SDN Program Admissions

Applicant Profiles. The Social and Decision Neuroscience (SDN) PhD program seeks to recruit top students interested in the neurocomputational basis of decision making and social interactions. Ideal applicants will have very strong quantitative backgrounds, regardless of their undergraduate major. Previous exposure to neuroscience, psychology, or economics is useful but not required.

Application Requirements. Students are required to submit information regarding their research experience and interests as well as three recommendation letters. Students who are not native English speakers are also required to submit evidence of English proficiency, such as the TOEFL, the PTE, or the IELTS. Caltech requires that PhD applicants in any field be able to clearly and forcefully express themselves in written and spoken English. As of summer 2020, HSS will no longer accept or consider Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from applicants to its PhD programs for Fall 2021 matriculation.

Application Deadlines. Applications must be submitted online through the Graduate Student Office website no later than December 15. 

Master's Degree. Students are not admitted to work toward the master's degree. The master's degree might be awarded to an SDN student under exceptional circumstances. In order to be eligible for a master's degree, a student must complete at least 54 units of the coursework required for the PhD with a passing grade, as well as a minimum of 81 additional units of graduate work.