Quick Links


For ALL questions or inquiries regarding admission, financial aid, immigration matters, test scores, and transcripts use the askUSC student support website.  For more detailed information and instructional videos, visit the USC Graduate Admissions Video link.

University application fee and fee waivers

The University application fee is $90.

USC offers several options for graduate application fee waivers. Please review these options before you submit your application, so you can make the appropriate selection to request a waiver. In order for you to apply with a fee waiver, the Office of Graduate Admission must approve your request before you can submit your application. If your fee waiver request is denied you must pay the application fee before submission. You can utilize a fee waiver only once so please make sure to apply to all the programs for which you would like to be considered at the same time.
Visit here for more information.

Additionally, NGP has a limited number of USC Sponsored Application Fee Waivers.  Application fee waivers are available for students who are permanent residents, eligible for AB540 benefits or U.S. citizens.  Eligibility Requirements include, receiving a need based scholarship, being part of an Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), and or being a MARC, Fullbright, or McNair Scholar.  Please contact NGP to receive more information on applying for a USC Sponsored Application Fee Waiver. The last day to request a fee waiver from the NGP is Friday, November 20, 2020.

Required Documents

The application to the Neuroscience Graduate Program requires the following materials to be uploaded to the on-line admissions system:

Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

CV or Resume

Statement of Purpose

Three Letters of Recommendation

GRE – no longer required as of 2020

TOEFL scores (TOEFL Exam Exemption)

ALL OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS AND TEST SCORES must also be sent using one of the following options:


TOEFL Test Scores (must be submitted by ETS)


Transcripts (must be submitted by institution)


University of Southern California

USC Office of Graduate Admission

3601 South Flower Street, Room 112

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: When listing undergraduate/graduate GPAs (Grade Point Averages) on the Application, please use the system of your university. If you received a percentage grade, provide the average percentage. If you were graded on a scale other than 4.0 (with 4.0 equal to an “A”), please indicate the average grade AND indicate the scale (for example, 8.5/10).

When submitting test scores, use the following Department and Institution Codes

TOEFL Department Code: 30

TOEFL Institution Code: 4852

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should be 2 pages (maximum) with the standard 1 inch margins and 12 font. Please use the statement of purpose to describe your research interest, as well as previous experience and your desire to join the NGP program.

Your personal statement should include the following elements:

1) Why you wish to pursue a graduate education.

2) Why you wish to join NGP at USC.

3) Why you are a good candidate for the program.

4) What your research interests are. Explain.

5) Detail all research experience and what you learned.

6) Your goal upon completion of the program.

The statement of purpose should be uploaded along with your CV/Resume in the documents section of your application.

Letters of Recommendation

In the Program Materials Section – Recommendation, applicants must enter at least 3 faculty recommenders.  Applicants may enter up to five faculty recommenders for consideration. All letters of recommendation are submitted through the online application system.

Once you have saved an electronic recommendation, an email request will automatically be sent to the recommender on your behalf. This can happen before the application is submitted.  Please advise your recommender to look for this email in their inbox, as well as their spam or junk-mail folder, as emails do occasionally get filtered out.

Additionally, all letters of recommendation are considered confidential and you waive your right to access.  It is the applicants responsibility to ensure that the letters of recommendation are submitted on time, before the December 1st deadline.

Recruitment Process

Applicants Living in the USA

If your application is being considered for acceptance by the NGP Admissions Committee you will receive an email no later than the 1st week of February and will be given the opportunity to visit during one of our three recruitment sessions (dates to be determined)*.

During a visit, prospective students will have ample opportunities to learn about the NGP Program. The visit will include:

  • interviews with faculty
  • interact with current graduate students and faculty, and participate in engaging social activities
  • tour the University Park campus as well as selected research laboratories

Prospective students typically arrive on Thursday and depart on Sunday.

Dress Code

Thursday:  Casual
Friday:  Business casual
Saturday: Casual
Ladies:  Flat shoes recommended.

International Applicants

The most highly qualified applicants living outside the United States may be invited to participate in a phone or Skype interview with a representative of the NGP Admissions Committee. The dates vary, and if your application is being considered for acceptance you will receive an email no later than the 1st week of March to request additional information and to schedule an interview date.

Financial Support

All students admitted to the program are fully supported during their graduate training. Support is provided in many forms, including teaching assistantships, research assistantships, training grants, and University fellowships. All awards include full tuition remission, a monthly stipend for living expenses (for the 2018-2019 academic year: a minimum of $33,000 annually), and payment of student health insurance and student health center fees. All students are encouraged to apply for funding from external sources, which include the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Relocation Scholarship Award:

NGP has a limited number of Relocation Scholarship Awards, for incoming students (Fall 2021) in the Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP). Eligibility requirements include: students relocating from areas 300 miles from the University of Southern California that were qualified for and received a USC Sponsored Application Fee Waiver. Submissions are collected from the relocation scholarship award form and are due before July 15, 2021.

Scholarship amounts are determined by the program and are calculated based on need as well as the federal mileage reimbursement amount for 2021. The scholarship will be disbursed in one payment as a fellowship payment at the beginning of the student’s first term at USC in the NGP. There are a limited number of Relocation Scholarship Awards.

Other Requirements — All regular NGP application requirements must be met, and student must upload a 300-500 word description of financial need and budget justification.

For more details about the NGP Relocation Scholarship, contact ngp@usc.edu, 213-740-2245

Admissions Decisions

We will notify students as soon as possible of our decision. For students admitted to the program, decisions will be made beginning in late February/early March. Final decisions for all students will be made April 15th.

If accepted to NGP, and your degree is from an international institution, you will need to submit your documents for verification to IERF. Below is their contact information:

email: usc@ierf.org

tel: (310) 258-9451

Apply online at: https://apply.ierf.org

For more information, go to:

website: www.ierf.org/usc

Contacting NGP Faculty

Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members at any time during the recruitment process to identify potential research interests at the University of Southern California.

Email addresses for each faculty will be found in the Faculty Directory.

Visiting USC

Applicants are more than welcome to visit the USC campus.  The NGP Office does not arrange these visits, including campus tours or laboratory tours outside of recruitment.  If you wish to schedule your own visit to USC please visit USC Graduate Admissions.

LA Life

For more information on life in Los Angeles please visit LA Life