The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) offers three Ph.D. programs: in Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology. An entering student is accepted by the department and formally chooses one of the three Ph.D. programs after completing the first year. The department does not accept students interested in obtaining terminal master’s degrees.
Brown University’s graduate program in psychology is designed to prepare students for careers as scientists and teachers who will make contributions to society in academic and applied settings. Students will gain a broad competence in the scientific issues, theories, and experimental methods of psychology and will develop expertise in one or more research specializations. Programs of study are highly individualized; decisions about research and coursework are made in close collaboration with a research advisor and graduate committee chosen by each student. Students may change areas, programs, and/or advisors as their interests develop. Students are also encouraged to collaborate with faculty members who are not their primary advisers.
Behavioral neuroscience/Comparative. Neural bases and computational models of: interval timing, auditory perception, flow sensing, memory, and higher cognitive functions; neurodevelopment, plasticity, and regeneration; canid communication and social cognition. Primary faculty: Burwell, Church, Colwill, and Simmons.
Cognitive neuroscience. The neural basis of higher cognitive functions such as attention, perception, learning, memory, executive control, and decision making. Primary faculty: Amso, Anderson, Badre, Blumstein, Burwell, Frank, Heindel, and Watanabe.
Cognitive psychology. Human memory, learning, knowledge and conceptual representation, judgment, reasoning, and decision-making either among adults or from a developmental perspective. Primary faculty: Badre, Frank, Heindel, Sloman, Sobel, and Spoehr.
Perception. Computational, psychophysical and ecological approaches to the problems of perceiving shape and motion, recognizing objects and scenes, processing auditory events, perceptual learning, and controlling action. Primary faculty: Domini, Serre, Simmons, Song, Warren,Watanabe, and Welch.
Social psychology. Social cognition, theory of mind, moral judgment, perception of personality, person-situation interactions, self-image, social projection, intergroup perception, strategic behavior. Primary faculty: Cushman, Krueger, Malle, and Wright.
Students accepted into the Psychology Ph.D. program are guaranteed five years of financial support contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree. The support includes full-time tuition, a health fee, and a stipend to cover basic living expenses during the academic year. The department also typically provides summer stipends if the student continues to work on research over the summer. Support normally comes in the form of teaching or research assistantships, and students are encouraged to apply for their own fellowships (e.g., NSF) before or after being admitted to the program.
- The Virtual Environment Navigation Lab (VENLab), one of the world's largest ambulatory virtual reality facilities
- A wide-area motion capture system for full-body kinematics
- A high-performance 200-node computing cluster
- A research-dedicated 3.0T MRI system
- A 64-channel Event Related Potential (ERP) system
- Multiple laboratories for animal behavior research (e.g., rats, zebra fish, canines)
- Multiple high-resolution eye-trackers
- Multiple laboratories for behavioral research with children and adults; individually, in dyads or in groups; with digital audio-video recording, processing, and production.
- A large suite of individual testing rooms for computer-presented experiments
Ph.D. in Psychology: First-year research project and oral presentation; three core area courses (choose from learning/comparative, cognition, neural bases of behavior, perception, social); two quantitative methods courses; three courses to establish a knowledge specialization; four semesters of teaching assistance; preliminary examination; dissertation proposal; dissertation and oral defense.
Writing sample recommended.
GRE General: Required (no minimum score)
GRE Subject: Not required
Application deadline: December 15
The electronic application asks for a declaration of area interests. More than one option may be chosen, and this choice only expresses current interests; it does not prevent an admitted applicant from pursuing other areas in the future.
In their statement of purpose, applicants should describe their background and interests as they relate to the preferred Ph.D. program (e.g., Psychology) and to the research conducted by specific faculty who might serve as research advisors.