University of Rochester

Graduate Program

Graduate Application Instructions

Application Fee
Application Deadline
Financial Support
Standardized Tests
Institution and Department Codes
Information for Non-US Citizens
Personal Statement
Letters of Recommendation
Supplementary Application Materials
Mailing Instructions


The University of Rochester's secure electronic application for graduate study can be found at In order for us to make the best decisions on admission, we ask you to submit your application by January 1.

A complete application to the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences should include the following items:

  • Online application for graduate study
  • Letters of recommendation (a minimum of 2)
  • Personal statement (statement of purpose)
  • College transcripts (official copies)
  • GRE scores (official report)
  • TOEFL scores (official report), if applicable

It is not necessary to send hard copies of supplemental materials if uploaded with your online application.

Application Fee

The application fee is $60 for all applicants.

The fee is non-refundable.

Application Deadline

The closing date for applications for admission each fall is January 1. We cannot guarantee to consider applications received later than that date, or incomplete on that date. The Graduate Admissions Committee of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences reviews all applications. Candidates who are under serious consideration will be invited to visit the department. Interviews are arranged by invitation only. Decisions on all applications will be made before April 1. The department accepts students only for full-time PhD study and beginning only in the fall semester.

Financial Support

All students admitted to the program, regardless of citizenship, are offered graduate fellowships that provide a competitive 12-month stipend, and cover the costs of tuition and single coverage health insurance. Support is guaranteed for 4 years subject to satisfactory academic progress. Admission to the program is never contingent on students securing their own funds.

The department does not distinguish teaching fellows and research assistants: all students are provided with a fellowship to support their research training, and all contribute to the department's teaching by serving as teaching assistants or teachers of small classes. Students may be asked to serve as teaching assistants for one course each year during tenure of their fellowships, but in recent practice the load has been less than this.

Where appropriate, students are encouraged to seek personal fellowships from bodies such as the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health, for this brings distinction both to the student and the department.

The University of Rochester also offers fellowships on a competitive basis for full-time graduate study. Recipients are chosen from nominations made by individual departments.

Financial assistance is not provided for part-time study in this department.

Standardized Tests

Applicants are urged to take tests sufficiently early so that test results can be considered in conjunction with the candidate's other records. A delay in receipt of GRE scores will cause a delay in the consideration of applications

Graduate Record Examination (GRE):

GRE exam scores, Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing sections, are required of all applicants to the BCS graduate program. An advanced test in a field of specialization is not required.

GRE test scores are valid and reportable for five years after the testing year in which you tested

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS):

Either test is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. The requirement may be waived upon other satisfactory demonstration of competency in English. See waiver requirements under Supplementary Information for Non-US Students.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid and reportable for two years after the test date and there is no limit to the number of times you can take the test.

Obtain information and registration materials for these exams from your own institution, or write to:
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541

Institution and Department Codes

When applying to the department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the University of Rochester institution code number for the GRE score report is 2928 and TOEFL score report is 7267. Department code number for GRE score report is 2002 Cognitive Psychology and TOEFL score is 58 Psychology, Experimental/Developmental.

Supplementary Information for Non-US Students

Any documents or letters submitted in support of your application should be in English or should be accompanied by an English translation. Please do not send secondary school records.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take IETLS or TOEFL (unless waived as noted below). In many countries visas will not be issued without proof of adequate proficiency in English, such as a satisfactory score on that test.

Applicants are automatically waived only if ALL previous instruction was conducted in English.

Applicants may request a waiver if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Are currently enrolled at an English-speaking institution
  2. Have lived in an English-speaking country for four years or longer
  3. Have received a degree from an English-speaking institution

All incoming students whose first language is not English are required to be tested on their English proficiency. (International students who attended undergraduate school in the US do not need to be tested.) The outcome of the testing will be either "ESL course required" or "ESL course not required". The course, Academic English Communication and Accent Reduction is a semester long course taught this fall. Testing will be done by the University of Rochester a week before the fall semester begins.

To obtain a visa for study in the United States, international students must present the Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or IAP-66) at a US consulate or embassy and demonstrate full proof of ability to pay all tuition and living expenses for the first year of study. The department's fellowship covers the expenses for a single person with no dependents. In cooperation with this department, International Student Affairs at the University of Rochester will issue the I-20 or IAP-66 after a student has been admitted. Questions should be sent to International Services Office, 209 Morey Hall, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 270446, Rochester, NY 14627-0446, telephone (585) 275-2866, fax (585) 244-4503, or email or

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should describe past research experience, interests for future research training in graduate school, and future plans following graduate school.


Applicants are required to submit academic transcripts from each college/university attended. You may submit your transcript using one of the following methods:

  1. Preferred method. Upload a scanned copy of your official transcripts. Include any transcript key or guide that your school provides. Scanned transcript must be clear and legible, and documentation for each institution should be saved in a separate single file. See application instructions for further details on scanned transcripts. After uploading your transcript please preview the file to ensure readability.
  2. Send transcripts via postal mail directly to this department. Use the address shown in the mailing address section below.

If your transcripts are not in English, you must also provide a certified English translation. Please note that the University of Rochester reserves the right to verify the accuracy of all transcripts, and to require submission of official documentation at any point in the admissions review process. Offers of admission are contingent on receipt of final official transcripts.

Letters of Recommendation

Provide the names, titles, and addresses of three present or former academic references whom you have asked to recommend you. If you have been employed six months or more, a letter from your supervisor may be desirable as one of the three recommendation letters.

Please double check the email addresses. These people will be contacted via email and will be asked to upload their recommendation via the web (we may also contact them by mail or phone to verify their recommendation). Contact your references ahead of time, so that they can expect our request for a recommendation. If any of your recommenders prefer to fill out a paper form, click here for a recommendation form. Please note that you still need to enter your recommenders' information in the application.

You will be able to view the status of the electronic submission of your recommenders, and you will have the ability to re-send email to the recommender if necessary by returning to this page after you have submitted your application and clicking on the 'Recommender Status' button that will appear after your application is submitted.

Supplementary Application Materials

The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences does not require applicants to submit a sample of writing; however, applicants are welcome to include supplementary materials, such as CV, honors essays, theses, published works or the like, that they believe may enhance their application to this department. If publications are listed, please provide complete references.  Additional supplemental materials can be submitted electronically by uploading your documents to the online application form.


The University of Rochester and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences value diversity and are committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Further, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws in the administration of its policies, programs, and activities. Questions on compliance should be directed to the College of Arts and Sciences, or to this department, or to the University's equal opportunity coordinator, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 270501, Rochester, NY 14627-0501. Phone (585) 275-4321.

Mailing Address

The contact person for information about the graduate program in brain and cognitive sciences is:

Kathy Corser, Graduate Coordinator
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
358 Meliora Hall, Box 270268
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627-0268