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The Department of Psychology, in conjunction with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, is pleased to announce its participation in the Joint Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience. Psychology graduate students enrolled in the program will be awarded a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and Neuroscience.


Understanding how the brain works and how it gives rise to mental function is one of the most exciting challenges in science. This effort is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing upon developments in cellular and molecular biology, genetic engineering, and psychology, and leveraging methods from chemistry, engineering mathematics, and physics to better measure and understand neural function. To help prepare the next generation of neuroscientists for these challenges, Princeton offers an interdisciplinary program leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in molecular biology and neuroscience, chemistry and neuroscience, or psychology and neuroscience.

Joint degrees with other relevant departments are also possible. The program encourages the serious study of molecular, cellular, developmental and systems neuroscience as it interfaces with cognitive and behavioral research. Current examples at Princeton include: molecular, genetic and pharmacologic analysis of learning and memory; the role of neural stem cells in the adult brain; viral infections of the nervous system; optical and electrical recordings of neuronal function; brain imaging studies of cognitive functions such as attention and memory in humans; and mathematical and computational analysis of neural network function. A more extensive listing of research opportunities in neuroscience is available online here.


Candidates should apply to the Department of Psychology. Upon completion of their general examination, usually in the second year of study, students may register as members of the Joint Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience by: obtaining approval from (a) their advisor; (b) the director of graduate studies (DGS) of their home department; (c) the DGS of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute; and then sending these approvals to the Student Services Manager for the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Prospective applicants are welcome to indicate an interest in the program in their initial Princeton University graduate studies application.


Fellowship awards and assistantship appointments are made by the University after recommendation by the cooperating departments and with the concurrence of the committee.


Upon entering the Psychology program, students select an advisor who is normally a member of the Psychology department and also an affiliate of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. Students must satisfy the normal pre-general examination requirements and pass the general examination within the Psychology Department. In addition to meeting Ph.D. requirements within the Psychology Department, students in the Joint Graduate Degree Program in Neuroscience must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)At least one of the members of the student's thesis committee must be a core faculty member of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute

(2) The student's Ph.D. thesis research should have a significant neuroscience component

(3)The student must take one of the following four courses: NEU 501a, NEU 501b, NEU 502a, or NEU 502b

(4) All students in the joint program are expected to participate in the neuroscience seminar (NEU 511), which meets several times per semester.