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 Test Score is required for students planning to apply to our program. 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.

GRE test results are not valid for more than five years. Applicants should register for either the October or December test dates to ensure the timely receipt of their score results for admission consideration. At the time of test registration, students must notify the Educational Testing Service to report scores directly to UCI. Scores reported by a student cannot be accepted.

Further information about the GRE can be found at:


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

Applicants whose primary language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in English for admission consideration. A student may receive a waiver to the requirement for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based Test (iBT) or a paper-based test (PBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if they completed all the requirements for their high school diploma, bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree in a country where the primary and/or dominant language is English and English was the language of instruction of the school where the requirements were completed.

For a list of countries where English is considered the primary or dominant language, as approved by the UC Irvine Graduate Council, please visit:

Note: For financial support consideration, the following minimum scores are required:

  • 26/30 on the speaking component of the TOEFL-ibT; or
  • 8/9 on the Speaking module of the IELTS exam.



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