In vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) has transformed the ability to study human development on both biological and molecular levels and provided cells for use in regenerative applications. Standard approaches for hESC culture using colony type culture to maintain undifferentiated hESCs and embryoid body (EB) and rosette formation for differentiation into different germ layers are inefficient and time-consuming. Presented here is a single-cell culture method using hESCs instead of a colony-type culture. This method allows maintenance of the characteristic features of undifferentiated hESCs, including expression of hESC markers at levels comparable to colony type hESCs. In addition, the protocol presents an efficient method for neural progenitor cell (NPC) generation from single-cell type hESCs that produces NPCs within 1 week. These cells highly express several NPC marker genes and can differentiate into various neural cell types, including dopaminergic neurons and astrocytes. This single-cell culture system for hESCs will be useful in investigating the molecular mechanisms of these processes, studies of certain diseases, and drug discovery screens.