Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto, Steering Committee Chair
Sorenson Language and Communication Center, Room 1224

Dr. Melissa Herzig, Program Assistant Director
Sorenson Language and Communication Center, Room 1222

Students in our pioneering PEN program gain state-of-the-art Cognitive Neuroscience training in how humans learn, with a special strength in the neuroplasticity of visually guided learning processes. While Cognitive Neuroscience includes studies of learning and higher cognitive processes across the lifespan, its sister discipline, Educational Neuroscience, includes intensive study of five core domains that are crucial in early childhood learning, including language and bilingualism, reading and literacy, math and numeracy, science and critical thinking (higher cognition), social and emotional learning, and includes study of action and visual processing. PEN students become expert in one of the world's cutting-edge neuroimaging methods in the discipline of Cognitive Neuroscience (e.g., fNIRS, EEG, fMRI, and beyond), study Neuroethics, gain strong critical analysis and reasoning skills in science, and develop expertise in one of the core content areas of learning identified above. While becoming experts in both contemporary neuroimaging and behavioral experimental science, students also learn powerful, meaningful, and principled ways that science can be translated for the benefit of education and society today.


This doctoral program is a research-focused program where students develop a specific research focus, conducting supervised research within their mentor's lab as well as developing their own lines of research through independent research projects. Students accepted into the program receive four years of funding as follows: tuition scholarship for up to the domestic rate + $25,200 annual stipend + health insurance option.


Students benefit from access to in-house, research-dedicated neuroimaging facilities where students can also choose to become certified in fNIRS (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy), one of the world's most advanced neuroimaging technologies. Students graduate from the program prepared to become groundbreaking scientists!


The PEN program opened its doors to the first class of Ph.D. students in Fall 2013.  This is Gallaudet's first interdisciplinary Ph.D. program and has its administrative home in Gallaudet University's National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning, VL2. Learn more about VL2 and its cognitive neuroscience and translational labs, all of which provide PEN students with unparalleled lab research experience and opportunities.


Application Requirements


Applicants for the Ph.D. in Educational Neuroscience must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Courses' and 'Requirements' tabs.


Deadline to apply for this program: February 15, 2022 (Early applications will be considered)