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Top 10 Neuroscience Universities in the World

Nine of the top 10 global universities in this subject area are in the U.S. while one is in the U.K.

A neuroscience degree can lead to jobs in disciplines including pharmacy, medicine, and research. Learn more about U.S. News’ top 10 Best Global Universities for Neuroscience and Behavior, as determined by academic research performance in this field.

Neuroscience Universities

10. University of California—San Diego

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

Best Global Universities overall rank: 21

Fact: Multiple clinical fellowships in brain illnesses such as epilepsy and dementia are available at UCSD’s department of neurosciences. The department offers residencies in adult and pediatric neurology as well as Ph.D. degrees.

9. Washington University in St. Louis

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 31

Fact: According to the school’s website, the neuroscience department at Washington University in St. Louis includes more than 30 faculty investigators and is growing. Construction of an 11-story brain research center began in 2020 and is expected to open in 2023.

8. University of Pennsylvania

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 13

Fact: The undergraduate neuroscience program at the University of Pennsylvania teaches students on the neurological elements that govern human ideas, feelings, motivations, and behaviors. Independent study is encouraged, and some important courses take place in a neurolab where students may put their beliefs about the brain to the test.

7. Columbia University

Location: New York, New York, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 6

Fact: According to the university’s website, two faculty members of Columbia University’s neuroscience department have received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, and eight are members of the National Academy of Sciences. The popular textbook “Principles of Neural Science” was co-authored by many Columbia academic members.

6. Johns Hopkins University

Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 9 (tie)

Fact: Members of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at Johns Hopkins University hope to better understand the brain’s function and structure by combining knowledge from neuroscience, computational data science, and engineering.

5. University College London

Location: London, England, U.K.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 16 (tie)

Fact: Students who excel in their first two years of undergraduate neuroscience at University College London can transfer to the university’s master’s program. Students that pursue this path study for four years, compared to three years for those who merely attend undergraduate coursework.

4. Stanford University

Location: Stanford in Palo Alto, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 3

Fact: The Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society is one of Stanford University’s neuroscience institutes and programs. The multidisciplinary effort is headquartered at the university’s law department, according to the school’s website. The goal of the initiative is to look at how neuroscience is impacting society, provide recommendations on how neuroscientist-created technology should be utilized, and decide whether government control of such technology is essential.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 2

Fact: According to the school’s website, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences offers a postbaccalaureate Research Scholars Program to increase the number of underrepresented minorities, first-generation students, disabled individuals, and veterans in science, technology, engineering, and math. Financial assistance is provided to students enrolled in the program.

2. University of California—San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, California, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 11

Fact: According to the school’s website, first-year PhD candidates in the neuroscience department at the University of California—San Francisco participate in research rotations in several laboratories to become familiar with possible labs where they would desire to work on their dissertation research. Professor David Julius of UCSF was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2021 for his discoveries regarding how and why individuals experience pain, as well as what may be done to alleviate it.

1. Harvard University

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Best Global Universities overall rank: 1

Fact: Harvard University undergraduates can pursue a neuroscience focus with tracks in neurobiology or computational neuro, according to the school’s website, where students learn to interpret brain impulses using math and computer science. There’s also an interdisciplinary route in mind, brain, and behavior that teaches students about how people outside of the discipline of neuroscience think about the mind.

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