Applying to the BBC Program

Special Message Regarding COVID-19 Disruptions (March 23, 2020)

To our Admitted Graduate Students: Please know that our priority during this challenging time is the well-being of our students and ensuring their ability to fulfill their academic program requirements. This applies to our current students as well as you, our incoming graduate students. Due to the growing impact of COVID-19, all prospective and accepted student days, interview days, and individual student visits will be moved to a virtual format.

We are also aware of the increasing concern around delayed visa appointments for our international students and delayed air travel for both our domestic and international students. Please be assured that we are currently working on alternative enrollment options for admitted students who are unable to make it to campus by the start of classes in September. You will be contacted via email with updates as they become available. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns.


General application information can be found on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ (GRS) website. The Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences now accepts online applications only. Please note that you must enter the program name (BBC) under specialization in the online application.

The BBC program is highly competitive. We receive an average of approximately 100 applications per year, and accept a handful of those applicants. The Boston University program largely works on a mentorship model. The most important criterion for entry is that your interests and experience fit closely with a mentor who is able to accept a student in the upcoming year. It is unfortunately difficult for us to predict which mentors will have funding for a student at the time that you apply to the program. Current faculty members of the BBC program are listed here.

You should locate and carefully read their published materials and website profile and assess whether you have experience in their area of study. Successful applicants typically have actual working experience in research in a closely related field. You should indicate which mentors you have qualifications to work with, and therefore you would like to consider your application, in your personal statement.

We are, of course, very interested in all qualified applications, and our students cannot be described as fitting into any particular mold. We are extremely interested in applications from students from all ethnic/racial backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, and nationalities. We hope this information will help you in the challenging process of selecting programs and submitting applications, and we hope your process will prove successful and satisfying.