Degree Requirements

To obtain a Ph.D., students with an undergraduate degree will complete at least 14 courses (max. 6 years), while those with a Master’s degree will complete at least 7 courses (max. 4 years).

The Cognitive Program in Psychology provides students with advanced background in cognition, examining mental processes such as learning, perception, attention, memory, decision-making, and language with the option of specializing in cognitive and/or behavioral neuroscience. Research is central in our graduate training in this program. Students begin research immediately and have the chance to work with core cognitive faculty members as well as collaborate with faculty in related programs. With the acquired broad knowledge in cognition and the extensive research experience gained from this program, students acquire the necessary tools to develop their independent research careers.

Students Applying to the Program with an Undergraduate Degree:
Students admitted to the program with an undergraduate degree must fulfill the following requirements to work towards their Ph.D. degree.

a. have their Master’s level courses completed successfully (i.e. with a minimum GPA of 3.25), and

b. Successfully defend their Master’s Thesis or earn departmental approval to proceed to the Ph. D. level courses after completing a “major research paper.”

Students are required to complete a “major research paper” or a Master’s thesis before continuing to the Ph.D. program.

Students whose GPA is below 3.25 may not proceed to take courses to fulfill the requirements of the Ph.D. program. These students will have the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree after successfully defending their Master’s thesis.

Students applying to the Program with a Master’s Degree   OR  Students who Earned Departmental Approval to Proceed to the Ph. D. Program:

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree are expected to

a. complete their course work successfully,

b. pass their comprehensive examinations, and

c. defend their dissertation proposal.

The Ph. D. dissertation should be an original empirical study that has a significant potential to contribution to the scientific literature.

Students in the Ph.D. program must take 3 required courses and 4 electives. Course descriptions are provided below. It may not be possible to offer all the courses listed below. The available courses will be announced at the beginning of each academic year.

Four non-credit courses are required for the completion of the program:

TEACH 500 (Classroom Management and Teaching Skills)

ENGL 500 (Academic Writing)

PSYC 590 Seminar Course (Required in the 1st and 2nd semester of the 1st year)

PSYC 695 Thesis Course (Every semester after completing the Qual Exam)

The courses with a 500 code are offered to students in both Ph.D. and Master’s programs.

Course Descriptions

Required Courses (3 courses in total from the following :

PSYC 505 Culture and Self

PSYC 509 Developmental Psychopathology

PSYC 517 Advanced Industrial and Organizational Psychology

PSYC 526 Cognitive Models and Theories

PSYC 552 Advanced Social Psychology

PSYC 600 Advanced Research Seminar

ENGL 500 Graduate Writing (non-credit) 

Elective Courses (4 courses in total from the following list):

PSYC 506 Policy and Practice in Psychology

PSYC 507 Evolution of Human Mind

PSYC 508 Human Memory

PSYC 511 Cognitive Neuroscience 

PSYC 512 Language Development

PSYC 515 Neural Bases of Memory 

PSYC 520 Attitudes, Persuasion and Social Influence

PSYC 521 Cognitive development

PSYC 523 Psychology of Close Relationships

PSYC 524 Social Development

PSYC 525 Applied Developmental Psychology

PSYC 527 Conditioning and Learning

PSYC 528 Socialization

PSYC 531 The Role of Culture in the Theories and Methods of Developmental Psychology

PSYC 532 Individual-Environment Interactions in Developmental Psychology

PSYC 534 Selected Topics in Quantitative Psychological Research

PSYC 556 Advanced Organizational Behavior

PSYC 555 Applied Social Psychology

PSYC 565 Selected Current Topics in Social Psychology

PSYC 566 Cross-cultural approaches to Human Resource Management

PSYC 567 Attitudes and Persuasion

PSYC 572 Social Psychological Perspectives in Health Psychology

PSYC 584 Theory and Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology

PSYC 605 Cognitive Psychology and Aging 

PSYC 608 Readings and Research in Autobiographical Memory

PSYC 611 Psychology of Stress

PSYC 614 Language-thought interfaces

PSYC 616. Pragmatic development

PSYC 617 Changing Family Structure and Dynamics 

PSYC 630 Research Practicum

PSYC 635 Introduction to Behavioral Genetics

PSYC 664 Social Cognition