Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Filling out the University of Minnesota Graduate School application
All students applying to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience should fill out the application form provided by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Graduate School. In order to simplify completion of this form, we hope the following instructions will be useful to you.
The general application form requests two "applicant statements" and a statement of extenuating circumstances if applicable. Relative to our program, the first is the most important.
Statement 1 - Personal Statement (required)
Please write a 1- to 2-page-long personal statement including the following structure.
1. Introduction & Goals
First, and most importantly, your personal statement must make it clear why you want to pursue a PhD in neuroscience specifically. A broad flowery description about your interest in biology since you were 5 years old is not helpful. This statement is easier if you have some laboratory research experience and can speak to why that research experience was motivating.
A clear articulation of “why neuroscience” is imperative.
Please include a statement outlining your immediate educational and long-range career objectives in relation to Neuroscience.
Some of the most important information that you can provide us in an application is the research that you have done. Thus, we ask that you provide a description of the independent research that you have performed to date.
Please include any undergraduate research activities, internships, abstracts/publications, or other experiences you may have had to document your preparation for advanced study in Neuroscience.
For each research project you led or were involved in, please use the following subsections to help you summarize your studies: Background, Experimental Question, Methods, Results and Discussion. Please be brief while providing sufficient detail. Note that the results do not have to have been published and they can have come out either positively or negatively - we are most interested in your experiences with the research itself. If you have a lot of research experience, you can list the experiences you’ve had and go into detail on one or two of them.
3. Graduate Program in Neuroscience
Please explain your specific interest to the GPN at the University of Minnesota.
Also, please indicate if there are particular faculty members with whom you wish to study, stating the names of the identified faculty and explaining why you want to study with those persons.
Statement 2 - Diversity Statement (not required)
Enrolling and graduating a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive qualities, characteristics, and life experiences you would contribute to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience and to the education of fellow students at the University of Minnesota. You may wish to include examples that address your contribution to the diversity of the student body and illustrate your motivation to succeed by setting high standards for accomplishing intellectual and other goals, overcoming obstacles to achievement, and/or helping others to gain access to the resources necessary for success.
Extenuating Circumstances (if needed)
If your grades and/or test scores are not strong, and you would like to provide an explanation, please do so.
While the University of Minnesota Graduate School asks that the first two statements be completed, Statement 1, describing your research experience, why you are interested in our program specifically, as well as your long term goals, are of primary importance to our program and our selection process. Statement 1 (research experience and goals) will be weighted most heavily in the admissions process and should be written accordingly.
Financial Aid section
The Graduate School uses a common application form. We would like to make it clear that all matriculated neuroscience PhD students receive financial support during their graduate career, including a generous stipend, fully-paid tuition, and health care benefits. Therefore, please just check "yes" to the first question on the Financial Aid section (that you have applied for a fellowship). You do not need to fill in any of the other questions in this section.