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The purpose of this MS degree program is to obtain a sound understanding of current concepts in neuroscience. The thesis research project teaches the fundamentals of scientific inquiry and trains students in state-of-the-art research techniques. As part of this preparation for independent research, students are expected to publish their research findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Admission and Entry

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

At least one advanced course completed in Molecular/Cellular/Behavioral Neuroscience or Psychology

Solid foundation in the basic sciences with advanced courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Biology/Physiology

Grade Point Average: 3.0 or greater. If lower, petition is needed.

Required Tests

Students whose native language is not English are required to take the U.S. Graduate Record Examination, and must also successfully complete the TOEFL or IELTS examination with a minimum score as given below:

E3PT 79 (16 in writing, 21 in other sections)
IELTS 6.0 in each section, 7.0 overall
CAE 185 (or grade of “C”)
TOEFL PBT (paper-based) 580
TOEFL IBT 85 (22 in Speaking, 21 in other sections)


Min: 50th Percentile
The GRE scores are required for admission and can be taken remotely. See 
Note: the GRE can be waived if COVID provides a hardship.

Non-English-speaking students must also provide sufficient documentation to permit an appropriate evaluation of their previous academic performance.

Additional Requirements


Letters of Recommendation: at least two, preferably three from academic mentors/faculty/research advisors

Letter of Intent: background, research experience, research interests, career goals, and fit with BYU faculty

The most effective applicants will contact individual faculty members whose research is aligned with the perspective 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.

Requirements for Degree

  • Credit Hours (30): minimum 24 approved course work hours plus 6 thesis hours (Neuro 699R).
  • Required courses: Bio 503 (1 hour); Neuro 601 (3 hours), 649R (2 hours), 694R (2 hours), 696R (2 hours); Stat 511 or equivalent (3 hours).
  • A seminar must be presented each year (PDBio694R)
  • Thesis: standard university thesis format or journal publication format.
  • Examinations: (A) course work oral examination; (B) oral defense of thesis.

Click here for more information about the Neuroscience Master's program.

Contact Roberta Barnes with questions at or 801-422-8633.