CNAP is a unique program administered by the DIBS Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and provides neuroscience graduate students with the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary educational experience involving multiple departments and outstanding faculty teachers and mentors.

The key features of the program include 18 months of course work and laboratory rotations, followed by students selecting a primary department and two advisors who have expertise in different sub-disciplines related to the students' areas of interests.

CNAP also offers a rich environment for training and research, with fMRI, EEG laboratories, and extensive facilities for psychophysical studies in humans, as well as behavioral and physiological studies in non-human primates and rodents.


Contact Us

Inquires about the graduate Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP) should be directed to the CNAP Director of Graduate Studies, Greg Samanez-Larkin, Ph.D.

Email the CNAP Director of Graduate Studies by Clicking Here


The mission of the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP) is to train graduate students from diverse background in inter-disciplinary, innovative approaches to investigating brain function and translating discoveries into solutions for health and society. The program prepares the next generation of leaders in neuroscience research and education through a flexibly tailored training program involving 18 months of cognitive neuroscience coursework and laboratory rotations, followed by students selecting a department and two expert advisors for their thesis research.


  • To confer broad and deep knowledge in, and critical appraisal of, core domains of cognitive neuroscience
  • To train students in cutting-edge research methods for revealing neural mechanisms underlying cognition and behavior
  • To prepare students for careers in brain science research, education, clinical application, and industry

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, students should be able to:

  • Articulate a strong working knowledge of key questions and approaches in multiple sub-disciplines of cognitive neuroscience, as demonstrated in successful completion of coursework, exams, and journal article discussion
  • Demonstrate deep expertise and methodological skills in in their chosen research domain, as evidenced by high-quality oral presentations and journal publications

What Our Students Say...

“When applying for graduate school, I was always more interested in rotation programs, given my broad interests in emotion, cognition, and memory interactions. I was especially drawn to the collaborative environment at the CCN. During my first year, CNAP has definitely been a very helpful and fulfilling experience. It has provided me with the opportunity to experience a wide range of research projects and challenged me to think of novel ways to collaborate across labs.”

—Leonard Faul, CNAP student


“I came to grad school straight from undergrad, and as I didn't major in psychology or neuroscience, I had little idea which subarea in cognitive neuroscience I wanted to specialize in. I found CNAP and it immediately became my first choice for grad school. I loved how interdisciplinary it was.”

— Natasha Parikh, CNAP alumna
She successfully defended her PhD thesis in March 2019

A Day in the Life of CNAP Student Justine Shih