The Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) offers Graduate Certificate Programs and Combined PhD Programs that provide exceptional breadth and depth of interdisciplinary training in the cognitive sciences. Successful completion of an ICS program is acknowledged by a Certificate of Completion on the student’s transcript and the PhD programs are noted on the student’s diploma. ICS' Graduate Program also offers Student Travel & Research Awards each semester, a program operated by ICS graduate students.

NOTE: We are not an admitting department. Please email or call the department of interest to apply for graduate school. After acceptance into a department or unit's graduate program, follow the instructions below to apply for an ICS program.

Four ICS Graduate Programs are available:

Applying for Admission

Students apply for ICS graduate programs by completing three simple steps. Step vary slightly for each Program. Refer to the specific Program pages for details.

Three Steps to Apply for the Programs
Step 1

First be admitted to a CU Boulder graduate program and be in good academic standing,
in one of the following departments/units:

ATLAS InstituteArchitecture and PlanningComputer ScienceInformation Science;
Integrative PhysiologyLinguisticsPhilosophyPsychology and Neuroscience; School of EducationSpeech, Language, Hearing Sciences. Students enrolled in graduate programs from other departments may request approval to participate.

Step 2 Be in good academic standing in one of the above departments
and units.
Step 3

Apply for admission to the Certificate or PhD Program in the Institute of Cognitive
Science following instructions below, for each program.

Generally (send to ICSPrograms@colorado.edu):

  • Submit an Application Form
  • Submit an Unofficial Transcript 
  • Submit a Plan of Study/Progress Report (see each Program for links)


Each of the four Programs have different course and other requirements. Details can be found on the Program pages. Depending on the Program, students complete core and additional courses from the approved ICS Graduate Program Course Catalog.

Specific requirements for each Program are found on the Program pages.

 Four Steps to Complete the Program
Step 1 Complete all required courses with a minimum grade of B, and any other requirements of a Program as specified on the Program pages.
Step 2 Submit an Unofficial Transcript to the Academic Program Director at ICSPrograms@colorado.edu. The Director will confirm whether all required courses have been completed.
Step 3

Certificate Program students complete the Plan of Study/Progress Report for their Program. Submit the completed form electronically to ICSPrograms@colorado.edu or in person to the ICS office in Muenzinger D414.

PhD Program students must have their dissertation committee sign the PhD Dissertation Committee Report form at their defense and complete and submit the Plan of Study/Progress Report/Completion Form for their Program.

Step 4 The Academic Program Director will review the transcript, Progress Reports, and for PhD Program students the Dissertation Committee signatures and Completion Check-list to confirm that requirements were met. Once approved, ICS will contact the Registrar's Office to include the Certificate on the student's official transcript. Certificates are awarded at the end of academic year ICS celebration. PhD Program completion is submitted to the Graduate School and the students' home department and is acknowledged on the diploma.


For more information on becoming a University of Colorado graduate student prior to applying for the ICS graduate programs, contact the following departments/units directly:
ATLAS Institute
Architecture and Planning
Computer Science
Information Science
Integrative Physiology
Psychology and Neuroscience
School of Education
Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences

For more information about Cognitive Science courses contact:

Institute of Cognitive Science