UPMC Procirca and Carlow University are in collaboration to offer a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience with Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring concentration that launched in the Fall of 2018.  The program earned CAAHEP accreditation as of 2022, and celebrated its first class of students to graduate with Pathway I eligibility for the CNIM exam in Spring 2022.  The program currently maintains 100% employment rate for program graduates in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology through 2023.

The Class of 2022

The Class of 2022

Back row: Sierra Konate, Kait Melvin, Justice Taylor, Ahmad Shakoor, and Program Director Josh Sunderlin
Front row: Jacinda Gilmore, Sunni Lowe, and Nessa Myers

Why choose this program?


    Carlow University’s program in cooperation with UPMC’s Procirca Center for Clinical Neurophysiology’s B.S. program is unique. It is the only Neuroscience major that offers both a B.S. with a concentration in Intraoperative Neuromonitoring and the ability to participate in enough surgical procedures to take the related certification exam upon graduation.


    Graduates from UPMC’s program report salary ranges from $75,000-$90,000 per year.


    The Bureau of Labor and Statistics describes the profession of IONM as having a “bright outlook” with faster than average projected growth (22% or higher). Employment opportunities are in many sectors including:

    • hospitals
    • healthcare companies
    • specialized sleep and epilepsy labs
    • education
    • research in academic and industry setting
    • industry sales

“Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is a relatively new, challenging, and rapidly growing field which requires well trained and educated practitioners. I not only had the good fortune of finding IONM as a career, but also to be trained with Procirca. Under the supervision of industry leading professionals, Procirca provides extensive training of all current monitoring techniques and explores new areas in which they can be approved. I am proud to work for Procirca because I know that I am working with a team that shares my values, and puts patient care first. Procirca provides all the tools necessary to help people become top clinicians in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology.”

Nicholas Karkowsky, CNIM

“I had the opportunity to graduate from the first undergraduate intraoperative neuromonitoring program in the country, and I continually advocate for the value of both the advanced knowledge and direct clinical experience it provided. Pursuing a concentration in IONM was the perfect intersection of my collective interests in neuroscience, anatomy, physiology, and medicine. Taking intraoperative monitoring courses, coupled with hands-on clinical experience in operating rooms, allowed me to immediately step into a full time IONM surgical position, bypassing several years of typical on-the-job training.”

Kylie Burnham, B.S., CNIMSenior Surgical Neurophysiologist

Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience with concentration in Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring:

Candidates must satisfy all requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Neuroscience. Senior Experience/capstone is waived as it will be fulfilled by clinical coursework at UPMC. Intraoperative Neuromonitoring coursework is determined by UPMC Procirca’s Center for Clinical Neurophysiology.

Eligibility for program:

Along with meeting UPMC Procirca’s Center for Clinical Neurophysiology’s admission requirements, students must meet Carlow University’s prerequisites for approval and recommendation to enter the program including:

  • science course GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • the recommendation of science faculty and/or advisor based on demonstrated integrity and excellence in academic pursuits.

Transfer students must have an overall and science course GPA of 3.0 to be considered for the program.



NEU 221 Neurophysiology:

Neurophysiology is a one-semester undergraduate-level hybrid course designed to provide students in Behavioral Neuroscience tracks with an overview of neurophysiology and current topics in neuroscience. The course will also introduce basic research and diagnostic techniques used to investigate the nervous system. Attention will be given developing analytical and communication skills necessary to investigate and report on topics in the field. This is a four-credit course with three hours of lecture instruction and two hours of lab instruction per week.

Neuromonitoring Fundamentals:

This one-semester undergraduate course is designed to introduce the equipment and modalities used in IONM to students who are preparing for a career in neuromonitoring. Emphasis will be placed on reading, evaluating, and presenting scientific journal articles. Students are also required to complete a research project that makes use of IONM equipment, and submit a final paper. This is a four-credit course with three hours of lecture instruction and two hours of lab instruction per week.

Introduction to Neuromonitoring for Surgical Procedures:

Students learn from hands on experience in the operating rooms of UPMC hospitals during basic surgical procedures. Each student is paired with a preceptor who provides instruction on how to set-up for, and perform the different neuromonitoring modalities used in the specific surgical procedure being performed. Outside of the operating room, students participate in didactic lectures and case review sessions.

Neuromonitoring for Advanced Surgical Procedures:

Students learn from hands on experience in the operating rooms of UPMC hospitals during more complex surgical procedures that require multiple IONM modalities. Each student is paired with a preceptor who provides instruction on how to set-up and perform multi-modality IONM. During this course, students will be assessed for how well they make the transition from being passive observers to active primary providers of IONM.

What is Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM)?

IONM is a medical procedure performed during surgeries that can affect the functioning of the nervous system. It has been shown to significantly reduce the occurrence of neurological damage during high-risk surgeries in adult and pediatric populations.

“Procirca was one of the first providers to deliver IONM services in the country. And now because of our leadership, technical expertise and world-class training program, IONM is the standard of care.”

— Ryan Quallich, Supervisor, Intraoperative Neuromonitoring

Neuromonitoring Prevents Injuries