The Department of Cognitive Sciences offers the following Ph.D. degrees:

  • Ph.D. in Psychology
  • Ph.D. in Psychology with a Concentration in Cognitive Neuroscience

The Ph.D. degree programs prepare students for research and teaching careers in academia, industry, and government. The emphasis is on modern techniques of experimentation and theory construction. Special attention is given to providing hands-on research experience and equipping students with sophisticated mathematical and computing skills. 



All applicants for the PhD programs must apply online using the UCI Online Application for Graduate Admissions. Paper applications are not accepted.

 Applications will be accepted beginning September 1. The deadline to submit your online application is December 1. Admissions decisions are made in March.

 Materials that cannot be uploaded to the online application should be sent to the School of Social Sciences, via U.S. Postal Mail, and addressed as follows:

ATTN: Graduate Admissions (Cognitive Sciences)
Graduate Affairs Office
School of Social Sciences
University of California, Irvine
3151 Social Science Plaza A
Irvine, CA 92697-5100





Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE General Test is required of all applicants for PhD admission. We cannot waive this requirement even when the applicant has completed an advanced degree at another college or university in the United States.

We cannot accept GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores in place of the GREs. We do not require that applicants file scores from any of the various GRE (subject) tests available.


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The internet-based TOEFL(-ibT) is required of all international applicants except citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. The test is also required of US permanent residents who did not attend four full years and graduate high school in the United States.

A minimum overall score of 80/120 is required for admission, while a minimum sub-score of 26/30 on the Speaking component of the test is needed to qualify for financial support consideration. We cannot waive either of these minimum score requirements under any circumstances. Neither can we waive the requirement for current TOEFL or IELTS scores.

We can accept current IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as an alternative to the TOEFL-ibT, in which case a minimum 7/10 (overall) is required for admission, and 8/10 (Speaking component) for financial support consideration.

TOEFL-ibt or IELTS test scores for Fall 2012 admission must be dated no earlier than February 2010.

Information about the TOEFL and IELTS can be found at:



Tuition and Fees

The University of California's current fee and tuition rates are published here:

United States citizens and permanent residents who relocate to California from other states may apply for legal residency here, following one year of continuous residence. The required "procedures of intent" are outlined here:


Financial Support

All applications for PhD admission are considered also for financial support, and all admission offers to Cognitive Sciences currently include five years of funding. Applicants are not required to apply separately for admission and financial support.

Our competitive, merit-based funding packages include annual registration fees and comprehensive student health insurance; a combination of TA or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointment with individual members of faculty, and fellowship quarters in lieu of employment. Summer support and, in limited amounts, graduate student research and travel funding are also available.

All offers to non-residents of California, including non-US citizen international students, include nonresident tuition in the first year or two of study.

Financial assistance based on need (loans, primarily) is available to qualifying student applicants, through UCI Financial Aid & Scholarships:

All students applying for need-based financial aid are required to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):

International students who are not US citizens or permanent residents are not eligible to apply for federal need-based financial aid aid.

Further information on assistantships and funding resources can be found here.

© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766