Carnegie Mellon University

Application Process

Application to the Ph.D. Program in Neural Computation and to the Ph.D. Program in Systems Neuroscience 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.

Test Scores (GRE and TOEFL/ Duolingo English Test)

We recognize that GRE scores are not predictive of success in graduate school.  You may submit GRE scores, but we do not require them.  Applications with and without scores are fully reviewed.
Institution Code – 2074
GRE Code – 0213 (Neuroscience)

All students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the Duolingo English Test.

Institution Code – 2074
TOEFL Code – 99 (Other)

Duolingo English Test: 

The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $59. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with the Neuroscience Institute when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.


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 the address below.  We will accept official online transcripts sent to

Program in Neural Computation OR Program in Systems Neuroscience
Neuroscience Institute
115 Mellon Institute
4400 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
tel: 412-268-4000
fax: 412-268-5060

Resume/CV and Statement of Purpose

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

Submit your current Resume/CV. 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.

Application Fee

There is no application fee to apply to the Ph.D. Program in Neural Computation or to the Ph.D. Program in Systems Neuroscience.

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