Students with undergraduate degrees in biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, any of the quantitative sciences, or any of the engineering disciplines are invited to apply to the Graduate Program in Computational Neuroscience.

Students who are interested in Computational Neuroscience, but who prefer earning a Ph.D. in a cognate discipline can do so by pursuing a Ph.D. through the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, Neurobiology, Physics, Psychology, or Statistics, and taking Computational Neuroscience courses.

The University of Chicago welcomes applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in science, including students with disabilities. For information on the BSD efforts to recruit and retain students with diverse backgrounds, please visit our office of diversity.


Computational neuroscience is inherently interdisciplinary, and most students doing graduate work in this area will have strengths in one of the relevant areas and weaknesses in others. Program requirements are designed to address background deficiencies, so students with uneven backgrounds should not hesitate to apply.

A year of college-level calculus is an absolute prerequisite. Ideally, applicants should have some collegiate-level coursework in biology (optimally including an introductory neurobiology course), an introductory psychology course, and some mathematics (such as linear algebra and elementary differential equations) beyond calculus.

Students who have not had prior exposure to linear algebra and differential equations may be asked to take appropriate courses in these areas before taking the mathematics sequence within the computational neuroscience curriculum.


We would love to talk to you during one of our recruitment events, and we always have a table staffed with faculty and students at the SfN graduate fair. Or came and visit us on campus if you are in Chicago. For arrangements, please contact

Admission to the Ph.D. program in Computational Neuroscience is coordinated through the Division of Biological Sciences. The application system opens in early September, and completed applications need to be submitted by November 30. You may apply to as many as four programs with one application, but please list the program of most interest to you first; this program will be given priority in reviewing your application. 

Applicants are expected to have completed a bachelor of arts (BA), bachelor of science (BS), or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university by the time they matriculate.

Find out what we need from you

Application FAQs

Sign up for a campus tour