Graduate Programs in CLPS

Introduction | Contacts | Application | Research Focus Areas | Facilities | Grad Program Handbook | Graduate Student Resources


The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) is dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of mind, brain, behavior, and language. It offers three Ph.D. programs: in Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology. Ph.D. students are accepted by the department and choose one of the three 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 PhD or Master’s programs in Clinical, Counseling, School, or Applied Psychology. 

The department does offer a 5th-Year Master's Degree program, and Concurrent Baccalaureate/Master's Degree, in Cognitive Science or Psychology. For more information, please review our information sheet for these programs.

For a compact summary of the information on this page, please download our Graduate Program Flyer.


Director of Graduate Studies - Fall 2018
Dima Amso

Graduate Advisors
Michael Frank (Cognitive Science)
Pauline Jacobson (Linguistics)
Dima Amso (Psychology)


December 1 
via Brown's electronic application portal

GRE General scores; TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English. We do not require completion of specific coursework; rather, we accept students from a diverse range of training programs and research backgrounds. Experience with research and some familiarity with appropriate methodological and analytic tools is a plus. Submission of an original writing sample with the application is recommended. For general application information, please see the Brown Graduate School web pages.

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 the departmental website, giving particular attention to the faculty research descriptions. Many applicants have found it useful to correspond 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.

For general information about each Ph.D. program and specific program requirements, see:
Cognitive Science Ph.D. Program
Linguistics Ph.D. Program
Psychology Ph.D. Program

Research Focus Areas in CLPS

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

Behavioral Neuroscience/Comparative
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: Bath, Burwell, Church, Colwill, Simmons

Cognitive Neuroscience
The neural basis of cognitive functions such as attention, perception, learning, memory, emotional regulation, executive control, decision making, language.
Faculty: Amso, Anderson, Badre, Bath, Blumstein, Burwell, FeldmanHall, Frank, Heindel, Shenhav, Watanabe

Higher-Level Cognition
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: Anderson, Austerweil, Badre, FeldmanHall, Frank, Heindel, Krueger, Malle, Shenhav, Sloman, Sobel, Spoehr, Wright

Neural/Computational Models of Cognition and Language
Neural and computational models of processes such as motor control, vision, categorization, learning, reasoning, and language.
Faculty: Anderson, Austerweil, Blumstein, Frank, Morgan, Serre, Shenhav, Sloman

Perception and Action
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, Serre, Song, Simmons, Warren, Watanabe, Welch

Phonetics and Phonology
Acoustic properties of phonetic categories of speech; physiological basis of articulation and perception; phonetic and phonological theories, phonetic/ phonological interface.
Faculty: Blumstein, Cohen Priva, Morgan

Psycholinguistics and Language Processing
The experimental study of language acquisition and language use across linguistic domains and the relationship between experimental and theoretical approaches to language.
Faculty: AnderBois, Blumstein, Cohen Priva, Morgan

Semantics and Syntax
Formal semantics, the syntax-semantics interface, lexical semantics, the interaction of information structure, discourse, and pragmatics with semantics and syntax, categorial grammar and related theories of syntax.
Faculty: Jacobson, AnderBois

Social Psychology
Social cognition, theory of mind, moral judgment, perception of personality, person-situation interactions, self-image, social projection, intergroup perception, strategic behavior, human-robot interaction.
Faculty: FeldmanHall, Krueger, Malle, Wright

For details on individual faculty research, see our faculty list and personal profiles.


CLPS is housed in a newly renovated 36,000 square foot building with state-of-the art laboratories, classrooms, and meeting spaces. Research facilities include:

  • Virtual Environment Navigation Lab (VENLab), one of the world's largest ambulatory virtual reality facilities
  • Large suite of individual testing rooms for computer-presented experiments
  • Wide-area motion capture system for full-body kinematics
  • High-performance 200-node computing cluster
  • 64-channel Event Related Potential (ERP) system
  • Research-dedicated 3.0T MRI system
  • Brain stimulation facility (TMSm, tDCS/tACS)
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy
  • Multiple laboratories for animal behavior research (e.g., rats, zebra fish, canines)
  • 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.

Graduate Program Handbook

Available as a downloadable PDF.

Graduate Student Resources