Admissions Requirements

The Neuroscience and Behavior Program for doctoral students seeks applicants with a record of academic excellence, who can present evidence of strong scientific background and training at the undergraduate level. All graduate admissions are handled according to Graduate School guidelines and procedures. (Please see separate section for information on the Fast-Track Master's Program.)

To be considered for admission to the NSB doctoral program, applicants should demonstrate substantial undergraduate training in the biological and physical sciences. Successful applicants normally have their undergraduate degree in a biological/life science discipline or in experimental psychology. Students with degrees in other fields (physical sciences, mathematics, engineering) and a strong interest in the foundations of neuroscience and behavior are also encouraged to apply. Undergraduate coursework of all applicants should include several semesters of biological science, organic chemistry and/or biochemistry, two semesters of mathematics (through calculus), one semester of statistics and at least two courses in neurobiology or physiological psychology. Outstanding applicants with some deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation may also be considered for admission. Individuals with a Master's degree in a life science discipline from another institution, as well as University of Massachusetts graduate students currently enrolled in participating departments, are eligible for admission to the program.

An initial evaluation of each applicant's record and credentials is the responsibility of an Admissions Committee composed of Neuroscience and Behavior core faculty members. Recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School for acceptance originate from the Graduate Program Director in close consultation with the Admissions Committee and Neuroscience and Behavior Steering Committee.

Admissions criteria include a B average or above in undergraduate and/or graduate-level coursework, and at least two strong letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to assess the applicant's potential for a career in research and teaching in the field of Neuroscience and Behavior. Demonstrated potential for independent research is a particularly important criterion for admission to the program.  Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not used for determining admission and should not be submitted.  Students accepted into the NSB Program are normally supported through their fifth year in residence. Support is provided through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, training grants, University fellowships, and federal funding applied for by the student.