Prospective Graduate Students

Director of Graduate Studies William Heindel

The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of mind, brain, behavior, and language. It offers two Ph.D. programs: in Cognitive Science and Psychology. Ph.D. students are accepted by the department and choose one of the two programs during their first year.

The CLPS department does not admit students for only a Master's degree, but students admitted to a Ph.D. program may receive an A.M. or Sc.M. degree en route to their Ph.D. The department also has no Ph.D. or Master’s programs in Clinical, Counseling, School, or Applied Psychology.


For general information about each Ph.D. program and specific program requirements, see:

The deadline to apply for the '24-'25 academic year is December 1, 2023


A critical element in judging applications is our assessment of the fit between the applicant’s intellectual and research interests and those of one or more faculty members. We strongly recommend that, before applying, you carefully read through this departmental website, giving particular attention to the faculty research descriptions. We invite you to correspond directly with individual faculty members before applying, but this is not required. Please note that we cannot estimate the probability of being admitted before you have applied. Our admission decisions are based on the complete application, which is considered by multiple members of the faculty.

Admission to the CLPS Ph.D. programs is highly selective. About 15 percent of applicants are invited for interviews, and about half of the interviewees receive offers of admission. Accepted students receive five years of financial support (tuition and stipend).

Students accepted into one of the CLPS Ph.D. programs are guaranteed five years of financial support contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree. 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.


Research Areas in CLPS

The department has multiple research focus areas, which cut across our three Ph.D. programs. They include:

Neural bases and computational models of: interval timing, emotional development and dysfunction, auditory perception, flow sensing, memory, and higher cognitive functions; neuro-development, plasticity, and regeneration; canid communication and social cognition.

Faculty: Buchsbaum, Burwell, Colwill, Simmons

The neural basis of cognitive functions such as attention, perception, learning, memory, emotional regulation, executive control, decision making, language.

Faculty: Badre, Burwell, FeldmanHall, Festa, Frank, Heindel, Serre, Shenhav, Song, Watanabe

In human and animal models, visual attention, learning and memory, causal reasoning, pretend play, language, perception.

Faculty: Buchsbaum, Feiman, Festa, Heindel, Morgan, Sobel

Human memory, learning, and cognitive control; inductive inference, causal reasoning, and decision-making; moral reasoning, social cognition and theory of mind and their development.

Faculty: Badre, Buchsbaum, Feiman, FeldmanHall, Festa, Frank, Heindel, Krueger, Malle, Shenhav, Sloman, Sobel, Spoehr

Neural and computational models of processes such as motor control, cognitive control, vision, categorization, learning, reasoning, and language.

Faculty: Badre, Buchsbaum, Domini, Frank, Morgan, Serre, Sloman

Computational, psychophysical and ecological approaches to the study of perceiving shape and motion, recognizing objects and scenes, processing auditory events, attention, perceptual learning, and controlling action.

Faculty: Domini, Festa, Serre, Song, Simmons, Warren, Watanabe, Welch

The experimental study of language acquisition and language use across linguistic domains and the relationship between experimental and theoretical approaches to language.

Faculty: AnderBois, Cohen Priva, Feiman, Jacobson, Morgan

Social cognition, theory of mind, moral judgment, perception of personality, person-situation interactions, self-image, social projection, intergroup perception, strategic behavior

Faculty: Boykin, FeldmanHall, Krueger, and Malle


CLPS is housed in a renovated and historic 36,000 square foot building with state-of-the art laboratories, classrooms, and formal & informal meeting spaces.

  • 64-channel Event-Related Potential ERP/EEG system
  • Brain stimulation facility (TMSm, tDCS/tACS)
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) system
  • EyeLink 1000 Eye Tracker
  • Large suite of individual testing rooms for computer-presented experiments
  • Various small equipment such as colorimeters, video cameras, large-format poster printer
  • Virtual Environment Navigation Lab (VENLab), one of the world's largest ambulatory virtual reality facilities
  • Wide-area motion capture system for full-body kinematics
  • High-resolution eye-trackers and mobile eye tracker
  • Multiple laboratories for behavioral research with children and adults; individually, in dyads or in groups; with digital audio-video recording, processing, and production
  • Multiple laboratories for animal behavior research

Graduate Program Handbook

The CLPS Graduate Handbook is available as a PDF download. This document is full of detailed information about our graduate programs, including:

  • Research areas and faculty
  • Support and commitments
  • Requirements and expectations
  • Ethical standards
  • Graduate resources

Download Program Handbook

Careers in CLPS

If you are interested in pursuing a career in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, or neuroscience, please visit the CareerLab website. There, you will directly find a page with links to opportunities related to careers in our related fields.