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 California–San Diego

Location: La Jolla in San Diego, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 21

Fact: UCSD‘s department of neurosciences offers multiple clinical fellowships focusing on brain disorders such as epilepsy and dementia. The department provides adult and child neurology residencies and grants Ph.D. degrees.

9. Washington University in St. Louis

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

Best Global Universities overall rank: 31

Fact: The neuroscience department at Washington University in St. Louis has more than 30 faculty investigators and is expanding, according to the department website. In 2020, construction commenced on an 11-story neuroscience research facility that is scheduled to open in 2023.

8. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 13

Fact: University of Pennsylvania‘s undergraduate neuroscience program allows students to learn about the neurological factors that influence human thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions. Independent research is encouraged, and some courses for the major occur within a neurolab, where students can test theories about the brain.

7. 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. Several Columbia faculty members are co-authors of the popular textbook “Principles of Neural Science.”

6. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 9 (tie)

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: 16 (tie)

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 this route study for four years, while those who solely take undergraduate classes are in school for only three years.

4. Stanford University

Location: Stanford in Palo Alto, 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 science, technology, engineering and math, 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: 11

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. UCSF professor David Julius was a co-recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for revelations about how and why people feel pain and what can be done to counteract it.

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.

Learn more about earning a degree abroad.

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. Columbia University
8. University of Pennsylvania
9. Washington University in St. Louis
10. University of California–San Diego

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

Update 10/26/21: This slideshow has been updated with ranks from the 2022 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.

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