The 30-year-old former Rangers player joins Kris Commons, Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk among the top four players.
Boyd, who has scored 19 goals this season, was last named on the shortlist in 2010 but has never won the award, which is voted for by players from across four divisions.
Commons has netted 27 goals this season while England goalkeeper Forster set a top-flight clean sheet record by going 1,256 minutes without conceding.
Dutch defender van Dijk, 22, has been by far Neil Lennon’s most impressive summer signing with an assured campaign following his move from Groningen.
Dundee United dominate the young player shortlist with Scotland left-back Andrew Robertson, Scotland Under-21 captain Stuart Armstrong and 18-year-old playmaker Ryan Gauld all included.
They are joined by St Johnstone striker Stevie May, who took his tally for the season to 25 on Sunday with the two goals that sent the Perth club into their first Scottish Cup final.
The winners will be announced at PFA Scotland’s annual dinner on April 27. Last year’s winners were then Motherwell striker Michael Higdon and Leigh Griffiths, who won the young player award with Hibernian.
• What are the main issues affecting Scottish football now and in the future? Can Rangers return to their former success, what does the future hold for Hearts and who should win the PFA player of the year award?