How To Apply

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, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and interviews. GRE scores are not needed nor accepted.

Application deadline: December 1
Application fee:  $75.00

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

  • Three Letters of Recommendation: 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.
  • Unofficial Transcripts: Please upload unofficial copies of your undergraduate transcript(s) and any graduate transcript(s). Students will be required to forward certified transcripts and translations of all undergraduate and graduate study at the time of matriculation (upon enrollment.)
  • When applying online through Liaison, you will be asked to answer the following questions:
    • Tell us about your personal history, the events that lead you to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience, and how a PhD in Neuroscience would help prepare you for a future career (up to 400 words).
    • Provide a description of your previous research experience, including the institution, the faculty mentor and the time commitment (e.g., 10 h a week for 2 semesters). Describe the scientific question(s) you were trying to address, your hypothesis, your technical approach, and the significance of your findings. If your work resulted in a publication, abstract or thesis, list those here too. If you have more than one research experience, please make clear headings for each one (no limit).
    • Tell us why you would like to attend the University of Pittsburgh and list at least three CNUP training faculty members you would like to meet, along with a short rationale for your selections (up to 300 words).
    • Success in scientific research requires personal qualities not measured by tests – attributes such as curiosity, creativity, adaptability, self-motivation, passion for research, conscientiousness, persistence, self-organization, grit, resilience, and integrity, just to name a few. Select one or two traits you feel are your greatest strengths and provide an example from your life experience that illustrate each trait (up to 500 words).
    • We are highly invested in enhancing diversity, which is expressed in multiple forms — race, ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective. In addition, we strive to create a community that is equitable, so that all persons have equal opportunity, and inclusive, so that everyone feels welcomed. We hope you share our values and goals. Feel free to tell us how you think we should achieve them, and what you might contribute to this effort. (Optional comments up to 500 words).

International Applicants

Non-U.S. Citizens whose native language is not English are required to submit an English proficiency test from within the last two years. English language proficiency is demonstrated by one of the following:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences requires a minimum TOEFL score of 90, with a minimum score of 22 in each section
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Minimum score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each section
  • Duolingo English Test: Minimum score of 110


Apply for a fee waiver

In an effort to reduce financial barriers to attending graduate school, the Kenneth P. Dietrich Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers application fee waivers. Please note that fee waivers are approved on a case-by-case basis and not all fee waiver requests will be granted.  All requests received will be reviewed and responded to within 48 hours during normal business hours: Monday - Friday 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. EST.  To be considered for a fee waiver, Please complete the following fee waiver survey for review:

Admissions Correspondence and Information

University of Pittsburgh
Center for Neuroscience
A210 Langley Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260