How Long Does It Take To Become A Neurologist?

Generally, around 1,170,000 adults are given a neurological disease diagnosis each year. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, strokes, meningitis, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain injury, sleep difficulties, and epilepsy are some of these ailments. Patients frequently look to neurologists for treatment of various neurological diseases.

It requires several years of commitment and education to become a neurologist. Prospective neurologists must undergo medical school followed by a residency after earning a bachelor’s degree. After high school, it takes at least 12 years to complete this. 

Both the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and their respective state’s medical board must grant licenses to neurologists (ABPN). 

Everything a prospective neurologist needs to know is provided below, including the educational prerequisites, a step-by-step instruction manual, an outline of typical job opportunities and also the question ‘ how long does it takes to become a neurologist’ is answered. 

Check out this: How Long Does It Take To Become A Phlebotomist?

What is Neurologist School Like?

A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in neurology, which is the study of the nervous system. In hospitals and clinics all throughout the world, neurologists diagnose diseases and illnesses of the nervous system. 

They use complex machinery such as MRIs, EEGs and CAT scans to determine abnormalities of the spine, brain, nerves and muscles, and then make patient treatment plans to address and cure the problems. 

The profession of neurology involves a great deal of sophisticated material, thus a doctor must complete many years of education and training before entering the workforce.

t takes a long time to become a neurologist. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree, passing the MCAT, enrolling to and graduating from medical school, as well as finishing an internship and residency program, are all necessary steps in the process. 

Aspiring neurologists who follow this arduous educational path must pass both the federal and state license tests. Some neurologists decide to concentrate their efforts in a particular field, such as Child and Pediatric Neurology, Epilepsy, Brain Injury, Sleep Medicine, or Neuromuscular Disorders. 

Although there isn’t a set undergraduate degree needed to get into medical school, it is of course advantageous to major in a scientific subject that satisfies the requirements for biology, chemistry, and physics. 

Some students choose to major in pre-medicine, a programme of study that includes all of the prerequisites for applying to medical school. 

Medical school admissions are exceedingly difficult. Therefore, a good undergraduate grade point average, stellar letters of recommendation, and an above average MCAT score are essential. 

During the first years of medical school, students can anticipate taking courses in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. 

Students work at hospitals and other medical facilities during clinical rotations their final two years of medical school, all while being supervised by qualified medical professionals. Among the required rotations are pediatrics and geriatrics.

Graduates of medical schools frequently state that they want to concentrate on a certain area, like neurology. They now finish a one-year internship to obtain experience in a variety of medical specialties. 

Prospective neurologists proceed to finish a three-year residency program that is centered on the practice of neurology after completing their internship. They work with patients throughout their residency under the guidance of a qualified neurologist. 

Neurologists with both national and state licenses have the option of obtaining board certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 

Although this accreditation is optional, it shows professionalism and commitment to the industry and gives patients more trust.

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become An Astronomer?

Is Attending a Neurology School Worth it?

Due to their expertise in what is frequently seen as the body’s most vital system, neurologists are immensely valuable. Neurologists work to maintain the health of this system because it is what regulates bodily functions. 

Knowing that you’re assisting people in returning to normal functioning as a professional in this sector, you may be proud of what you do.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become An Oral Surgeon?

What Schooling Do You Need to Become an Anesthesiologist?

Step 1: Completion of High School or GED (Four Years) 

The first step to becoming a neurologist is finishing school or earning a GED. Not only is it a prerequisite for the majority of bachelor’s programs, but it also shows a minimum level of education and commitment to finishing school. Focusing on biology, chemistry, physics, and other science subjects is advised for aspiring neurologists.

Step 2: Complete a Bachelor’s Degree Program in Step Two (Four Years) 

To apply to medical school, you must have a bachelor’s degree. Although prospective doctors can finish a variety of degree programs, pre-med, biology, physical sciences, and social sciences are the most popular concentrations. 

Given how difficult it can be to get into medical school, students should be careful to maintain a good GPA. Additionally, volunteering in medical environments might strengthen applications to medical schools.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Sonographer?

Step 3: Take the MCAT exam (Timeline Varies) 

In order to apply to the majority of medical schools, those interested in a future in neurology must take the MCAT. The year before they want to start, in April or May, they must take this exam. To start taking it in the fall after graduating from college, this correlates to beginning it in the spring of their junior year. 

Step 4: Apply to medical schools (Timeline Varies) 

The American Medical College Application Service is now used by the vast majority of medical schools (AMCAS). Through this application service, students can apply to numerous institutions without having to submit their supporting materials more than once. 

Application deadlines are one year out from planned start dates. Normally, those presently pursuing a bachelor’s degree apply for admission to medical school in the summer after the MCAT, when they are between their junior and senior years.

Read more: How Long Does It Take To Become An Eye Doctor?

Step 5 : Enroll in a medical school (Four Years) 

Four years are needed to complete medical school. Students will undergo general medical training and complete rotations in a range of medical specialties throughout this period. 

Students who are interested in a career in neurology should look into medical schools that provide residencies in the field, since this will enable them to finish a rotation in their chosen field. 

Step 6: Apply for a neurology residency (During Medical School) 

Hospitals and medical colleges all around the nation offer residency programs. Students may submit an application for a neurology residency during their final year of medical school and following their completion of clinical rotations.

 Due to the high level of competition in this procedure, having performed neurology rotations can benefit applications as candidates can highlight their experience in their personal statement.

Interviewing well and having exceptional recommendations are other approaches to increase your chances of acquiring the desired residency. The residency match is disclosed to students in March. 

Read also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Physician Assistant?

Step 7: Meet the requirements for residency (Four to Seven Years) 

The requirements for finishing a residence change depending on the program. Residency programs in neurology typically last four years, though they can be longer or shorter depending on the school and specialism.

Step 8: Take the National Licensing Exams (Timelines Vary) 

A national licensure exam is required for neurologists. Depending on the kind of medical school you attended, the exam is different. 

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is taken by students who have completed an MD program, and the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States is taken by students who have completed a DO program (COMPLEX-USA). 

These tests assess the expertise acquired throughout medical school and residency. 

Check also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Psychiatrist?

Step 9: Obtain a state license (Timelines Vary) 

After finishing medical school, their residency, and their exam, doctors can next submit an application to their state boards for licensing.

Step 10: Pass the Board Certification Exam (Timelines Vary) 

To work in this sector, neurologists must complete extra training and become board-certified. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology administers the test (ABPN). Every three years, continuing education requirements must be submitted in order to keep this ten-year certification.

See also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Medical Assistant?

How Long Does it Take to Become a Licensed Neurologist?

To become a neurologist in the US, one typically needs to complete 12 years of formal school and training. To go down this career route, you must first finish a bachelor’s degree program. Courses in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, statistics, and psychology should be included of this bachelor’s degree. 

In the US, these are the courses that medical schools most frequently require as prerequisites. Of course, you should strive to achieve the best Grade Point Average (GPA) during your undergraduate studies. 

Your application to medical school will benefit from this. You must pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in order to be accepted into medical school after completing your undergraduate degree.

You will complete two years of classroom instruction and two years of clinical rotations in medical school, which will prepare you to earn an MD degree. Also you must enroll in a neurology residency right out of medical school, which normally lasts four years to finish.

Before practicing medicine, doctors must be licensed by their respective states. Depending on where you plan to practice, there are different special criteria. 

In general, passing a test is necessary to obtain a medical license. Following the completion of their internships, aspiring neurologists are granted licensure. 

The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination is taken by those who want to become DOs, while the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination is taken by those who want to become MDs (COMLEX-USA).

Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Become A Veterinarian?

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Licensed Neurologist in 2023? 

It costs over $300,000 to complete training and earn a certification as a neurosurgeon, taking into account the many years of school and training required to become a surgeon. 

A biomedical science undergraduate degree is required to become a neurosurgeon, which will assist one fulfill the prerequisites for medical school. 

Basic knowledge for medical schools will be provided by the other pre-med courses, such as biochemistry, human anatomy, or microbiology. They will then need to graduate from a medical school with a Doctor of Medicine. 

One should take a few advanced classes in clinical research, disease management, medical diagnostics, surgical practice, and other topics if they intend to become a neurosurgeon. 

Graduates will need to pass a medical licensing exam, complete an internship, and train for a fellowship after completing their study. According to information posted on on August 6, 2021, the average annual salary for neurosurgeons is $414,466 due to the high expense of finishing a degree.

Check out: How Long Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist?

Salary and Job Outlook for Neurologists After Study

In the US, neurologists make an average yearly pay of $178,564. Neurologists in the bottom 10% of the pay scale earn less than $150,000 a year. 

The top 10% of earners annually earn more than $208,000. Neurologists with extensive professional expertise may even earn up to $300,000 annually. 

Another determining element when it comes to getting paid more is where you live. For instance, the average yearly pay for neurologists working in Minnesota, Nevada, South Dakota, New Hampshire, and Indiana is $203,000, which is much more than the national average.

A neurologist’s career does not involve much competition. It is thought of as a senior-level job function. 

Candidates must earn an M.S., M.D., or D.N.B. in neurology and finish residency training before being considered. Compared to the entire number of applicants who choose a medical career, only a small percentage of individuals are able to take up this position. 

Neurologists make 87.1% more money than the ordinary worker in the country. After reading a neurologist pay description, you might find the job outlook fascinating. However, working as a neurologist has both benefits and drawbacks.

After high school, it can take more than ten years to complete a residency program and gain the academic credentials necessary to become a licensed neurologist in India. 

The neurological system is equally as complex as the human body. Years of research and understanding are required before one is qualified to treat the linked disorders, diseases, and other conditions. 

A qualified neurosurgeon can run a private practice and offer consultation services for predetermined hours on particular days. A neurologist might collaborate with several hospitals and medical centers. He or she can offer hourly services to each hospital on a set schedule of particular days.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How difficult is neurology? 

Neurology was rated as one of the most challenging medical specialty by medical students and residents in the United States. The least confidence in handling patients with neurological symptoms was similarly felt by these students and residents.

Is being a Neurologist Worth it?

One of the most prestigious and well regarded medical specialties, neurology has prospects unlike any other. The need for neurologists is greater than ever, with roughly 1 in 6 people affected by a neurologic condition.

Should I pursue a career in neurology or neurosurgery? 

Complex neurological exams like EEG and MRI can be completed by both a neurologist and a neurosurgeon. Neurologists can only give medications or refer patients to a neurosurgeon for therapy; only neurosurgeons can use the findings to do surgery to treat the disease.

Do neurologists carry out operations? 

Neurosurgeons conduct surgery to treat diseases of the peripheral neurological system, which can affect any part of the body, as well as the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).


To become a neurologist, you must possess a medical degree. Either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree is held by every active neurologist. 

Four years of undergraduate studies, which typically involve courses in disciplines like biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and English, are the first step toward earning one of these degrees. 

Following three or four years of internship, there are four years of medical school. Under the guidance of qualified professionals, you can get real-world experience and hands-on instruction through an internship. It can take you more years of schooling if you choose to subspecialize. 



Leave a Comment is an educational blog which aggregates study abroad, scholarships update, VISA application and and other important info for our readers. We do not offer direct employment, scholarship, VISA procurement or offer physical travel assistance. We also do not charge you or request money and would not refer you to any agent either. Find more info on our Privacy policy page below and kindly contact us if you need further information.