The three-dimension (3D) magnetization-prepared rapid gradient-echo (MP-RAGE) sequence is one of the most popular sequences for structural brain imaging in clinical and research settings. The sequence captures high tissue contrast and provides high spatial resolution with whole brain coverage in a short scan time. In this paper, we first computed the optimal k-space sampling by optimizing the contrast of simulated images acquired with the MP-RAGE sequence at 3.0 Tesla using computer simulations. Because the software of our scanner has only limited settings for k-space sampling, we then determined the optimal k-space sampling for settings that can be realized on our scanner. Subsequently we optimized several major imaging parameters to maximize normal brain tissue contrasts under the optimal k-space sampling. The optimal parameters are flip angle of 12°, effective inversion time within 900 to 1100 ms, and delay time of 0 ms. In vivo experiments showed that the quality of images acquired with our optimal protocol was significantly higher than that of images obtained using recommended protocols in prior publications. The optimization of k-spacing sampling and imaging parameters significantly improved the quality and detection sensitivity of brain images acquired with MP-RAGE.