Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Complete the online application found on this web site and submit.

What is the deadline for complete applications?
The deadline for complete applications (including all necessary documents) is December 1, 2014.

Do I need to complete the University application and pay the application fee?
Yes, you do need to complete the University application and the fee is $85.Fee waivers cannot be granted at this time.

What other documents do I need to supply?
You must send official transcripts from all institutions attended, three (3) letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (if you wish to write more than what you have already written on the application, request official GRE test scores (and for international students, TOEFL scores) from ETS. Photocopies are not acceptable. We prefer to have all of the materials submitted online through online application system (with the exception of your official transcripts). However, if you prefer to mail in your documents, please mail them to the address listed below. The institution code for GRE/TOEFL is: 4852. The department code for GRE is 0213 and the department code for the TOEFL is 30.

If I received a Master’s degree in the United States, may I request a TOEFL exam waiver?
Unless you have received your undergraduate degree from a U.S accredited institution, you are NOT eligible from waiving your TOEFL requirement.

What are the requirements for the statement of purpose:
Your personal statement should include the following elements:
1) Why you wish to pursue a graduate education.
2) Why you wish to attend graduate school at USC.
3) Why you feel you are a good candidate for our program.
4) What are your research interests and why.
5) Explain in detail any research experience you may have had and what you learned from it.
6) Your goal upon completion of the program.

The statement of purpose should be uploaded along with your CV/Resume as supplemental material to your application.

The online application system requires that all official transcripts are sent to the Office of Admissions and the department, if so, how many copies are needed?
All official transcripts are to be sent to Ashley Zaragoza at the following address listed below:

University of Southern California
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Hedco Neuroscience Bldg. RM 120J
3641 Watt Way
Los Angeles, CA. 90089

Once your transcripts are processed, the department will submit it to the Office of Admissions for you. One copy of your official transcript is sufficient

Is there a form for letters of recommendation?
A cover form for the letters of recommendation is provided for submission online. However, the form is not necessary, We prefer that all letters of recommendation are submitted through the online application system. However, if letters are to be mailed, please mail them directly to Ashley Zaragoza (to the address indicated above). If mailed, all letters of recommendations should be written on institution letterhead and must arrive in sealed envelopes. Opened letters will not be accepted. Additionally, all letters of recommendation are considered confidential and you waive your right to access. If you do NOT wish to waive this right of access, you MUST have your referee attach a brief statement from you indicating that you have NOT waived your right of access to this letter and give it to your referee before (s)he writes the letter. S(he) must know that you may request access.

Do I need to submit a cover page with my official transcripts?
No cover page is necessary. Please have all of your transcripts from all Universities attended sent to Ashley Zaragoza at the address above.

Am I eligible for financial aid?
It is the policy of the program to support each student we admit. This support comes in many forms: Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships and Fellowships. All awards include full tuition remission, a monthly stipend for living expenses (currently $2,300 per month over 5 months in the Fall and Spring semesters with an additional $3,000 in May and June) and payment of student health insurance and student health center fees.

When will I know the decision on my application?
We will notify students as soon as possible of our decision. For students admitted to the program, decisions will be made on a rolling basis beginning in late February/early March. Final decisions for all students will be made by the end of April.

May I contact faculty members in the program?
It is strongly recommended that you contact faculty in whose research you are interested. Email addresses for each faculty will be found in the Faculty Directory.

May I visit the campus?
We arrange for some applicants to come to visit the campus. This is by invitation only and the program covers expenses. If you are not invited to visit and still wish to do so, you may but you will need to cover expenses. Please contact the graduate student advisor at least 1 month in advance of such a visit.

If you have specific questions, please contact the graduate program administrative assistant at ashleyz@usc.edu