Admission Criteria and Admission Procedures

To apply, please visit or apply online through the Graduate Studies website.

Once submitted, applications are forwarded to the UBC Graduate Program in Neuroscience. As per UBC requirements, we initially screen applicants to ensure that minimum criteria are met in terms of past academic performance and English language skills. This screening process happens at the program level and is conducted by the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Each application that meets our minimum requirements is then evaluated and discussed by an Admissions Committee, which represents diverse perspectives from across departments and research areas, career stages, and includes student members.

The following table summarizes how each component of the submitted application package will be evaluated:

Application componentWho evaluates
(program coordinator or admissions committee)
Assessment criteria
Academic records / transcriptsUsed for screening by the program and then rated overall by the committeeField-specific knowledge and academic preparation, cognitive skills
English language certificatesUsed for screening by the program only, not considered at the committee stageEnglish language proficiency
Statement of Interest. Please limit length to two pages. Rated by the committee1) Writing structure,
2) professionalism in style,
3) accuracy (free of errors),
4) ability to navigate uncertainty & resilience,
5) motivation to seek new knowledge in neuroscience
Research track record (research experience, publications/presentations)Rated by the committee;
the bar is set higher for applicants to the PhD program than for applicants to the MSc program
Research ability and/or research potential, productivity, ability to disseminate/communicate research findings
Letters of ReferenceRated by the committee; directly based on ratings provided by referees, and free-form letters providing examples1) Academic preparation,
2) skill at research,
3) originality and creativity,
4) problem-solving,
5) industriousness and persistence,
6) intellectual capacity (critical thinking),
7) interpersonal and communication skills

The admissions committee also considers the fit of a candidate’s research interests with the research areas that the program covers (see tips on how to write a Statement of Interest). This process is greatly facilitated by information provided in the application form. Be sure to answer the program-specific question on which supervisor you might be interested in working with, and whether you have already contacted a supervisor.

At the end of this process, we shortlist approx. 70% of the applications we receive. Ranked candidate files are distributed among our faculty members to look for a match between an applicant and a supervisor.

If a supervisor is interested in meeting an applicant, they will reach out to the applicant and schedule a series of interviews. Our interviews do not follow a strict standard, but faculty receive interview guidelines that incorporate questions about the following:

  • Motivation to conduct research in the Neurosciences
  • Academic preparation and skills
  • Funding and award literacy
  • Interpersonal aspects, goals, and work-life balance

Interviews are an opportunity for both the applicant and the potential supervisor (and their other trainees) to evaluate whether they think they can work well together.

In order to be admitted to the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, applicants must meet all program criteria AND be accepted by a supervisor in our program, who is able to commit to supporting the student financially.

Application and Admissions Timeline

May- December: Reach out to potential supervisors

August-November: Prepare and submit your application

October: Prospective Student Workshops offered by UBC Grad Studies

October-November: Reach out for reference requests

December 1: Application due date

December-January: Program screens applications

Early February: Admissions Committee discusses and ranks eligible applications

Mid- February: Faculty receive application shortlist

February-April: Faculty may contact applicants and schedule interviews

May 31st: Last day for faculty to make offers to international students; June 30th: Last day for faculty to make offers to domestic students.

Prospective student information sessions can be found here:

Admissions advice videos can be found here:

Indigenous Applicants

If you self-identify as an Indigenous person of Canada, please email before applying. We can provide you with information on the application process, UBC Indigenous programs, scholarships and bursaries, and student services specifically for Indigenous students.