The Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences (CLPS) offers three Ph.D. programs: in Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology. Entering students are accepted by the department and formally choose one of the three Ph.D. programs after completing the first year. The department does not accept students interested in obtaining terminal master’s degrees.
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. 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 advisers.
Perception and action. Computational, psychophysical and ecological approaches to the problems of perceiving shape and motion, recognizing objects and scenes, processing auditory events, perceptual learning, and controlling action. Primary faculty: Domini, Serre, Song, Simmons, Warren, Watanabe, and Welch.
Higher-level cognition. Inductive inference; causal reasoning; moral reasoning, decision-making; mathematical reasoning; knowledge and concept acquisition; social cognition and theory of mind; and their development. Primary faculty: Anderson, Badre, Cushman, Frank, Krueger, Malle, Sloman, Sobel, Spoehr, and Wright.
Cognitive neuroscience. The neural basis of cognitive functions such as attention, perception, learning, memory, executive control, decision making, language. Primary faculty: Amso, Anderson, Badre, Blumstein, Burwell, Frank, Heindel, and Watanabe.
Neural/computational models of cognition and language. Neural and computational models of processes such as motor control, vision, categorization, learning, reasoning, and language. Primary faculty: Anderson, Blumstein, Cohen Priva, Frank, Morgan, Serre, and Sloman.
Psycholinguistics and language processing. The experimental study of language acquisition, language processing, and their biological bases, including research at the interface of experimental linguistics and theoretical linguistics. Primary faculty: Blumstein, Cohen Priva, Jacobson, Kertz, Lieberman, and Morgan.
Students accepted into the Cognitive Science Ph.D. program 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.
- The Virtual Environment Navigation Lab (VENLab), one of the world's largest ambulatory virtual reality facilities
- A wide-area motion capture system for full-body kinematics
- A high-performance 200-node computing cluster
- A research-dedicated 3.0T MRI system
- A 64-channel Event Related Potential (ERP) system
- Multiple high-resolution eye-trackers
- Extensive hardware and software for computational modeling
- Multiple laboratories for behavioral research with children and adults; individually, in dyads or in groups; with digital audio-video recording, processing, and production.
- A large suite of individual testing rooms for computer-presented experiments
Ph.D in Cognitive Science: First-year research project and oral presentation; three core area courses (perception, cognition, and language); two quantitative methods courses; demonstrated methodological proficiency in two areas of cognitive science; three courses to establish a knowledge specialization; four semesters of teaching assistance; preliminary examination; dissertation proposal; dissertation and oral defense.
Writing sample recommended.
GRE General: Required (no minimum required)
GRE Subject: Not required
Application deadline: December 15
The electronic application asks for a declaration of area interests. More than one option may be chosen, and this choice only expresses current interests; it does not prevent an admitted applicant from pursuing other areas in the future.
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 one or more faculty who might serve as research advisors.