Vanderbilt University Educational Neuroscience PhD Program

Vanderbilt Educational Neuroscience

Vanderbilt University invites applications for its PhD concentration in Educational Neuroscience, which is housed within the well-regarded Vanderbilt Neuroscience Graduate Program in the Vanderbilt Brain Institute. Our program offers an unparalleled platform from which students can become expert in neuroscience research methods ranging from animal models to functional magnetic resonance imaging in children. World class neuroimaging facilities at the Vanderbilt University Institute for Imaging Sciences are combined with an array of the world’s leading neuroscientists, making Vanderbilt an international hub for cutting-edge neuroscience research. Vanderbilt also boasts one of the most prestigious education schools in the country. Students in the program have the opportunity to work closely with dedicated faculty, gaining experience in research techniques ranging from classroom studies, through intervention studies, to working with atypically developing children in a range of settings.


This program merges psychological investigations, in a broad framework including developmental, cognitive, and affective processes, with neuroscience research spanning multiple levels from genetics to systems in order to better understand core educational areas such as reading, math, science and socio-emotional development. From these collaborative questions a better understanding of how the brain learns, more precise methods for identifying difficulties in atypical learners, and more effective ways of teaching emerges.


Our program is unique in its unparalleled environment, which includes:

  • Premier neuroscience training environment
  • Nationally recognized school of education
  • World class research facilities, including exceptional neuroimaging resources
  • Highly collegial and collaborative environment
  • Flexible program allowing for individual learning path


More detailed information about our program can be found here:


In addition to many affiliate faculty, core faculty include:


James R. Booth, Brain Development Laboratory, Department of Psychology & Human Development


Laurie E. Cutting, Education & Brain Sciences Research Laboratory, Department of Special Education


Gavin R. Price, Numerical Brain Laboratory, Department of Psychology & Human Development


Mark T. Wallace, Multisensory Research Laboratory, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences


Interested students should apply here, and highlight their interest in Educational Neuroscience in their statement of interest.


Relevant links


Vanderbilt Brain Institute:

Peabody College of Education:

Vanderbilt University Institute for Imaging Science:

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center:

Advanced Computing Center for Research and Education: