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The Center for Neuroscience (CNUP) Training program is an interschool PhD degree-granting program offered cooperatively by the School of Arts and Sciences (Neuroscience, NROSCI) and the School of Medicine (Neurobiology, MSNBIO). 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 more than 30 different departments and University centers. Major features of the program include the extensive collaborative interactions among its faculty members and its affiliation with the Auditory Research Group, the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, (a joint program with Carnegie Mellon University), Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders, Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Pittsburgh Center for Pain Research, and other on-campus research centers.

Training is also available for a master's degree through the Department of Neuroscience in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. It is important to note that this is a departmental program rather than a component of CNUP. Thus, training is only available with faculty with primary or secondary appointments in the Department of Neuroscience. Applicants must also arrange for a faculty sponsor before their application will be considered. A more detailed explanation of the program requirements is available on the Department of Neuroscience Web site at

Contact Information

Center for Neuroscience
A210 Langley Hall
Fax: 412-624-9198

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 160 verbal, 155 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.

MS Degree Requirements

Credits: A minimum of 24 credit hours, including 12 credit hours of graduate course work in courses numbered 2000 or above.

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 neuroscience, and several elective courses.

Specifically, the following core courses are required:


BIOST 2014 Intro to Biostat for Biomed Scientists (3 cr.)
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2010 Scientific Ethics (1 cr.)
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2100 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology 1 (5 cr.)
MSNBIO/NROSCI 2101 Cell and Molecular Neurobiology 2 (3 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

Neuroscience Courses


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