cases, much of the support for senior students is provided by Ph.D. thesis laboratories. The program or Ph.D. thesis laboratory pays required tuition and fees on behalf of students directly to the university.All entering and first-year students are encouraged to apply for NSF fellowships as well as other fellowships for which individuals might qualify. United States citizens who wish to enter the Program should apply for non-university financial support at the appropriate time so that support can be activated at the time of enrollment. Information about NSF and other fellowships is available from The Fellowship Office, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418 or the web sites of individual funding foundations and agencies. Foreign students should apply for support from appropriate national and international governmental agencies and foundations. In addition, University fellowships and graduate scholarships are available through the University of California. Fellowships with lower stipends than the PIBS support of $32,500 will be supplemented to this level. To facilitate the program's efforts to guarantee full support for its students, all eligible students are expected to become residents of the State of California before beginning their second years of study.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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