QSB Entrance Requirements

entrance checklist


  • Applicants must hold a four-year undergraduate degree (three-year degree for institutions in the country of India).
  • Applicants may be considered for admission before finishing their undergraduate degree, but they must complete this degree before enrolling at Northwestern.
  • Applicants are expected to have majored in biological sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, neurobiology, molecular biology). Although it may be possible to use one to two elective courses to address a specific deficit, the QSB program is not designed to be an initial exposure to biology. Standard pre-med requirements for chemistry and math are required.


  • The admissions committee views previous laboratory research experience as a critical element of the application. We ask students to include a description of their research experiences in their statement of purpose.


  • For international students: The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required.
    • The minimum scores for admission to the MS Program in Neurobiology are 90 for the TOEFL and 7.0 or higher for the IELTS. 
    • The exams must not have been taken more than two years before the intended quarter of entry. For example, if you are applying for Fall 2019 entry, test scores must be no older than September 2017.
    • All International students whose native language is not English and who have not received bachelor degrees from certified, primarily English-speaking institutions must take the Versant English test once they arrive on campus.


  • All students must submit an application to The Graduate School. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in February, with the application period closing mid-May.