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Course work and research that emphasize the integration of molecular biology, developmental biology, biophysics, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuroendocrinology, neuroimmunology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience are offered through this PhD 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. As part of this preparation for independent research, students are expected to publish their research findings in peer-reviewed scientific 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 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, petition is needed

Required Tests

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

Students whose native language is not English must successfully complete the TOEFL or IELTS examination with a minimum score as given below:

E3PT79 (16 in writing, 21 in other sections)
IELTS6.0 in each section, 7.0 overall
CAE185 (or grade of “C”)
TOEFL PBT (paper-based)580
TOEFL IBT85 (22 in Speaking, 21 in other sections)

For more information about English Proficiency Tests, please visit English Proficiency for BYU Graduate Studies.

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

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.

Requirements for Degree

    Click here for more information about the Neuroscience PhD program.

    Contact Heidi Jensen with questions at or 801-422-8633.