Overview

Graduate student already enrolled in a CU Boulder PhD program specified below can earn a combined PhD with cognitive science. Earning such a degree can significantly enhance a student’s academic knowledge and career choices. 

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

Applying for Admission

 
Step 1

First be admitted to a CU Boulder graduate program in one
of the following departments/units:

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

For more information on becoming a University of Colorado graduate student prior to applying for the ICS graduate programs, contact the above departments/units directly.

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

Apply for admission to the Cognitive Science Combined PhD Program by submitting the following items to ICSPorgrams@colorado.edu

 

Program Requirements 

Cognitive Science Combined PhD completion requires courses in core cognitive science, elective cognitive science courses, comprehensive exam, and an interdisciplinary thesis.

Course and thesis completion plans and progress is recorded on the Combined PhD Plan of Study & Progress Report Form.

Required Core Courses

  • An introductory course, Issues and Methods in Cognitive Science (3 units). 
    • Students should complete this course by the end of the second year of their program. By completing this course, students become eligible to apply for travel grants.
  • Topics in Cognitive Science (1 unit), taken twice (2 semesters)
  • Research Applications Seminar (formerly Cognitive Science Practicum) (2 units), taken twice (2 semesters). 
    • This course should be taken as you prepare your dissertation topic proposal or equivalent.

Hours Required

  • A total of 30 hours of cognitive science courses, to include:
    • 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 of these outside the home department courses must be at least two credits.

*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.

*Independent Study: if a student needs to replace one required course to satisfy program requirements due to unavoidable scheduling issues,complete and submit the Independent Study Approval Form to ICSPrograms@colorado.edu.

Comprehensive Exam

  • Pass the Comprehensive Exam in your degree department

Interdisciplinary 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.

 

Program Completion

Step 1 Complete all required courses with a minimum grade of B.
Step 2 Pass the Comprehensive Exam in your degree department, contact ICSPrograms@colorado.edu documenting completion of this step.
Step 3 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 4

Complete and submit the Combined PhD Plan of Study & Progress Report Form to the Academic Program Director at ICSPrograms@colorado.edu.

Students must have their dissertation committee sign the PhD Dissertation Committee Report form at their defense and submit the form to the Academic Program Director at ICSPrograms@colorado.edu.

Step 5 The Academic Program Director will review the transcript, Progress Report/Completion Form, Dissertation Committee signatures and to confirm that requirements were met. Once approved, ICS will contact the Graduate School and the student's home department and the Combined PhD is acknowledged on the diploma.

 

The program has formal approval from the Graduate School.

For more information on the Cognitive Science Courses contact:
Donna Caccamise, Associate Director and Academic Program Director
Institute of Cognitive Science
ICSPrograms@colorado.edu