Ph.D in ECE: Center for Neural Basis of Cognition

The Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC) offers a certificate graduate training program in collaboration with ECE and several other affiliated doctoral programs at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The program trains interdisciplinary scientists interested in understanding how cognitive processes arise from neural mechanisms in the brain. Students combine intensive training in their chosen specialty with broad exposure to other disciplines that touch on neural computation and problems of higher brain function.

Students who have been accepted to the ECE Ph.D. program can apply to participate in the CNBC graduate training program. The program requires four core courses in the areas of cellular and molecular neuroscience, systems neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and computational neuroscience. The CNBC program also includes several colloquium/seminar series, student-run journal clubs, research ethics training, and a variety of optional elective courses. Students in the CNBC program receive travel support and possible computer equipment support.

The following describes how the CNBC course requirements can be integrated with the ECE Ph.D. course requirements:

For incoming Ph.D. students with a B.S.

Students entering the ECE Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree will be able to complete the CNBC course requirements entirely within the framework of the ECE course requirements. In other words, these students will be able to complete the CNBC course requirements without taking units above and beyond the 96 units required for an ECE Ph.D.

For incoming Ph.D. students with a M.S.

Students entering the ECE Ph.D. program with a M.S. degree may petition the GSC for one CNBC course to be counted towards fulfillment of an ECE breadth area and course requirements. One other CNBC course will be allowed to count as an ECE-related course with no GSC petition required. The student will then need to take four more courses: two more to satisfy the CNBC requirements, and two more to satisfy the ECE breadth requirement and the 48 units required for an ECE Ph.D.

All students who are planning to complete the CNBC graduate training program along with an ECE Ph.D. are required to meet with their faculty advisor to discuss their course plans. The course plan must then be discussed with the Graduate Affairs Office (HH1113). 

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