Graduate Programs

Brown University's graduate program in Cognitive Science is designed to prepare students for careers as scientists and teachers who will make contributions to society in academic or applied settings.

Brown University's 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 formally choose one of the  two programs during the first year. The department does not accept students interested in obtaining terminal master's degrees.

The Cognitive Science Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for careers as scientists and teachers who will make contributions to society in academic or applied settings. Students will gain broad competence in the scientific issues and experimental, theoretical, and/or computational methods relevant across fields of cognitive science 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 advisors.

Students accepted into the Cognitive Science Ph.D. program are guaranteed five years of financial support contingent on satisfactory progress toward the degree. In addition to the Graduate School's doctoral support, the department also typically provides a summer stipend for a fourth summer if the student continues to work on research over that period. 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.

Application Information

Application Requirements

GRE Subject:

Not required

GRE General:

Not required

Writing Sample:


Personal Statement:

In their statement of purpose, applicants should describe their background and interests as they relate to the preferred Ph.D. program (e.g., Cognitive Science) and to the research conducted by specific faculty who might serve as research advisors. To this end, we strongly recommend that applicants read the departmental website before applying, giving particular attention to the faculty research descriptions.


Application Deadline

Completion Requirements

First–year research project; three core courses, two quantitative courses, methodological proficiency, and three specialization courses; four semesters of teaching assistantships; preliminary exam paper; dissertation proposal; dissertation and oral presentation.

Alumni Careers

Learn More


Department Chair
David Badre
Director of Graduate Studies
William Heindel
Graduate Advisor (Psychology)
Kathryn T Spoehr
Graduate Advisor (Cognitive Science)
Michael Frank

Contact and Location

Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences

Location Address

190 Thayer Street

Mailing Address

Brown University
Box 1821
Visit the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences