Prospective Students

**Update: The GRE is no longer required for Neurobiology’s Ph.D. program**


Neurobiology StudentsWho should apply?

We encourage applications from students with a strong undergraduate background in biology, math, computer science, engineering, psychology, physics or related sciences. We are committed to admitting diverse groups of young scientists who have excelled in science course work and laboratory research, and we teach them to be accomplished scientists and life-long learners. Each year, we receive ~200 applications and offer admission to 15-20 applicants.

What undergraduate programs do Duke Neurobiology students come from?

Neurobiology is a diverse field poised at the intersection of Biology, Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer Science. As such, Duke Neurobiology actively recruits outstanding students with expertise in any and all of these disciplines. By cultivating a student body that bridges these STEM fields, Duke has established a training program that is ideally suited to prepare students for a career at the forefront of modern brain science.

Where do Duke Neurobiology graduates go?

Earning a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from Duke University gives options to our versatile graduates, whether they are furthering their careers through postdoctoral work, faculty positions, or industry positions. More info    Alumni 

What are typical requirements for applicants?

Duke Neurobiology admits students who have exhibited a track record of excellence. Successful applicants have demonstrated intellectual creativity and high achievement in academics and research.  Duke welcomes both domestic and international applicants, and international students should demonstrate a high proficiency on the TOEFL exam in addition to the above criteria.

How does Duke Neurobiology evaluate prospective students?

Admission to Duke Neurobiology is not contingent on specific metrics, and we employ a holistic approach to reviewing applications that accounts for all possible strengths in our prospective students.  As such, we evaluate personal statements, research goals, reference letters, and overall CV in equal regard with standard metrics such as GPA and GRE scores. (NOTEGRE scores are not required as of August 1, 2020.) Importantly, our selection process deliberately does not use video material that can be optionally included in Duke applications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide a compelling statement that articulates how Duke Neurobiology fits their specific training goals as part of their personal essay.  Diversity and inclusion are guiding principles at Duke, and Duke Neurobiology is committed to recruiting a student body that reflects these principles.

What is it like to live in Durham? 

At Duke, students enjoy the city of Durham and all that it has to offer. Our beautiful campus is in the heart of the Bull City, giving students access to a vibrant community that has something for everyone. Durham and the Triangle  

Financial Support

The Graduate School offers an application fee waiver option to support prospective students from various populations, including those who may be experiencing economic stresses. The fee waiver option is built into the application system for those who are eligible. See the Graduate School application instructions page for more information.

How to Apply?

Applicants should submit an electronic application through the Graduate School. Indicate on the application that you are applying to “The Graduate Program in Neurobiology.”

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Any questions?

Please email any of the faculty or students on this page; click here to send a general question to both of the student contacts below. 


Faculty Contact


Eva Naumann, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology







Student Contacts

Kaitlyn Fouke Kate Kaplan
Kaitlyn Fouke Kate Kaplan




Duke students who are currently enrolled in related admitting-only graduate programs may affiliate with Duke Neurobiology, in order to take the Neurobiology courses and work with Neurobiology training faculty. The most common programs are Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP), and Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP).

In order to initiate the affiliation process, fill out a Department Affiliation Form and a Statement of Financial Support, and send it to Jörg Grandl (DGS). Students who are undecided about affiliating with Neurobiology may contact Jörg Grandl (DGS) to discuss the process.