Until now, limitations in the ability to enrich adult NSCs (aNSCs) have hampered meaningful analysis of these cells at the transcriptome level. Here we show via a split-Cre technology that coincident activity of the hGFAP and prominin1 promoters is a hallmark of aNSCs in vivo. Sorting of cells from the adult mouse subependymal zone (SEZ) based on their expression of GFAP and prominin1 isolates all self-renewing, multipotent stem cells at high purity. Comparison of the transcriptome of these purified aNSCs to parenchymal nonneurogenic astrocytes and other SEZ cells reveals aNSC hallmarks, including neuronal lineage priming and the importance of cilia- and Ca-dependent signaling pathways. Inducible deletion of the ciliary protein IFT88 in aNSCs validates the role of ciliary function in aNSCs. Our work reveals candidate molecular regulators for unique features of aNSCs and facilitates future selective analysis of aNSCs in other functional contexts, such as aging and injury.