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How to Apply - Admissions


Students entering the program typically have a baccalaureate degree in one of the natural or applied sciences (e.g., Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Neuroscience, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering). Successful applicants will usually have had college-level coursework, or equivalent professional experience, in disciplines relevant for neuroscience, including the biological sciences, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. In addition, prior laboratory research experience is strongly recommended.


Applicants must have earned a U.S. baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college, university, or technical school of acceptable standing. Students in their final year of undergraduate study may be admitted on the condition that their bachelor's degrees are awarded before they matriculate. Evidence of the earned degree is required prior to matriculation in the form of an official transcript noting degree conferral.

Application Requirements for PhD Programs

It is expected that all application materials (with the exception of official score reports) be scanned and uploaded to your online application. Please note that the University of Rochester reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all transcripts and test scores, and to require submission of official documentation at any point in the admissions review process.

  1. Create an SMD Graduate Admissions Application
  2. Statement of Purpose
  3. Uploaded copy of transcript(s) to online application.
    Please do not mail a hard copy at this time.
  4. 3 Letters of Recommendation
  5. GRE Scores will not be used by the admissions committee even if submitted.  Note, because we share our admissions system with other programs, currently we are unable to remove the field to collect GRE information.  Applicants can disregard this field. If GRE scores are submitted, the committee will not look at it or take it into account when making admissions decisions.
  6. Official TOEFL (SMD school code: 2948, SOPHAS application code: 5688) or IELTS Scores
    For applicants whose native language is not English.

The following programs require a writing sample: Epidemiology and Health Services Research and Policy. Otherwise, research papers, publications and other original works, as well as resumes and CVs may also be submitted for consideration, but are not required.

It is expected that all application materials (with the exception of official score reports) be scanned and uploaded to your online application. Please do not include secondary school documentation, financial documentation, etc., as these are not utilized during the admissions process.

PhD Application Timeline

For Admission to Fall Semester

  • By December 1st  - The $60 application fee is automatically waived
  • By December 15th - Complete application due ($60 application fee applies)
  • After December 15th - applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 1, at each program’s discretion. For a list of programs that will consider applications until January 1, please check here.
  • December - January - Interviews scheduled
  • February - Interviews held
  • February - March - Offer of admission notices mailed after interviews
  • By April 15 - Responses due for offer of admission
  • July - Online application opens
  • September - Fall semester begins