Learning Goals and Objectives

The Cognitive Psychology Doctoral Program trains psychologists in the scientific study of human and animal information processing. 


Our program focuses on training scientists who are experts in research and theory in modern cognitive psychology. In particular, our program provides training in the study of animal cognition, attention, auditory perception, categorization, cognitive neuroscience, computational modeling, development, eye movements and cognition, language, learning, memory, motor control and music psychology. The program also provides advanced instruction in statistics, experimental design and contemporary scientific methods (e.g., eye tracking, evoked potentials and a variety of behavioral methods) used to study mental processes.

The program’s training model is sequential, cumulative and increasingly complex as a student advances because the program is designed to produce independent scholars. The education and training objectives of the program are addressed through an interrelated program of academic course work and research experience. Students are involved in empirical research continuously from the time of their arrival in the program. Program unity is achieved through core experience required of all cognitive students. Diversity is also encouraged and available through specialty training, electives and research activities in the research laboratories of faculty outside of the primary mentor.

Students also participate in other less structured activities, including colloquia, cognitive Brown Bag presentations, professional association activities, conference presentations, interdisciplinary campus events, department governance and peer advising. Thus, students not only complete a rigorous academic program but also become members of the psychological community interacting with program faculty, professional cognitive psychologists outside the program and fellow students on both scholarly and personal levels. 

Specific Goals and Objectives for PhD Students in Cognitive Psychology