The graduate certificate in neuroscience is designed to formalize training of graduate students in neuroscience, and to recognize the achievements of students who have undertaken comprehensive training in these topics, both through formal coursework and through research in their respective subject areas. The graduate certificate welcomes participation from across the University in any field that makes contact with neuroscience as part of scholarship.

Enrollment to the Program

The certificate is administered by the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and is open to any Princeton University student enrolled in a Ph.D. program who are not enrolled in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program or the Neuroscience Joint Degree Program. Students enroll by completing an online application on the PNI website. Since Ph.D. students who have entered Dissertation Completion Enrollment (DCE) status are ineligible to enroll in courses, Ph.D. students must enroll in the PNI graduate certificate program in time to complete the course requirements during their regular degree program length. The online application includes a tentative plan and timeline for completing all course requirements. Students are encouraged to apply to the certificate program as soon as possible to ensure that the requirements are met.

For enrollment, please use the PNI Graduate Certificate Enrollment Form.

For questions, contact the PNI Graduate Administrator: [email protected]

Certificate Requirements

To earn the certificate, students must complete four requirements:

  1. take for credit and earn a grade of B or better in one core course
  2. take for credit and earn a grade of B or better in one approved elective course
  3. enroll in the graduate seminar course and attend the seminar journal club
  4. incorporate one chapter of neuroscience research in the dissertation, as judged by a PNI faculty member who is either a dissertation advisor, thesis committee member, and/or dissertation defense committee member, and who must certify this requirement by writing an email to the Neuroscience DGS.

The certificate will appear on a student’s official transcript after all requirements for the certificate have been fulfilled and a graduate degree has been awarded.

1. Core Course

Students must take one core course listed below. This requirement is designed to ensure that all students who earn the certificate have a solid foundation in the basic principles of neuroscience. A grade of B or better is required in both core courses.

2. Elective Course

Students are also required to take one neuroscience related elective course. This requirement is designed to give students additional training in the neuroscience field. Elective courses can be selected from any graduate level course on campus as long as the course contains a neuroscience related component. Each elective course must be approved by the Director of Graduate Students. A grade of B or better is required in the elective course.

*Note on Overlapping Course Requirements in Home Department: These courses may count towards fulfillment of the student’s home department requirements.

Below are a list of approved elective courses. If there is a course not listed below, please email the Director of Graduate Studies ([email protected]) and Graduate Administrator ([email protected]) for approval.

3. Research Seminar Course and Journal Club

To learn about the current research in neuroscience and interact with researchers across disciplines, students are required to enroll in the neuroscience graduate seminar course, NEU 511 for two semesters and participate in the seminar journal club. The seminar meets on Thursdays and the journal club meets the week of an external speaker seminar. The discussion is led by a PNI postdoc and students are expected to participate by reading the journal paper assigned ahead of time in preparation for discussion.

4. Dissertation

The final requirement for the certificate is that the student’s dissertation research must include one chapter of neuroscience research. The student’s thesis committee and dissertation defense committee must include at least one core faculty member of the PNI and email the Neuroscience DGS certifying the inclusion of neuroscience research in the dissertation. In all cases, the DGS will review the email and confirm that this requirement has been met.