The formation of synaptic connections during the development of the nervous system requires the precise targeting of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. Furthermore, synapses are continually modified in the brain by experience. Recently, the ubiquitin proteasome system has emerged as a key regulator of synaptic development and function. The modification of proteins by ubiquitin, and in many cases their subsequent proteasomal degradation, has proven to be an important mechanism to control protein stability, activity and localization at synapses. Recent work has highlighted key questions of the UPS during the development and remodeling of synaptic connections in the nervous system.