Ph.D. in
Cognitive Sciences

UCI Alumn Solena Mednicoff

    Solena Mednicoff, ’21 cognitive sciences Ph.D., combined her passions at UCI to study how music affects the brain. Now she's a postdoc at UNLV studying misophonia. |  Read More



Department of Cognitive Sciences Top-ranked programs. Full financial aid and funding. Lens-worthy location. The reasons students choose the UC Irvine School of Social Sciences for their graduate pursuits are many.

The UCI graduate program administered by the school's cognitive sciences department offers students five years of guaranteed funding.

Scholars in the department have a proven track record of earning competitive research funding from national agencies - including the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health - and from campus-level fellowships.

For 2021-22, the school brought in $5.95M in external grant funding. About 60% of those funds - approximately $3.55M - were awarded to cognitive sciences faculty. Faculty in the department publish regularly in the field's top academic journals, and graduate students have incredible opportunities to publish alongside them.


Learn more about cognitive sciences at UCI...







university doing the most for the American dream
- The New York Times College Access Index



"coolest school" for sustainability efforts
- Sierra Club Magazine



best college in the nation
- Money Magazine



best public university in the U.S.
- U.S. News & World Report

 A top-ranked program with research strengths in computational and mathematical cognitive modeling, cognitive neuroscience, visual and auditory perception, attention, development, memory, language, and judgment and decision making. 











Army Research Labs

Blizzard Entertainment

Carnegie Mellon University



Johns Hopkins University

Mind Research Network

Navy Research Labs

Rutgers University

University of Pennsylvania

University of Zurich

Yale University






Cognitive development

Cognitive neuroscience (a concentration is offered in this topic)

Computational and mathematical cognitive modeling

Visual and auditory perception

Attention and representation



Judgment and decision making






  Vanessa Ceja | Area of Concentration: Decision Neuroscience


  Kenta Watanabe | Area of Concentration: Auditory Neuroscience


Further information on the graduate program and life as a graduate student can be found here.



what makes us



Student walking on aldrich park

    UCI's campus is beautiful, with Aldrich Park, a 19-acre botanical garden with more than 11,000 trees, at its center. The campus is also less than 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and beaches.

The cognitive sciences department at UCI uses a combination of innovative approaches with modern tools to study fundamental human abilities including attention, memory, language, decision making, and problem solving.

Students work together with faculty advisors who are highly experienced in the use of leading technologies such as EEG, fMRI, and robotics, and of modern research tools such as computational methods, big data, and Bayesian statistics.

And, students have an opportunity to earn a master's degree in cognitive sciences, cognitive neuroscience, or statistics (depending on approval) while in pursuit of their Ph.D.

Graduate students from UCI's cognitive sciences program have gone on to work in high-tech and research consultancy companies; government, science, and technology labs; and in professorial posts around the world.

The UCI campus is located less than 10 miles from Newport Beach, is the #1 university doing the most for the American dream (New York Times College Access Index), the #1 university for beach lovers (Money Magazine), the #6 best college in the nation (Money Magazine) and the #9 ranked public university in the U.S. (U.S. News & World Report).

 There's really something here for everyone! 

- Tiffany Hwu, '19



So what are you waiting for?


If full funding, opportunities to publish, and a proven track record of excellence in the field are what you’re looking for, contact us today to learn more about UCI’s graduate program in cognitive sciences.


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