PNC Application Process

All PNC students receive a travel stipend of $1000/year and a one-time $1000 towards a laptop or computer.

Application to the Ph.D. Program in Neural Computation is made by completing the online application form. The deadline for applications is December 1 for entry in the following fall semester. The recommendations are also due by December 1. All deadlines are final. Please submit all materials well in advance of the deadlines.Admission to the joint PNC/ML and PNC/Statistics degree programs is by petition after acceptance into the PNC program. There is no direct admission to the joint programs.

All full-time Ph.D. students receive both full tuition support and a living stipend irrespective of financial need.

Test Scores (GRE and TOEFL)
All applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and have scores sent directly to the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.
Institution Code – 0274 (CNBC)

GRE Code – 0213 (Neuroscience)

No GRE subject test is required for applications; however, we highly recommend that applicants take a GRE subject test from the area that best matches their background. (For example, applicants with a physics background should take the physics subject test, applicants with a computer science emphasis should take the computer science subject test, etc).

Why live in Pittsburgh?

  • Most livable city… (Forbes Magazine); see also Pittsburgh Regional Alliance about quality of life in Pittsburgh
  • A clean and green city… (Union of Concerned Scientists)
  • City of sports… (Wikipedia)
  • City of culture…(Pittsburgh Culture Trust)
  • See also: Visit Carnegie Mellon, What’s there, Who’s There and What’s going on, and Popular Pittsburgh.
  • All students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Have your score sent directly to the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition.

    Institution Code – 0274 (CNBC)

    TOEFL Code – 99 (Other)

    Submit one transcript from each college or university attended, even if no degree was granted. Transcripts should be in an official sealed envelope and mailed to:

    Program in Neural Computation
    Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition
    115 Mellon Institute
    4400 Fifth Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    tel: 412-268-4000
    fax: 412-268-5060

    Resume and Statement of Purpose
    The Resume and Statement of Purpose must be submitted as a PDF.

    Submit your current Resume. Outline your education, research experience, work experience, publications, scholarships awarded, prizes and honors received, society memberships, and any other extracurricular activities.

    Submit a Statement of Purpose. Prepare a concise one or two page essay that describes your primary interest of study, your experiences related to that area of study, and your objective in pursuing the PhD degree. In particular, your essay should be as specific as possible in describing your interests and should describe any relevant education, research, commercial, government, or teaching experience.


    Submit three letters of recommendation. The recommender should know you relatively well and be able to evaluate the quality of previous work. At least two should be from faculty or recent employers. All recommendations will be submitted electronically. Please inform your recommender that they will receive an email which will include the URL, user ID and password to access the recommendation form. Their letters should be PDFs.

    It is your responsibility to make certain that the recommendations have been submitted by deadline.