Expand questions below to see answers to frequently asked questions.
How long is this program?
NIIN is a one-year Master of Science program that consists of a total of 26 units (13 per semester).
How many units are required to complete the program?
26 units are required.
Is there a Grade Point Average requirement for coursework in the program?
Yes. Please note the following information from the USC Catalogue: “At no time should the overall GPA drop below 3.0. A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in a course to receive graduate credit. Work graded C- or below is not acceptable for subject or unit credit toward any master’s or doctoral program. An overall grade point average of at least 3.0 on all units attempted at USC while a graduate student is required for graduation.”
Will I get to scan actual brains?
Yes. Students in the program will be exposed to and trained on state-of-the-art neuroimaging systems for measuring brain form, function, connectivity, and metabolism.
Will I learn how to process brain imaging data?
Yes. In the NIIN program, you will learn how to acquire and analyze brain imaging data using modern neuroimaging analysis techniques.
Can I swap out any NIIN courses that are listed for others from the USC course catalogue?
No. We have structured the program to be a synergistic and comprehensive set of courses which cover all aspects of neuroimaging and informatics in a systematic fashion.
Can I audit any other courses at USC while enrolled in the NIIN program?
That is between you and the instructor of those courses. Please speak to them about your interest in their course.
Are there any prerequisites for the NIIN program?
There are no formal prerequisites for the NIIN program, but students who have a strong background in science and some experience with computer programming and statistics will have an easier time with the course material.
What is the minimum grade-point average (GPA) expected from program applicants?
To be considered for the program, a minimum 3.0 GPA is expected. However, the program is highly competitive, so GPAs higher than 3.0 are encouraged.
What is the minimum score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) that you require?
While there is no required minimum score required for admission, our admissions process is competitive. We will consider all elements of an application together when evaluating candidates.
Can letters of recommendation be sent using an alternative method?
All three required letters of recommendation should be uploaded to the USC application portal. Any additional letters of recommendation beyond the three required may be emailed to us at email@example.com, with the subject line “Letter of Recommendation – YourName” (e.g., “Letter of Recommendation - Tommy Trojan”).
May I defer admission?
USC does not offer deferments to the following year. We do not offer a spring start date for NIIN students.
Part time students
Can I take the program part-time?
Please email our program about options for part-time completion before applying (firstname.lastname@example.org). The subject line of the email should read, "Part-time student."
Progressive degree students
Does NIIN take part in USC’s Progressive Degree Program?
We offer a progressive degree option through USC. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in attending our program through the progressive degree option. The subject line of the email should read: Progressive degree student - YourName (e.g., “Progressive degree student – Tommy Trojan.”). Instructions and the progressive degree application can be found here.
How should a course plan be structured if I am applying to the progressive degree program?
Please email our program about setting up your course plan (firstname.lastname@example.org). The subject line of the email should read, "Progressive degree student." We request that you also submit a statement about why you are interested in this program.
Is there a USC office that assists international students?
The USC Office of International Services (OIS) offers a wide range of services, including help with official documents, immigration questions, employment, financial aid, health insurance and more.
Tuition and financial aid
What are the tuition costs associated with the program?
26 units are required at USC’s standard tuition rate. Please refer to USC’s Tuition and Fees page for details about graduate student tuition.
Where can I find information regarding financial assistance?
New students who apply by the priority deadline will be eligible to be considered for a partial scholarship (please see our Prospective Students page for more information). The selection committee will review the applicant’s file for admission to the NIIN Program. The committee will consider academics, leadership skills, experience, and interests highlighted in the resume and Statement of Purpose, as well as the overall quality of the admissions application. Priority deadline: April 1 for fall enrollment.
In addition, please refer to the USC Financial Aid Office website: http://financialaid.usc.edu/.
Once I complete the NIIN degree, what job opportunities might be available to me?
Students who have completed the NIIN program are ideally poised to attend PhD programs in fields such as neuroscience and biomedical engineering, apply for medical school, or serve as managers, scientific coordinators, or researchers in neuroimaging labs. Others may work as data analysts or programmers working with neuroimaging or other health data. Some of our incoming students have been current medical doctors or PhDs who attend the NIIN program to learn new skills to further their ongoing research careers.
Who can take NIIN Classes?
May I audit NIIN classes?
Only current USC students, faculty, post-docs, and staff may audit our classes. Students enrolled in other programs should fill out a petition form. Non-students should fill out the Limited Status Registration Form. The correct completed form should be emailed with your request to email@example.com.
May I take NIIN courses if I’m enrolled in another program?
To request to audit or take one of our classes for credit, you must first receive written permission from the class instructor(s). Please email them your request with a copy of your CV and a brief indication of why you would like to take the class. Instructor email addresses can be found here. If they provide permission, please fill out a petition form and send it, along with a copy of your CV and written instructor permission, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line of the email should read “NIIN Course Petition” followed by YourName (e.g., NIIN Course Petition - Tommy Trojan). If you have not yet begun a graduate degree in a related field you should also include a copy of your undergraduate transcripts.
Please note the following information from the USC Catalogue:
“Auditors pay the regular tuition rate. Auditors are not required to participate in class exercises (discussions and examinations); they receive no grades or credit and there is no transcript notation of courses taken for audit. An instructor, dean or university officer may give permission to an individual to attend a class as a guest. Otherwise, attendance in class is limited to enrolled students.”
Deadline to petition to audit: 7 days prior to the start of classes for the semester, or the nearest working day to that date.
May I take NIIN courses if I am affiliated with USC but am not currently a student in a USC degree program (e.g.,USC faculty, post-doctoral scholars, or staff?)
Only current USC students, faculty, post-docs, and staff may take our classes outside of the NIIN degree program. To request to audit or take one of our classes for credit, you must first receive written permission from the class instructor(s). Please email them your request with a copy of your CV and a brief indication of why you would like to take the class. Instructor email addresses can be found here. If they provide permission, Please fill out the Limited Status Program Registration Form and email it and your request to email@example.com, along with a copy of your CV and the instructors’ written permission. The subject line of the email should read “NIIN Course Petition” followed by YourName (e.g., NIIN Course Petition - Tommy Trojan). If you have not yet begun a graduate degree in a related field you should also include a copy of your undergraduate transcripts.
Please also refer to the following websites for more information: