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Entrance Requirements


  1. Applicants must hold a four-year undergraduate degree.
    • Applicants may be considered for admission before finishing their undergraduate degree, but they must complete this degree before enrolling at Northwestern.
    • An undergraduate degree in does not necessarily need to be in a 'hard  science' field such as Neuroscience, Genetics, Biology, Chemistry, etc., but all applicants will need to have completed the coursework below.
  2. Strong performance (B+ or greater) in the following coursework is expected:
    • One year of Chemistry
    • One year of Biology
    • One semester of Organic Chemistry
    • One semester of Physics
    • One semester of Calculus or advanced math


The admissions committee looks for substantial laboratory research experience of at least nine months. Applicants who do not have significant prior research experience have found it difficult to complete the program in one year.

We ask for students to include a description of their research experiences in their Statement of Purpose.

Test Scores

Standardized test scores, such as the GRE and MCAT, are not required but recommended.

For International students, the TOEFL or IELTS examination is required.

Minimum scores for admission to the MS Program in Neurobiology:

The exams must not be taken more than two years before the intended quarter of entry. For example, if you are applying for Fall 2016 entry, test scores must be no older than September 2014.

All International students whose native language is not English must take the Versant English test once they arrive on campus.

The program will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirements for students that receive bachelor degrees from certified institutions where the primary language is English. Most accredited American universities will meet this requirement.

For a detailed breakdown of admission statistics, please see Program Statistics.

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