For Prospective Students

The PhD program in Developmental and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston is now accepting applications.  Review of applications will begin immediately and a full review can only be ensured if an application is received by December 15th. Core faculty (Jane Adams, Erik Blaser, Vivian Ciaramitaro, Tiffany Donaldson, Richard Hunter, Zsuzsa Kaldy, Celia Moore, Jin Ho Park, Mohinish Shukla, Ed Tronick, and Susan Zup) engage in research ranging from cognitive development and psychophysics to neuroendocrinology and behavioral genetics.

Students may follow a Cognitive specialization investigating functional changes in perceptual and cognitive abilities and/or a Behavioral specialization investigating neural and hormonal correlates of behavior. New lab spaces for the program will be housed in the Integrated Sciences Building (to be completed at the end of 2014), part of our campus on the Columbia Point peninsula, just a few miles south of downtown Boston and Cambridge. Successful applicants will likely have significant research experience. We especially encourage members of underrepresented populations in neuroscience to apply.

The Developmental and Brain Sciences (DBS) program seeks applicants with a record of academic excellence who can present evidence of strong scientific background and training. A demonstrated potential for independent research is essential. Applicants should demonstrate substantial training in the biological and/or psychological sciences.

Successful applicants typically have a B.S. degree in Psychology, Biology, or Cognitive Science. Students with degrees in other fields (e.g. physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer science) and a strong interest in the foundations of neuroscience and behavior may also be considered for admission. 

Evaluation of applications is the responsibility of an Admissions Committee composed of DBS program core faculty members. All graduate admissions are handled according to University, Office of Graduate Admissions, and DBS Program guidelines and procedures. From our applicant pool, we undertake an extensive review of applications and will select approximately 10-20 people for interviews. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to interview more than this number, and faculty may not conduct interviews with applicants who have not undergone our review process and been officially selected for an interview. Students are admitted to the DBS program to work toward the Ph.D. degree only; there is no Master's-only degree option.

We adhere to the University-wide graduate admissions requirements, with the following qualifications:

- We require a minimum of a B.A./B.S. with a B (3.0) average or above in undergraduate and/or graduate-level coursework.

- While subject-test GRE’s in the applicant’s area of study are not required, the applicant may choose to submit them. Applicants can submit their applications before submitting GRE scores, though official GRE scores must be received by the application deadline. 

- We do not accept FCE. We accept the TOEFL, the IELTS, or the PTE Academic. TOEFL is required for non-native speakers of English

- A CV should be submitted.

- With respect to the required Statement of Intent and Interest, in addition to a general statement of your research interests and aptitudes and how they constitute a good match to the DBS program, please be sure to list up to three faculty members you would like to work with, and why; indicate which specialization you would like to pursue (developmental behavioral neuroscience or developmental cognitive neuroscience); list any special honors or awards you have received for academic achievement; detail your relevant research experience (especially your role in the research and any specific contribution toward any resulting publications); touch on your career objectives.

All application materials are submitted through the Office of Graduate Admissions. Please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website to apply. Applications are accepted for admission the following Fall. There are no spring semester admissions. 

If you have additional questions, please contact us at Thank you for your interest in the Developmental and Brain Sciences Program.