About the Program:

A program for graduate training in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience is offered through the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The program emphasizes mechanisms of brain function that underlie behavior. The objective is to train and educate Ph.D. students, so they are qualified for careers in academic or industrial research and teaching. Training in our program involves collaborative and independent research activities beginning with the first term of graduate school and culminating in the doctoral dissertation. Students are both apprentices and colleagues of the faculty, and most of their professional skills are developed in the context of research and teaching, rather than through coursework. Each student works most closely with a single faculty member designated as their major advisor. Together, they are most directly responsible for planning and conducting the student’s graduate training. However, other faculty are accessible, and no student is restricted to working with only their major advisor.

  • The program normally takes five years for completion of the Ph.D. degree. Although there is no terminal master’s degree program, a master’s degree is awarded after completion of requisite coursework and approval of the master’s thesis by the student’s master’s committee.
  • Students are expected to start research projects immediately upon entry into the program.
  • Students who already possess a master’s degree in a related field are also welcome to apply.
  • A qualifying examination is completed in the third year of study. This examination will involve either writing a paper (literature review) or a written exam, as decided by the student’s doctoral committee. The qualifying exam also includes an oral evaluation of the written work. Although our program’s primary emphasis is on research, students will gain some experience in teaching, as all students in the department are required to teach a course before completing their Ph.D.

Admission Requirements:

The faculty in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience welcome applications from students with undergraduate majors in psychology as well as those from a variety of related areas, such as the physical or biological sciences, engineering, social sciences, and computer and information sciences. Consult the material provided by the Psychology Department for details on the admission procedure. We welcome personal interviews and encourage applicants to visit the Department at any time during the application process.

All entering students must satisfy the general minimum requirements for entry into the Department of Psychology: a Verbal & Quantitative GRE score of 290 or above, and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above (exceptions may be made under unusual conditions, e.g. foreign applicants). Successful applicants to the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program typically have undergraduate backgrounds in the natural sciences and mathematics, along with previous laboratory experience. Because students are admitted to work with a particular faculty member, applicants should familiarize themselves with the research interests of the different faculty members and indicate those with whom they would most like to work.

Financial Support:

Support is available through teaching assistantships, research assistantships on faculty research grants, and competitive fellowships. Students will also be encouraged to apply to relevant federal and private agencies for predoctoral fellowships, including programs for minority applicants.

Some key details about support:

  • The current entry level stipend averages $19,100 for nine months, with the possibility of additional summer support. University fellowships are typically offered to the most competitive applicants in an application cycle to increase the stipend by $2,500 – 5,000.
  • Students in good standing receive stipends and tuition waivers (excluding some “miscellaneous fees”).
  • Financial support is provided for five years of graduate training.
  • Additional funds (e.g. travel awards) are available on a competitive basis.

Additional fellowships are available on a competitive basis. Students will be encouraged to apply to relevant federal and private agencies for pre-doctoral fellowships including programs for minority applicants. The Graduate School also offers several competitive fellowships and stipend supplements for entering students; applicants with suitable credentials will automatically be entered into these competitions by the admissions committee.

Additional Funding Opportunities (Note: This is a partial list of funding opportunities that may be available. Opportunities will be added/updated as they become available)
CLAS Dissertation Fellowships
Fall Grad Student Teaching Awards
SfNTravel Awards
Graduate Student Mentoring Award
Ford Fellowships
Parkinson’s Fellowships
APA Dissertation Research Awards
APA Early Graduate Student Researcher Awards
UF- International Student Awards

Required and Elective Graduate Courses:


Students in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program must complete all the Departmental requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Please see the Departmental Graduate Regulations in the table (below).


Pre-Master’s requirements include coursework and research for the Master’s thesis. Typically, students complete the requirements for the Master’s degree in 2 years. Pre-doctoral studies consist principally of research for the doctoral dissertation, along with elective coursework that is relevant to the individual’s research interests. Pre-doctoral requirements also include a qualifying examination based upon an individualized Program of Study. Please see the BCN Graduate Regulations and Information, and the Program of Study form in the table (below).

Graduate Regulations, Information, and Forms
Departmental Graduate Regulations
BCN Graduate Regulations and Information
Program of Study form
Course Registration form
Drop/Add form
for additional information and important links, go to:

1) Psychology Department website (www.psych.ufl.edu) and follow the links for current grads

2) UF Graduate School (www.graduateschool.ufl.edu)

Town and Campus:

The University of Florida is a major international node of brain research including the McKnight Brain Institute and over 50 associated faculty based in many academic departments. The Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program has strong ties with the McKnight Brain Institute, the UF Genetics Institute, the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, and other academic centers. We encourage our students to participate in the activities of these centers, to learn techniques and to engage in interdisciplinary and collaborative projects with other groups on campus.

The Psychology Department itself has over 100 graduate students and 30 faculty in five main disciplines. Of most relevance for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences students are the areas of Behavior Analysis and Developmental Psychology. These areas sponsor various seminars of general interest.

Weekly Professional Development meetings, Fall  2018

Tuesdays, period 5 (11:45-12:35), PSY 333

Additional Resources:

Attending and Presenting at Professional Meetings

How to Give a Good Talk

PowerPoint Presentation Advice

How to Write a Research Paper

Tips on Mentoring Undergraduate Students in the Laboratory


 Schedule of Students’ Presentations
 Sept. 4, 2018 Christina
Sept. 11, 2018 Maeve, Wendel, Kierstin
Sept. 18, 2018 Carly, Javier
Sept. 25, 2018 Julianne, Christian
Oct. 2, 2018 John, Sara
Oct. 9, 2018 Allison
Oct. 16, 2018 Lisa
Oct. 23, 2018 Samarth, John
Oct. 30, 2018 Peter
Nov. 6, 2018 No mtg., SFN
Nov. 13, 2018 Ian, Peiwei
Nov. 20, 2018 No mtg., Thanksgiving
Dec. 4, 2018 Debriefing