CNUP: Center for Neuroscience

PhD admissions

Requirements for Admission

Admission to the Graduate Training Program is based on the total record of academic accomplishments. Students usually have:

  • Prior research experience;
  • A bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience, or psychology;
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 (on a 4.0 scale);
  • A GRE score typically greater than 160 verbal, 150 quantitative, and a 4.5 in analytical writing.
  • A minimum TOEFL result of 100 (with at least a score of 22 in each of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing) or a minimum IELTS result of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) is required for admission.

Evaluation of prior research experience, coursework, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation are components of the admission process.

The program provides full financial support to allow our most accomplished applicants currently residing in North America to visit Pittsburgh and meet with training faculty in their area of interest, as well as current graduate students. The visit is particularly important for the applicant to obtain a sense of the remarkable quality and depth of neuroscience research and training opportunities in Pittsburgh. Those applicants residing outside of North America may be selected for telephone interviews. We pride ourselves in the attentiveness of faculty in working closely with students throughout their graduate training.

Request program information

Procedures for Applying

Applications for graduate study and supporting documents should be electronically submitted in time for evaluation in early December; members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Admission to the program is based on college transcripts, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation, research experience, and personal interviews.

Application deadline: December 1

Application fee: $50

To apply for admission, please complete the online application through the Apply Yourself System. Additional requirements needed to complete your application to the Center for Neuroscience Graduate Training Program are listed below.

  1. You must submit the names of three references with your application. These letters of recommendation must be from professors or research supervisors with whom you have studied or worked, preferably including those who have sponsored independent research in the laboratory.
  2. We require a statement which includes the following:
    Part A, Statement of Goals:  Please provide a 500- to 1,000-word statement of goals concerning your plans for graduate study and a professional career. Indicate the area(s) of neuroscience that most interest you. Include specific training faculty whose research programs are of great interest and list at least three of the CNUP training faculty members with whom you would like the opportunity to meet should you visit Pittsburgh.
    Part B, Previous Research Experience: Please provide a brief description of your previous research experience. This should include undergraduate and/or graduate research, your research supervisor in each project and the technical skills that you have acquired, and a description of the hypotheses you were examining in your research. Include publications and abstracts (full title, place, year and page numbers).
    Part C, College or University Honors: Please provide any honors you have received such as scholarships, fellowships, honor societies, etc.
  3. Upload Undergraduate Transcripts: Please upload unofficial copies of your undergraduate transcript(s). Upload Graduate Transcripts: Please upload copies of your graduate transcript(s). Certified transcripts and translations of all undergraduate and graduate study will be required at the time of matriculation (upon enrollment). Students will be required to forward official transcripts and translations at the time of matriculation (upon enrollment.)
  4. You must submit official scores on the Graduate Examination Test through the Educational Testing Service. The verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing tests are required, whereas an advanced test is optional. The institutional code number for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927 and the department code is 0213.
  5. Non-U.S. Citizens whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A minimum TOEFL result of 100 (with at least a score of 22 in each ofhte four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing) or a minimum IELTS result of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) is required for admission. Scores must be less than two years old. Official TOEFL results must be submitted electronically to the University of Pittsburgh by the Educational Testing Service; the institutional code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927.  Official IELTS results must be sent electronically to the University of Pittsburgh by the University of Cambridge.

Admissions Correspondence and Information

University of Pittsburgh

Center for Neuroscience
A206 Langley Hall
Fifth and Ruskin Avenues
Pittsburgh, PA 15260