Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D in Systems Neuroscience

The Program in Systems Neuroscience (PSN) trains students with backgrounds in biology and neuroscience disciplines in the growing field of quantitative systems neuroscience and also provides them the essential background in experimental neuroscience. The PSN is administered by the Neuroscience Institute, and benefits from a close relationship with the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC), an integrative center spanning both CMU and the University of Pittsburgh. All PSN students are by extension members of the CNBC. 

The program consists of the following core activities:

  • Coursework in neuroscience, quantitative methodologies, and experimental neuroscience
  • Exposure to experimental approaches through thesis research
  • Training in teaching, scientific presentations and responsible conduct of research
  • Successful defense of a Ph.D. Thesis

Additional satellite activities through the CNBC will also foster students’ professional and scientific development. Read more about the curriculum.

The PSN program is overseen by the PSN training faculty, the Academic Program Manager, and the Program Directors.  Questions about any aspect of the program should be directed either to the Academic Program Manager, Melissa Stupka, or one of the Program Directors, Aryn Gittis at CMU and Ross Williamson at University of Pittsburgh.

Diversity in Neuroscience

The Neuroscience Institute at Carnegie Mellon University strives to be a community that is academically and intellectually rigorous, as well as being diverse, inclusive, and respectful to all of its members. We aspire to promote a collegial professional environment in which all individuals can thrive and do their best work with community support and free from harassment, intimidation, or disrespect.

Systems Neuroscience Contacts

Academic Program Manager

Melissa Stupka
Mellon Institute 116C

Program Director (CMU)

Aryn Gittis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
Mellon Institute 173 

Program Director (Pitt)

Ross Williamson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Otolaryngology
BST W1448