See which schools are rated best for their research on the brain and behavior.
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, and 17% go to medical school, according to the university’s website.
9. Washington University in St. Louis
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Best Global Universities overall rank: 31
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 Charles F. and Joanne 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.
8. University of Pennsylvania
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Best Global Universities overall rank: 16
Fact: University of Pennsylvania’s Biological Basis of Behavior Program is an interdisciplinary undergraduate college major 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.
7. Columbia University
Location: New York, New York, U.S.
Best Global Universities overall rank: 7
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.
6. Johns Hopkins University
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Best Global Universities overall rank: 11
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: 21
Fact: Undergraduate neuroscience students at University College London can choose between three- and four-year degree tracks, according to the school’s website. Students who complete the three-year program receive a bachelor’s degree, while students who study for an additional year earn a master’s.
4. University of California—San Francisco
Location: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Best Global Universities overall rank: 15
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, according to the school’s website.
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. 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 program is a multidisciplinary initiative based in the university’s law school. The program’s mission is to examine the ways that neuroscience is influencing society, offer recommendations as to how the technology created by neuroscientists should be used and determine whether government regulation of this technology is necessary.
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 as well as 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.
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Here are the top 10 global universities for neuroscience and behavior:
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of California—San Francisco
- University College London
- Johns Hopkins University
- Columbia University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Washington University in St. Louis
- University of Oxford
Updated on Oct. 23, 2019: This slideshow has been updated with new information, including ranks from the 2020 U.S. News Best Global Universities rankings.