Program Goals

The goal of the PhD program is to develop excellent researchers and teachers who will become leaders in psychological science either in academic or applied research settings. Research activity is emphasized from the start of graduate study. The program has an interdisciplinary focus, and it helps students to develop an area of research specialization while providing opportunities to bring various theoretical and methodological perspectives to work in their chosen area of training. These include not only perspectives from the discipline of psychology, but also from computer science, neuroscience, and biology. The program of study reflects the belief that an understanding of human behavior requires a consideration of body, brain, social, and developmental processes. Support for these goals is provided by an NIGMS training grant described in the Brain, Body, and Behavior section.

Program Outcomes

Our PhD students take, on average, 5.5 years to complete and successfully defend their dissertations. Over the last 12 years, 94 percent of our enrolled students have successfully completed their studies. Our former students have gone on to various careers as postdoctoral fellows in basic and clinical research, teaching in higher education, analysts in market research, and administrators in private corporations and academia. 


The general requirements for admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences apply to candidates for admission to this area of study. In general, applicants should have a strong science background typically including some experience with hands-on empirical research and statistical and computer analysis. Students are admitted on a competitive basis, which includes evaluation of previous academic records, recommendations, and results of the Graduate Record Examination. 


Individuals who are members of historically under-represented groups and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Brandeis University is committed to non-discrimination. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences admission website is accessible to users with screen readers and other assistive devices. Graduate student support policies and resources are available online.