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Center for Neuroscience Training Program (CNUP)

The Center for Neuroscience (CNUP) Training Program is an inter-school PhD degree-granting program offered cooperatively by the School of Medicine and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The program introduces students to the fundamental issues and experimental approaches in neuroscience and trains them in the theory and practice of laboratory research. Research interests of the training faculty focus on several prominent themes, including behavioral/systems/cognitive, cell and molecular, development/plasticity/repair, and the neurobiology of disease.

This large research-based training program offers outstanding opportunities for students to pursue research in laboratories within over fifteen different departments and University centers. Major features of the program included the extensive collaborative interactions among its faculty members and its affiliation with the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, which is a joint program of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Contact Information

Center for Neuroscience
E1440 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
412-648-9537 (phone)
412-648-1441 (fax)

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Students are admitted into the CNUP training program on the assumption that they will be able to meet all requirements for the PhD degree. Those that are selected show evidence of a high level of intellectual talent, a strong interest in neuroscience, and a commitment to scholarship and research.
Admission decisions are based on many factors including the candidate's statement of interest and goals in the field of neuroscience, evidence of research experience and accomplishment, letters of recommendation, test scores, grades, and personal interviews. An outstanding record in one of these areas may compensate for poorer performance in another area. In general, successful applicants have a BS degree in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience, or psychology with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.40 (on a 4.00 scale) and a cumulative Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score greater than 1200 (verbal and quantitative) and a 4.5 in analytical writing.

Additional information and a link to our online application can be found at:

Financial Assistance

All students receive full stipend support and individual health benefits. This support is derived from University fellowships and numerous grants funded by the federal government and private agencies. Students in the program also have access to sponsorship on NIH training grants.

PhD Degree Requirements

Credits: A minimum of 72 credit hours including a 23-credit course requirement covering fundamental material in cellular and molecular neurobiology, systems neurobiology and several elective courses.

Specifically, the following core courses and a graduate level statistics, ethics and grant writing courses are required:

BIOST 2041 Intro to Statistical Methods 1 3 cr.
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2010 Scientific Ethics 1 cr.
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2100 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology 1 4 cr.
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2101 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology 2 4 cr.
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2102 Systems Neurobiology 6 cr.

MSNBIO 2624 Grant Writing 3 cr.

In addition to University requirements for graduate degrees, students are also required to obtain research experience in at least two separate laboratories; attend journal clubs and research seminars; pass a reprint exam following their first year of study, a comprehensive exam, and a doctoral dissertation and defense; and, to serve as a teaching assistant for at least one term (or course).

Training Faculty

A list of CNUP Training Faculty may be viewed at:

Neuroscience Courses

Our complete list of courses may be viewed at:

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