Psychology PhD Program Overview
Our graduate program has two degrees, the Clinical Psychology PhD program and the Psychology PhD program. The Clinical Psychology doctoral program is for those who want to be trained as clinicians (psychotherapists) in addition to training in research (Click here for more information). The Psychology doctoral program is for those who want more focused training in research, sometimes referred to as our “Non-Clinical” program.
The Psychology doctoral program offers a rigorous educational experience. The first four semesters provide broad coverage of the discipline of psychology and scientific research skills, and introduce students to the particular areas of emphasis offered in the program. During the last two years of the program, students pursue specialized coursework and training in one of three emphasis areas: Applied Social Psychology, Cognitive & Behavioral Neurosciences, & Developmental Psychology.
*Students also have the option to obtain a sub-specialty in Health Psychology within any of the above programs.
During the first semester students select a faculty advisor and a dissertation committee. By the end of the second year in the program, all students complete a second year project and poster presentation. Following the completion of these requirements, under the direction of the dissertation committee, students concentrate on coursework and research in their emphasis area. For even more reasons to come to BYU, download our graduate program brochure and visit our Frequently Asked Question page.
While many APA programs currently prefer students to apply at the baccalaureate degree level, we welcome students with either a bachelors or masters degree.
If you do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology, the following prerequisite classes are required: General Psychology (Psych 111), Psychological Statistics (Psych 308), Research Design & Analysis (Psych 310), and three additional 300-level courses. Deficiencies may be addressed when admitted.
Application Deadline: Dec 1
Entrance: Fall Semester Only
Applications accepted beginning October 1st
Apply for the program here.
Average entrance GPA:3.78
Approximate admissions per year:5-8
GRE scores are optional for the year 2020 applicants [Note: GRE scores are still required for the Clinical Psychology PhD program]. Please click here for more information.
All applications are taken electronically. To apply for any graduate program at BYU fill out the online application. If you find it impossible to apply online please contact the Office of Graduate Studies in 105 FPH or by phone at 801-422-4091.
Barring unexpected circumstances such as prolonged severe illness, the Psychology PhD program should be completed within four years from the date of entry into the program. Even if a rare time allowance is made for an extreme circumstance, credits will become outdated after eight years.
Students must register for a minimum of 6 semester hours per academic year (September-August) to stay in the program. Full-time graduate student status requires registration for 4.5 credits per term or 8.5 credits per semester (9 credits for international students)
To see current tuition rates for both LDS and Non-LDS students, please click here. Financial support is offered through Teaching and Research Assistantships, Student Instructorships, Partial Tuition Support, Research, and Travel Support, Short-term and Long-term Loans, and Competitive Graduate Studies and other awards.
Teaching and Research Assistantships: Fifteen hours of paid research or teaching assistantships are offered for two years of study, typically four semesters - $4800 fall and winter, $2400 spring or summer ($12,000 total for an academic year).
Graduate Instructors: Graduate students have the opportunity to teach undergraduate psychology courses each semester/term, after they have completed Psych 693, Teaching Psychology. A full stipend of around $2600 is paid for a 3-credit hour course if enrollment reaches 20 or more.
Partial Tuition Support: Partial tuition support of half-LDS tuition is offered up to four years of the Ph.D. program—$1770 fall and winter, $885 spring or summer.
Research and Travel: There is some funding from the department and college available for travel to conferences in which students are presenting research papers or posters.
Short Term and Long Term Loans: In addition to federal government guaranteed student loans, BYU offers both short and long-term loans through internal resources. Contact the Financial Aid Office at (801)-422-4104 or online at BYU's financial aid website.
Competitive Awards: Some psychology students have also been successful in competing for a limited number of awards offered through the university, general through graduate studies or the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. Examples of these awards include Research Presentation Awards, Graduate Mentoring Awards, and the High Impact Doctoral Research Assistantship, and so forth.
Administrative support is also available:
1. Disabilities: Students with disabilities will be accommodated in accordance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. University services are relatively extensive, and the program makes every effort to provide reasonable accommodations. Contact the University Accessibility Center for more information.
2. Counseling: The University provides extensive counseling services, free of charge, to all University personnel, full-time students, and their dependents, mostly through Counseling and Psychological Services. The Comprehensive Clinic also provides free services to University students.
3. Multicultural and Minority Support: Various University sponsored organization representing diverse cultures are available. Contact Multicultural Student Services for more information. The office of Internation Student Services provides both social and practical support to international students. A variety of support, counseling, and educational services are provided to women, coordinated through the office of BYU Women's Services and Resources.
For more information about all things related to attending graduate school at BYU, see the following link:
For more information about opportunities for grants, fellowships, and other sources of funding, see the following links:
Graduate Studies funding
College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences funding