The elucidation of mechanisms underlying telencephalic neural development has been limited by the lack of knowledge regarding the molecular and cellular aspects of the ganglionic eminence (GE), an embryonic structure that supplies the brain with diverse sets of GABAergic neurons. Here, we report a comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of this structure including its medial (MGE), lateral (LGE) and caudal (CGE) subdivisions and its temporal dynamics in 12.5 to 16 day-old rat embryos. Surprisingly, comparison across subdivisions showed that CGE gene expression was the most unique providing unbiased genetic evidence for its differentiation from MGE and LGE. The molecular signature of the CGE comprised a large set of genes, including Rwdd3, Cyp26b1, Nr2f2, Egr3, Cpta1, Slit3, and Hod, of which several encode cell signaling and migration molecules such as WNT5A, DOCK9, VSNL1 and PRG1. Temporal analysis of the MGE revealed differential expression of unique sets of cell specification and migration genes, with early expression of Hes1, Lhx2, Ctgf and Mdk, and late enrichment of Olfm3, SerpinE2 and Wdr44. These GE profiles reveal new candidate regulators of spatiotemporally governed GABAergic neuronogenesis.