Graduate Programs

Information Day on Jan 30, 2019; for more information click here


How to apply to the Master's Program

How to apply to the Doctoral Program

Computational Neuroscience is a young, growing discipline within the exciting field of neuroscience. It uses theoretical approaches from a variety of disciplines including mathematics, physics, computer science, and engineering to understand the brain. Computational Neuroscience integrates experiment, data analysis and modeling. Furthermore, it makes a scientific language available that can be used across disciplines and levels for neurobiology, cognitive science, and information technology. Computational Neuroscience may thus help to solve long-standing research questions, contribute to better prevention and treatment strategies for neural disorders, lead to unified concepts about biological processes, advance information technologies and human-machine interactions and, last but not least, provide new insight for designing efficient strategies for teaching and learning.

With the aim of fostering a new generation of scientists who have been trained in both mathematical / computational skills and neuroscientific methodologies the Bernstein Center Berlin has set up two international, interdisciplinary graduate programs:

a Master Program and a Doctoral Program.


Testimonials - Graduates of the MSc Program


Chris Häusler

Country of origin: Australia

Previous studies: Bachelor of Information Technology, Software Engineering, Queensland University of Technology

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2010
Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2014

Current occupation: data scientist

"Coming to Berlin to do the BCCN MSc Program was a fantastic choice and if I had my time over I would do it again in a flash. The course offers a great study environment with an impressive lecturer to student ratio, a small but eclectic mix of students from around the world and administrative support from the course coordinators that is second to none. You'll get to take part in cutting edge research in one of the most exciting scientific disciplines around and along the way learn an array of transferrable technical skills that could land you research or analyst positions in academia and industry. apply now! ;-)"


Jan Boelts

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor, Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrueck

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2018

Current occupation: PhD student at TU Munich

"With a BSc in Cognitive Science and broad interest in mathematical modelling, machine learning and, well, the brain, the BCCN Berlin was the ideal place to start my master program. The pace in the first year is high, but most courses are tailored to the master program, the groups are small and the atmosphere among the students and professors is colloquial, so that learning becomes very effective and fun. What I particularly like about the program is the environment established by the BCCN: the beautiful campus with the lecture halls right next most BCCN research groups, the family-like atmosphere among the master and PhD students, professor and staff, and the many BCCN talks, workshops, retreats and parties that foster academic and social exchange.

 The three lab rotations in the second year are ideal to learn about project management, scientific writing and your research interest. One of these lab rotations and the overall experience I gained at the BCCN led me to my current position as a doctoral student in the group for Computational Neuroengineering at TU Munich."


Laura Bella Naumann

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor, Mathematics in Medicine and Life Science, Universität zu Lübeck

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2017

Current occupation: PhD student at TU Berlin (Sprekeler Lab)


I’ve always been interested in maths and biology and found the ideal combination of the two in the computational neuroscience master at BCCN. Coming from a mostly mathematical background, I was excited to discover that the program achieves to teach the essential neuroscience along with a plethora of theoretical tools to model, simulate, record, analyse or extrapolate from neural systems on different scales and levels of complexity. Although quite dense and in parts challenging the first year teaches all the necessary basics of computational neuroscience after which lab rotations in the second year ensure hands-on research experience in diverse labs. What is more, the BCCN master program manages to convey this invaluable knowledge in a non-competitive, interdisciplinary and intercultural setting that has made and is still making me feel part of a big happy curious family. If you’re looking for a challenging, inspiring, fun and social program, BCCN is the right place for you. I would do it again in a heartbeat. ”


Peter Diehl

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, TU Dortmund University

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2013

Current occupation: Mc Kinsey


"I decided to do the BCCN MSc Program to gain a better understanding how intelligence arises in biological systems but I quickly realized that the program offers so much more than that. The limited number of students promotes a family-like feeling and the great student to teacher ratio enables teachers to help students individually. For me one of the best parts of the program are the numerous projects, which offer practical experience in project organization, teamwork and scientific writing. I especially enjoyed the possibility to visit research labs in Berlin, London and Zürich during the master.

My great experience in computational neuroscience led me to my current position as a doctoral student at the Institut of Neuroinformatics at ETH Zürich and Universität Zürich, where I study neural network models of relational learning."


Tiziano D'Albis

Country of origin: Italy

Previous studies: MSc in Computer Engineering, Politecnico di Milano

Graduated in in the BCCN MSc Program in 2012

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2018

Current occupation: Postdoc in Computational Neuroscience, Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin.

"I first came to Berlin with a formal training in computer science and a strong interest in the brain, but I had no background in computational neuroscience. The BCCN master program was for me a great opportunity to discover this exciting research field in a very stimulating environment for both study and research. Thanks to an excellent student-to-teacher ratio and the high quality of the research, learning in BCCN was very effective and even fun. I particularly enjoyed the international atmosphere and the social activities organized by the research center, which made my time spent in Berlin an invaluable life experience.

After finishing my master, I moved to France where I worked as a research engineer for almost two years. Now, I am back to Berlin, where I recently started a PhD in the group of Prof. Kempter. I study theoretical models of learning and memory in the brain, and I also collaborate in the teaching activities of the BCCN master program. I thus continue enjoying the great research environment of BCCN Berlin, and I would definitely recommend it to everybody."


Katharina Glomb

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Humboldt University Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN MSc Program in 2013

Current occupation: Lausanne University Hospital

"Taking this degree was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My bachelor was in biology, so CNS is not an obvious choice and some of the courses were definitely a challenge. However, the diversity of topics, the depth in which we studied them, the small group size and the close contact with lecturers made it easy to discover the beauty in fields that seemed incomprehensible to me at first.

The program is thoroughly grounded in the exciting local research environment (this may sound messy, but the organization is actually close to perfect). This means two things: One, the methods and problems that are treated are used in ongoing research; two, a lot of it is going on in Berlin and we got the chance to get a taste of it through the internships that are part of the 2nd year. I also enjoyed the chance to realize my master's thesis in an external lab, namely that of Gustavo Deco in Barcelona; actually, I have just started my PhD in the same group. We combine data analysis and modelling to research human resting state."



Testimonials - Graduates of the PhD Program



Lisa Velenosi

Country of origin: Canada

Previous studies: BSc (Biology, Psychology), McGill University, MSc (Cognitive Neuroscience), FU Berlin

Will graduate in the BCCN PhD Program soon

Current occupation: PhD student at the BCCN Berlin


"I cannot recommend the BCCN PhD program enough! They have managed to find the perfect balance between a structured PhD program and giving the students space to work on their research. I especially liked that the only course which we were required to take was taught by the PIs of the BCCN (we chose our other courses ourselves). The course gave the students a chance to learn what each of the groups was doing and this helped create a warm and inclusive atmosphere where everyone knows each other and can talk about their research together. Also, the program really cares about the students’ opinions and needs. Every three months the students organize a symposium where we discuss what soft skills courses we would like to attend, how we should spend whatever money is left in the budget and some of the students present their research. I personally think it’s amazing that the BCCN encourages the students to take part in these decisions and I hope that the program can continue in this fashion."


Raphael Holca

Country of origin: Canada

Previous studies: MSc Neural Systems and Computation

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2017

Current occupation: mimica start-up founder

"The BCCN’s PhD programme strikes a remarkable balance. First, the balance of support and independence: regular lab presentations and peer meetings provide a reliable structure around on your own, independent project. Then the balance of hard and soft skills: technical courses are complemented with theatre and presentation workshops, teaching activities and trip to conferences. And finally, the balance between productivity and social: the BCCN attracts brilliant minds with whom it’s always a pleasure to discuss at the many BBQs, events and retreats. All-in-all it’s been a great time!"


Evelin Beck (nee Wacker)

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Bioinformatics, Jena University

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2011

Current occupation: Research assistant at the Institute for Clinical Teratology and

Drug Risk Assessment in Pregnancy at Charite Medical School, Berlin

"Participating in the BCCN PhD Program was very gainful for me. The yearly research presentations and project reports were helpful for maintaining structure in the own work. The course work on advanced topics provided a very good basis for the own project and the soft skill courses contributed to the improvement of presentation, language and further personal skills. In addition, fruitful discussions with all the fellow students were a great source of inspiration for me."


Kerstin Ritter

Country of origin: Germany

Previous studies: Diplom Mathematics, HU Berlin

Graduated in the BCCN PhD Program in 2012

Current occupation: Postdoc at the Charite Medical School, Berlin

"The BCCN PhD Program provides a fantastic scientific framework program. The activities such as the PhD meetings and the retreat were very inspiring and gave us the opportunity to exchange scientific information as well as views and opinions about scientific work in general. Also the many interesting soft skill courses such as writing research proposals or international communication that have been offered were very helpful in improving our scientific presentation and communication skills."