Application Deadlines
Fall:January 15
Winter:January 15
Spring:January 15
Summer:January 15
Contact Information: 
192S ESC
Program Requirements: 

Course work and research that emphasizes the integration of cellular neuroscience, molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology, neuroimmunology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience is offered through this Ph.D. degree program. Students are required to develop a strong background in the principles of neuroscience and develop the intellectual background and technical expertise necessary for successful research projects in their area of specialization. Publication of the research in peer-reviewed journals is expected but not required.  

Requirements for Degree

  • Credit hours: 56 hours, including 18 hours of dissertation (Neuro 799R).
  • Students who have earned a master’s degree must complete at least 36 semester hours of additional graduate work at BYU beyond the master’s degree.
  • Required courses:
    • Bio 503 Research Orientation 1.0
    • Cell 570 Responsible Research Conduct 1.0
    • Neuro 601 Cellular Neuroscience 3.0
    • Neuro 602 Behavioral Neurobiology 3.0
    • Neuro 649R Laboratory Research 4.0
    • Neuro 689R Practicum in Neuroscience Teaching or Research 3.0
    • Neuro 694R Research Presentation 3.5 (0.5 credits for 7 semesters)
    • Neuro 696R Neuroscience Graduate Seminar 3.5 (0.5 credits for 7 semesters)
    • Stat 511 Statistical Methods for Research 1 or equivalent 3.0
    • Neuro 799R Doctoral Dissertation 18.0 - 21.0
    • Electives 10.0
    • One semester (4.0 credits) of Neuro 649R must be performed in a laboratory different than the laboratory of the student’s graduate committee chair.
    • A seminar must be presented each year (Neuro 694R).
    • A professional development requirement must be met (Neuro 689R).
  • Dissertation: American Psychological Association format or journal publication format.
  • Examinations: (A) comprehensive written and oral examination; (B) defense of dissertation.
Admission Requirements: 


GRE, MCAT, or DAT are not required but may be submitted if desired.

Course Prerequisites

In addition to general graduate requirements, applicants should have a strong background in neuroscience including: 

  • At least one advanced course completed in Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, or Psychology.
  • Solid foundation in the basic sciences with advanced courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Biology/Physiology. 
  • Students without the prerequisite courses in neuroscience can be accepted conditionally into the program, provided they take a Behavioral Neuroscience course (Neuro 460) and a Cellular Neuroscience course (Neuro 480) their first semester and pass each class with a 3.0 or higher.
  • Grade Point Average: 3.0 or greater. If lower, a petition is needed.    

Additional Requirements



Three Letters of Recommendation: at least two from academic mentors/faculty/research advisors. 

Letter of Intent: Document summarizing your background, career goals, research experience, interest level, likely fit, and desire to conduct graduate research with at least three specific faculty members in the program. 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty members whose research is aligned with the prospective student's long-term goals. This allows the faculty member to advocate on behalf of the applicant during the acceptance process. Students will work directly with faculty mentors throughout their graduate programs. Faculty contact information can be found here.  

Program Outcomes: 

Knowledge of Neuroscience Concepts

Describe the current state of the discipline in their area of specialization as well as foundational theories, concepts, and practices of the field. Students will add new knowledge to their field through designing and conducting research procedures, collecting data, analyzing data, determining how new knowledge fits in with current understanding in the field, and disseminating their findings to the broader scientific community.

Professional Development

Develop professionally through research or teaching assistantships and presentation of their research (Neuro 694R).

Scientific Method and Research

Successfully apply the scientific method by generating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis in their personal research that includes appropriate controls, and formulating defensible conclusions.

Critical Analysis and Effective Communication

Critically evaluate the current scientific literature in the discipline, write research proposals and papers, and make effective oral and written presentations. Publication of research in peer reviewed journals is strongly encouraged.


Hone teaching skills through presentation of their research and teaching practicums. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, teach in a formal class setting. Assess student learning and performance.