Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience (PhD)

Program Overview

The doctoral program in behavioral neuroscience offered by the Department of Psychology is highly individualized, competitive and research-intensive. Students are expected to be self-directed and dedicated to research. Our program emphasizes three principle areas of scientific training: breadth of knowledge, analytical and methodological skills, and scientific communication skills. The program is ranked in the top 15th percentile in the nation by Academics Analytics.

Research is a core component of the program. Each student receives support from faculty and the department to create a unique course of study specific to individual research interests. Prospective students are encouraged to explore faculty specializations before applying to see if areas of concentration align.

Past research experience is highly regarded during the application process. Potential candidates will be invited for an interview on campus with travel expenses compensated by the department. Interviews via Skype are available for students currently overseas. Students may be admitted with a tuition scholarship and a stipend for serving as research or teaching assistants. In many cases, teaching assistantships include health insurance and a tuition scholarship. Student that remain in good standing are eligible for up to 5 years of funding.

Program research themes include:

  • Alcohol, drugs of abuse and addictive processes
  • Developmental psychobiology
  • Learning and memory processes
  • Biological rhythms and stress
  • Neurochemistry and psychopharmacology
  • Neural-coding and computational neuroscience

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

The department seeks to foster an integrative and collaborative atmosphere to accommodate a multidisciplinary and diverse range of research interests from both faculty and staff. With guidance from faculty advisors, students choose the details of their areas of study. Students will not only be exposed to courses in behavioral neuroscience, but also to those from the other two PhD tracks: clinical psychology and cognitive and brain sciences. Specialized seminars are held to broaden the student’s academic experience.

Students can also take advantage of the Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience at Binghamton University for a wealth of resources such as collaborative research ventures, information about special grant funding and opportunities to attend professional conferences.

After You Graduate

Graduates of the program often transition into postdoctoral positions at major universities, colleges and research centers such as University of British Columbia, University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Kessler Institute, Wayne State University and Tufts University’s School of Medicine.

Many alumni also obtain positions in the pharmaceutical sciences, working for companies and research facilities such as Lilly Pharmaceutical, Purdue Pharma, Merck Research Laboratories and Lineberry Research Associates.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
    • An undergraduate degree in psychology is desirable, but a degree in another field does not preclude admission.
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.


Degree Fall Spring
Behavioral Neuroscience (PhD)December 1N/A

For more information, visit the Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience website.