Top 10 Global Universities for Neuroscience

See which schools are rated best for their research on the brain and behavior.

A degree in neuroscience can lead to careers in fields such as pharmacy, medicine and research. Learn more about the top 10 Best Global Universities for Neuroscience and Behavior, as ranked by U.S. News based on academic research performance in this subject area.

10. University of Oxford

Location: Oxford, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 5

Fact: Almost 60% of graduates from the University of Oxford‘s master’s in neuroscience program go straight into a Ph.D. program, while 17% pursue education in medicine, according to the university’s website.

9. Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 33

Fact: Washington University in St. Louis is home to a wide array of research centers related to neuroscience, including the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center and the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience. Neuroscience Ph.D. students receive an annual stipend, tuition remission and health coverage.

7 (tie). Columbia University

Location: New York, New York, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 6

Fact: Two faculty members in Columbia University‘s neuroscience department are recipients of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, and eight are members of the National Academy of Sciences, according to the university’s website.

7 (tie). University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 14

Fact: University of Pennsylvania‘s undergraduate neuroscience program is an interdisciplinary course of study that allows students to learn about the neurological factors that influence human thoughts, feelings and actions. Independent research is a cornerstone of the program, and undergrads get to interact with renowned neuroscientists.

6. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 10

Fact: Scientific researchers who are members of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at Johns Hopkins University aim to integrate knowledge in neuroscience, computational data science and engineering to better understand the brain’s function and structure.

5. University College London

Location: London, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 19

Fact: Undergraduate neuroscience students at University College London who achieve strong grades the first two years can transfer into the university’s master’s program. Students who choose to supplement their undergraduate education with graduate coursework will study for four years, while those who solely take undergraduate classes will be in school for only three years.

4. Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 3

Fact: Among Stanford University‘s institutes and programs focused on neuroscience is the Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society. According to the school’s website, the multidisciplinary initiative is based in the university’s law school. The program’s mission is to examine the ways that neuroscience is influencing society, recommend how technology created by neuroscientists should be used and determine whether government regulation of such technology is necessary.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 2

Fact: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a postbaccalaureate Research Scholars Program in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities, first-generation students, disabled individuals and veterans in STEM, according to the school’s website. Students in the program receive financial support.

2. University of California–San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 15 (tie)

Fact: First-year doctoral students in the University of California–San Francisco‘s neuroscience program participate in research rotations in various laboratories to become familiar with potential labs where they might like to work on their dissertation research, according to the school’s website.

1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 1

Fact: According to the school’s website, Harvard University undergraduates can pursue a neuroscience concentration with tracks in neurobiology or computational neuro, where students learn to use math and computer science to evaluate brain signals. There is also an interdisciplinary track in mind, brain and behavior that allows students to learn about how scholars outside the field of neuroscience understand the mind. This track requires an honor’s thesis.

Learn more about earning a degree abroad.

Prospective students from outside the U.S. who hope to study in the country should do some homework on the nation’s student visa requirements, some of which have been adjusted during the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who plans to study at a school outside his or her home country should investigate the school’s language of instruction, if he or she is not fluent in that nation’s primary language. Follow U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter for more education rankings and advice.

Here are the top 10 global universities for neuroscience and behavior:

1. Harvard University2. University of California–San Francisco
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4. Stanford University
5. University College London
6. Johns Hopkins University
7 (tie). Columbia University
7 (tie). University of Pennsylvania
9. Washington University in St. Louis
10. University of Oxford

More from U.S. News

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Plan Ahead to Meet International Undergraduate Admissions Deadlines

Consider Grad School in the U.K., Australia vs. U.S.

Top 10 Global Universities for Neuroscience originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 10/20/20: This slideshow has been updated with new information, including ranks from the 2021 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.

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