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Ph.D. Cognitive Science Designation


PhilosophyPsychology and Linguistics participate in an interdisciplinary designation in Cognitive Science for doctoral students.  The designation is open to any Ph.D. candidate in the participating departments, and is intended to provide an interdisciplinary education as well as a deeper concentration in one of the constituent disciplines through basic coursework.  Students who complete the requirements within their department and the Cognitive Science requirements will have their Ph.D.s granted from the parent department with a special designation in Cognitive Science.


  • To receive this designation, students must complete 30 units of approved coursework.  The 30 units cannot include courses counted elsewhere towards the Ph.D. 
  • Courses may be drawn from the participating departments, as well as from other departments, as long as their content is appropriate to the designation.  Special topic seminars are excluded from the approved list in favor of more foundational courses.  
  • At least 18 of the 30 units must be from outside the student’s major department and must include coursework in at least two other departments.  
  • The majority of the courses taken towards the 30 units of coursework must be taken for a letter grade and should be completed with at least a 'B'.  

How to Apply

Linguistics Ph.D. students wishing to receive the Cognitive Science designation should inform the Director of Graduate Studies of their interest.  Students are urged to consult with the advisor early in the second year of graduate study, so that there is ample time to develp a plan that accommodates both department requirements and the additional coursework for the designation before the student begins serious work on the dissertation.  Through this consultation, the student develops a proposed course plan for the designation which should be submitted to the Student Services Office preferably no later than autumn quarter of the third year.