Skip to main content

Psychology PhD Program Overview

Visit our page on BYU Graduate Studies for a detailed explanation of the Psychology PhD Program

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.

Program Information

  • While many APA programs currently prefer students to apply at the baccalaureate degree level, we welcome students with either a bachelors or masters degree.

    Application Deadline: Dec 1
    Entrance: Fall Semester Only
    Applications accepted beginning September 1st

    Here is the link to the application.

  • 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.

  • Average entrance GPA: 3.78
    Approximate admissions per year: 5-8
    GRE scores are required. Please click here for more information.

    International students will need to receive a minimum score on the English proficiency tests. For more information on these tests please visit the TOEFL and the IELTS cites.

    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).

Financial Support

  • 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.

  • Fifteen hours of paid research or teaching assistantships are offered for two years of study, typically four semesters - $4,920 fall and winter, $2,460 spring or summer, or a total of $12,300 for the academic year.

  • 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 $2,600 is paid for a 3-credit hour course if enrollment reaches 20 or more.

  • Tuition assistance is available during the first four years of the program, with all students receiving scholarships for at least 1/2 the LDS tuition amount. During the past academic year, proceeds from endowments allowed us to cover the full cost of tuition for all students during Fall and Winter Semesters. We anticipate providing the same level of tuition support in future years contingent on endowment yields.

  • There is some funding from the department and college available for travel to conferences in which students are presenting research papers or posters.

  • 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.

  • 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 International 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.

Student Resources

For more information about program curriculum (courses, timeline, requirements, etc.) see the following links:
Graduate Psychology Handbook
Graduate Catalog

For more information about all things related to attending graduate school at BYU, see the following link:
Graduate Studies

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
External Grants