Admissions and Aid

The CNC program seeks a diverse applicant pool. We welcome applications from under-represented minorities, women, first-generation college student graduates, and non-traditional students.

When considering Ph.D. applicants we take a wide view. We seek candidates who demonstrate a strong background in STEM, have documented research experience, and have aptitude in a field of study that overlaps with Neuroscience (e.g. Biology, Experimental Psychology, Computer Science, Pharmacology, Math, Bioengineering, Bioimaging, etc).

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Admissions Overview

Application Deadline:

December 1 for fall enrollment
(no spring enrollment)

Students can apply for admission to the CUNY Neuroscience Collaborative (CNC) program either through the Ph.D. in Biology with a specialization in Neuroscience, or through the Ph.D. in Psychology in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience training area. The only difference between these options is the degree earned at the end of the program. Importantly, once students arrive at CUNY, every graduate student has access to the same courses and all CNC laboratories across all CUNY-campuses, regardless of the graduate program into which they are admitted.

We have one CNC admissions committee for applicants that are entering via the Biology or the Psychology tracks at the Graduate Center. Applicants should consult our faculty pages and list 6-8 labs they might be interested in on their application. Applicants are highly encouraged to contact faculty they are interested in working with prior to submitting the application.

Candidates complete the Graduate Center’s Application for Admission and provide appropriate supplemental materials including transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Whether applying for the Ph.D. in Biology or Psychology, CNC applicants must submit:

  • Transcripts
  • Research Statement (750 word limit)
  • Personal Statement (500 word limit)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • International students must submit scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), unless they have a post-secondary degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English only, and which is located in a country that recognizes English as an Official Language.
  • $75 admissions fee (Fee waivers are available for eligible applicants; please contact Admissions for more information.)

GRE scores may be submitted but are not required.

All applicants will be expected to participate in an interview with the CNC admissions committee.

  • September & October: CNC Open Houses
  • December 1: Completed application due (including all supporting documentation and application fee)
  • December-January: Interviews scheduled
  • Late January-Early February: Interviews held
  • February-March: Offer of admission notices mailed after interviews
  • April 15: Responses due for offer of admission
  • Late August: Fall semester begins

Tuition and Fees

Tuition rates for doctoral programs at the Graduate Center are based on a student's “level,” which is determined by a combination of the number of graduate credits completed (including, in the case of transfer students, credits accepted by the student's degree program and the Registrar) and specific academic accomplishments. 

The fee structure is also affected by a student’s resident status.

See current doctoral tuition rates »

Note that nearly all Graduate Center Ph.D. students are awarded five-year fellowships that cover the cost of their tuition. See below for more information on institutional financial aid.

Each student will be billed for a Graduate School student activities fee, a University student senate fee, a University consolidated services fee and a technology fee. These fees are not refundable.

Fellowships and Financial Aid

Every applicant to The Graduate Center’s doctoral programs will automatically be considered for five-year institutional funding packages. The aid we offer — including fellowships, tuition awards, and assistantships — is based on merit.

Students accepted into psychology’s behavioral cognitive neuroscience program or biology’s neuroscience program will be considered for the Neuroscience Fellowship. This award consists of a tuition award, a financial aid fellowship and graduate assistantship totaling $30,000, and eligibility for low-cost individual or family NYSHIP health insurance

Learn more about the Neuroscience Fellowship »

Federal aid for doctoral students includes:

New York State also provides the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for eligible graduate students who are New York State residents.

Additional funding may be available to incoming students from underrepresented populations through offerings from the Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity, including several fellowships and the CUNY Pipeline Program for undergraduate CUNY students.

Learn more about funding opportunities from OEOD »