Harvard Neuroscience PhD 2024: Program, Acceptance Rate, Requirements and Stipend

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If you are interested in pursuing a PhD in neuroscience at one of the world’s leading institutions, you may want to consider applying to the Harvard PhD Program in Neuroscience (PiN). PiN is a full-time lab-based program that offers comprehensive and interdisciplinary training in neuroscience. It also provides students with opportunities to work with renowned faculty, access state-of-the-art facilities, and join a diverse and supportive community of peers and mentors. In this blog, we will give you an overview of the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program, its acceptance rate, its requirements, and its stipend for the academic year 2024. 

Program NamePhD in Neuroscience (PiN)
Department/SchoolInterdepartmental, spans the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Harvard Medical School
Duration5 years 
FormatFull-time, on-campus
Faculty Size150 affiliated faculty across various departments
Student Body Size120+
Student-Faculty Ratio16:1
Application Deadline1 December (for the following Fall semester)
Acceptance RateAround 9%
Tuition & Fees~$76,000/year (estimated)
Financial AidFellowships, scholarships, and assistantships available
Research AreasMolecular, cellular, developmental, systems, cognitive, computational, and translational neuroscience
Website https://pinphd.hms.harvard.edu/about 

Why Pursue Harvard Neuroscience PhD Program?

Here are some of the reasons why you might want to pursue this program:

  1. Learn from world-renowned faculty in diverse research areas.
  2. Rigorous curriculum with an interdisciplinary approach.
  3. Unmatched breadth of research opportunities in cutting-edge labs.
  4. Collaborative research environment with excellent facilities.
  5. Dedicated career support and strong alumni network.
  6. Location advantage in Boston’s scientific community.
  7. Diverse and stimulating learning environment.
  8. Prestigious experience with a transformative impact on your career.

Harvard Neuroscience PhD: Acceptance Rate

Although the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program doesn’t publicly reveal its acceptance rate, it’s expected to be around 9%. This estimate is based on the number of applicants and admitted students reported by the program in previous years. After all, PiN does look for applicants who demonstrate academic excellence, research potential, leadership, resilience, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For students interested in applying quantitative methods to neuroscience research, the program also offers an optional certificate track in computational neuroscience.

Harvard Neuroscience PhD: Stipend

The stipend offered by the Harvard Neuroscience PhD Program is $45,696 ($3,808 per month). It covers both tuition and living expenses, and is available for all students, regardless of citizenship, who are enrolled and making satisfactory progress toward the PhD degree. 

Students may also receive additional financial support from the university, such as travel allowance, childcare scholarship, parental accommodation, and emergency grants. They can also apply for external grants and fellowships as part of their training.

Harvard Neuroscience PhD: Entry Requirements

Given below are the entry requirements for the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program that aspiring researchers need to fulfil:

Academic Requirements

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field like neuroscience, biology, psychology, or a related discipline.
  • A strong undergraduate record with a high GPA (typically 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale) in a relevant field.
  • A strong foundation in core sciences like biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics (relevant neuroscience subfields).
  • Strong scores GRE General Test (above 320 in Verbal and Quant, above 4.0 in Writing).

English Language Requirements

TOEFL iBT100 or above
IELTS Academic7.5 or higher

Additional Requirements 

  • Research Experience
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Updated CV/Resume
  • Official academic transcripts

Application Process

The application process for the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program is entirely online and opens annually on 15 July. The deadline for international applicants is 1 December, with earlier submissions encouraged. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Visit the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) online application portal: https://research.fas.harvard.edu/apply-funding 
  2. Create an account and select the “Program in Neuroscience (PiN)” for the PhD program.
  3. Fill out the application form with the necessary details and documents and pay the application fee of USD 130 (non-refundable).
  4. Shortlisted applicants are typically invited for interviews (in-person and virtually) in late January or early February.
  5. The admissions committee carefully reviews all applications and makes final decisions in March.

Documents Required

  • Official transcripts
  • Standardized test scores (GRE)
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • CV/Resume
  • Additional experience in research and teaching


Q1. What’s the acceptance rate for international students specifically?

Ans: The overall acceptance rate for the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program is notoriously low, typically below 10%.

Q2. Are there funding options available for international students?

Ans: Yes, the program offers generous financial aid packages, including fellowships, scholarships, and teaching assistantships, that are open to all admitted students, regardless of citizenship.

Q3. What research areas are particularly strong within the program?

Ans: The Harvard Neuroscience PhD program has exceptional faculty expertise across a diverse range of subfields. Some particularly strong areas include Molecular and cellular neuroscience, Systems neuroscience, Cognitive and computational neuroscience, and Neuroimaging and computational neuroscience.

So this was all about the Harvard Neuroscience PhD program for international students. Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more updates on courses and universities to study abroad. Thank you for reading!

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