In our USC one-year Master of Science degree program, students attend lectures and perform hands-on activities that teach them to acquire brain MRI data on our Siemens 3T and 7T scanners, analyze multimodal brain imaging data, design neuroimaging studies, perform computational modeling, use animal model techniques, and more.

Didactic Lectures

Courses on neuroanatomy, data processing, experimental design and other topics

Speakers and group discussion

Faculty-guided discussions about neuroimaging topics and exciting guest speakers.

Hands-on Training

Hands-on training in neuroimaging acquisition and analysis, computational processing, and neuroanatomy


Fall Curriculum

  • NIIN 500 Neuroimaging and Systems Neuroscience

    Instructor: Cabeen and Patel
    Credits: 3
    This course will provide a detailed overview of elemental neuroanatomy and brain systems with an emphasis on a neuroimaging perspective in the human and mouse. Examples from clinical cases and their consequences on behavior will be explored.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC.

  • NIIN 510 Fundamentals of Human Neuroimaging

    Instructors: Jann
    Credits: 3
    Survey of anatomical and functional neuroimaging approaches and their use to explore the healthy as well as diseased human brain.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC.

  • NIIN 530 Neuroimaging Data Acquisition with Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Instructors: Wang and Yan
    Credits: 3
    This course introduces the various approaches that can be used to image the living brain using MR-based techniques. The course covers neuroimaging scanning technologies, pulse sequence design, and sources of image artifact.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC.

  • NIIN 540 Neuroimaging Data Processing Methods

    Instructors: Jahanshad and Kim
    Credits: 3
    A comprehensive investigation of data processing methods, software strategies, and workflow design and execution methodologies.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC.

  • NIIN 597 Current Topics in Neuroimaging Informatics

    Instructor: Salminen
    Credits: 1
    Leading researchers in the areas of basic and clinical brain imaging, computational methods, and informatics present lectures on their work to NIIN students, local USC faculty, and staff. NIIN students will offer their written comment and critique of these interactive presentations.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC.

Spring Curriculum

  • NIIN 520 Experimental Design for Neuroimaging

    Instructors: Duncan and Pappas
    Credits: 3
    An examination of study design approaches for experimental and clinical neuroimaging investigation. Topics include how to develop rigorous experiments to test theories of cognitive and clinical neuroscience.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC

  • NIIN 550 Computational Modeling in Neuroimaging

    Instructor: Shi
    Credits: 3
    Lectures addressing the current neuroinformatics approaches to large-scale data representations, and mining in brain imaging. Applications in clinical samples will be presented and discussed.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC

  • NIIN 560 Brain Architecture and Neuroanatomic Exploratory Techniques in Animal Models

    Instructor: Bienkowski
    Credits: 3 (Elective)
    Introduction to basic theories and methodological approaches to neuroanatomy in animal models including histology, microscopy, behavioral investigations, and neuroinformatics.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building (lecture) & McKibben Addition 346 (lab) at HSC

  • NIIN 570 Neuroimaging Genetics

    Instructor: Braskie
    Credits: 3
    Lectures on human genetics and epigenetics. We discuss how applying these concepts to brain imaging advances our understanding of healthy development and neurological disease. The class emphasizes critical thinking applied both to designing neuroimaging genetics studies and to assessing neuroimaging genetics literature.
    Location: Hastings Auditorium in the Hoffman building at HSC

  • NIIN 580 Data Science in Neuroimaging

    Instructor: Aksman
    Credits: 3 (Elective)
    Students will learn the basics of data science as applied to neuroimaging data. Topics include neuroimaging data preparation and quality control, basics of programming, and statistical models and machine learning techniques appropriate for the analyses of neuroimaging data.

  • NIIN 600 Science Communications

    Instructor: Salminen
    Credits: 1
    Students will learn writing and communication elements critical for success in science-related fields, including clear writing, effective presentations, and career development skills.

NIIN Course Academic Year Schedule

Fall 500 3 9-10am 9-11am Cabeen and Patel
Fall 510 3 10-11am 1-3pm Jann
Fall 530 3 9-10am 1-3pm Wang and Yan
Fall 540 3 10-11am 10-12pm Jahanshad and Kim
Fall 597 1 12-1pm Salminen
Spring 520 3 10-11am 10-12pm Duncan and Pappas
Spring 550 3 9-10am 1-3pm Shi
Spring 560 3 9-10am 9-11am Bienkowski
Spring 570 3 10-11am 1-3pm Braskie
Spring 580 3 9-10am 9-11am Aksman
Spring 600 1 12-1pm Salminen

MRI Technology

Two State-of-the-Art MRI scanners

Students learn on cutting-edge imaging technology, including in-house Magnetom Terra 7T and Prisma 3T MRI scanners

21 Petabyte Capacity Data Center

A data center currently housing data from more than 500,000 subjects on 6 continents

The INI's Center for Image Acquisition (CIA) employs cutting-edge scientific instruments and analytical approaches to optimize images of the living human brain. The powerful tools and techniques developed by the CIA team, which enable breakthroughs in both the lab and clinic, are perfected and shared with the larger scientific community.

The CIA houses two of the world’s most advanced MRI scanners, along with dedicated supercomputing systems, cutting-edge analysis techniques and unrivaled professional expertise. The Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner boasts a high-end gradient system ideal for clinical imaging studies; the INI’s Siemens Terra 7T MRI scanner was the first of its kind installed in North America and contains a powerful magnet that enables researchers to image the brain in ultra-high resolution.

To gain a more complete picture of brain health, biomedical researchers are simultaneously integrating behavioral, genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors into their neuroimaging studies. Understanding how these and other variables relate to imaging observations will provide critical insights into the brain’s role in human biology.

Research Opportunities