General Info

  • Faculty working with students: 50
  • Students: 63
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: 100%
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: November 30
Application Info


Jorg Grandl
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Neurobiology
Box 3209 Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710

Phone: (919) 684-1144



Program Description

The goal of the Department of Neurobiology's Ph.D. program is to train the next generation of leading scientists who will work in academia or industry to discover how the nervous system functions.  Our scientists investigate a myriad of complex processes, including learning, memory, movement, behavior, sensation, and perception, and how to restore normal function of the nervous system in the face of trauma and disease.  Major strengths include an interdisciplinary faculty, broad collaboration with other departments and programs, a flexible curriculum and some of the nation's best technical facilities for neuroscience. A first-year core curriculum gives a solid background in cellular, molecular, systems, cognitive, and developmental neurobiology; each of these areas is well represented on the faculty. Extracurricular events offer opportunities for informal training: an annual two-day retreat; several weekly seminar series; student lunches with visiting speakers; clubs -- drawing participants from several area universities and addressing specific research interests; and the SFN annual meeting. Technical facilities include the Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience, Brain Imaging & Analysis, Neuroengineering, Translational Neuroscience, and the Neuroproteomics Laboratory.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadline: November 30

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required (see department guidance below)
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)

Statement of Purpose Guidelines
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. 

Writing Sample
None required

Additional Components
Importantly, our selection process deliberately does not use video material that can be optionally included in Duke applications.

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance