Graduate students in good standing in one of the participating academic units—Psychology and Neuroscience; Philosophy; Computer Science; Linguistics; Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences; Education; Integrative Physiology; Information Science; and Architecture and Planning—may apply to earn a combined PhD with cognitive science. Earning such a degree can significantly enhance a student’s academic knowledge and career choices.  Review the course requirements, application for admission, and program completion checklist for further information. 

Once you decide to enroll in the program, submit a formal application for admission, unofficial transcript, and plan of study to the ICS main office. A Progress Report should be completed annually and submitted to the Institute.  Each program has formal approval from the Graduate School, and the PhD program is acknowledged on the student’s diploma.

Once completed, fill out the Combined PhD Completion Checklist and turn it in at the Institute's main office.

Requirements for the PhD in Cognitive Science

Required Core Courses

  • An introductory course, Issues and Methods in Cognitive Science (3 units)
  • Topics in Cognitive Science (1 unit), taken twice (2 semesters)
  • Cognitive Science Practicum (2 units), taken twice (2 semesters)

Hours Required

  • A total of 30 hours of cognitive science courses
  • 9 hours of required cognitive science core courses and
  • 21 hours of other elective cognitive science courses
  • At least 12 of the 21 elective hours must be outside the home department, including courses in at least two different departments outside the home department. *Each course must be at least two credits, and
  • At least two of the courses must be classified as interdisciplinary cognitive science courses.

*Up to six units may be transferred from a different accredited institution. Candidate will submit a proposal of course substitutions based on the approved course list which will demonstrate comparable course content. A decision to accept substitute course work is at the discretion of the academic program director and/or curriculum committee based on the available information.

Thesis Requirements

  • The original contributions of the dissertation research should exploit state-of-the-art methods from the perspective of at least two disciplines.
  • Students are encouraged to have their doctoral research co-supervised by two faculty members representing different disciplines.
  • At least one supervisor will be an ICS faculty fellow.
  • The doctoral committee will include at least two ICS faculty fellows from outside the home department.
  • In accordance with the rules of the graduate school, students must take at least 30 hours of dissertation research.

For more information:  Donna Caccamise
                                       Associate Director and
                                       Academic Program Director