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How to Apply

Admissions Requirements Overview

The Program in Neuroscience accepts students with a variety of backgrounds and interest in pursuing a research-oriented Neuroscience career into the Master of Science program. Most accepted applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a life science related field, although individuals with strong backgrounds in other related disciplines (in particular physics, engineering, mathematics) may also be strong candidates. Research experience in the life sciences is not required but will be considered as a positive indicator that may mitigate a deficiency in the academic record.

Note: We do not offer an online program at this time.

Course Prerequisites

Most successful candidates have completed college level courses in physics, mathematics, organic and inorganic chemistry and advanced biology. It is recommended that students have taken cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, and upper-division neuroscience courses. Students accepted into the program without a prerequisite may be asked to take the appropriate course(s) prior to undertaking specific graduate level courses.

Time to Degree

Full-time students in our Masters of Science in Neuroscience Program will take 12 credits per semester for two consecutive semesters, after which time they can take 9 credits each semester to be considered a full-time student. (This 9 credits, however, is billed at the 12-credit rate, because students are still considered full-time by the Graduate School.) Students finish their degree within 1.5-2 years, on average.

Course plans vary slightly by student, and some students may take more than 30 credits before they have completed all additional degree requirements. In addition to completing at least 30 credits of coursework, students must complete a written research thesis. The amount of time the research and writing takes may also vary between students.

Application & Deadlines

Applicants will apply to the MS in Biomedical Sciences - Neuroscience degree option for Summer term, as incoming students begin coursework in July. Application review begins January 15 and continues on a rolling basis until March 15, with a January 15 preferred deadline for international students in order to process all paperwork on time. Late applications may be considered after the March 15 deadline, space permitting.

Applicants will need the following to apply online through Graduate School Admissions:

Application Requirements

1. Test Scores

Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores, but if desired, scores may be submitted in the Test Scores section of the application, and associated score documents may be uploaded into the Additional Supplemental Materials section of the application.

Either a TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Exam score is required for any applicant without English as a native/first language. Unofficial score documents may be uploaded into the Additional Supplemental Materials section of the application; official scores must be sent to Stony Brook upon admittance into the program.

Our program is able to waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for applicants that have completed a degree at a US institution. Applicants eligible for this waiver should write to the program coordinator ( with an unofficial copy of their US degree transcript to request the waiver on their application.

2. Statement of Purpose

Applicants are asked to upload a document in which applicants should answer the following: “Describe your interest in neurobiology. Discuss briefly any research experience that you’ve had outside the classroom. In which area(s) would you like to focus for your thesis research? What do you propose to do with your advanced degree, professionally?”

3. Additional Supplemental Materials

Applicants should upload the following in this section:

  • Test score documentation as mentioned above
  • Transcripts (unofficial may be submitted during application; official transcripts must be sent to Stony Brook upon admittance into the program*)
  • CV / Resume (optional)

*Once accepted into the program, all applicants must send official, final academic transcripts from each institution directly to the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior, following the Graduate School guidelines. Electronic transcripts (preferred) may be sent to, or can be mailed to:

MS Program Director, Dr. Howard Sirotkin
Department of Neurobiology & Behavior
Life Sciences 573
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5230

4. Recommendations

Applicants must submit names and contact information for three references. The application system will automatically contact them to request recommendation letters, and references will upload letters directly to your application.

5. Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $100 will be charged for your application. Online applicants can pay via debit or credit card with American Express, Visa, MasterCard or Discover logo.

Financial Aid and Additional Information

While the Master’s Program in Neuroscience does not directly offer financial aid, many of our students are able to find Teaching Assistantships with the Undergraduate Biology department on campus. In 2023 the positions offered $5000 per term + a tuition waiver for 1 class (often 4-6 credits). Occasionally advanced MS students receive support from their lab. Additional Graduate Admissions and Financial Aid information can be found on the Graduate School site.


Contact the Master’s Program Coordinator at for program-specific questions or Stony Brook University’s Graduate School Admissions Office.