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

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

*Note: The degree name changed from Psychology to Cognitive Sciences effective Fall 2019.*



Interested in applying to our graduate program? Applications must be submitted using UCI's Online Application for Graduate Admissions.

The UCI campus uses a fully-online graduate application program, Slate. All applications and supplemental application materials are to be sent through Slate, by the applicant. Letters of recommendation will be submitted by recommenders through the application portal. See below for the required application materials.

The deadline to apply is DECEMBER 1. Admission decisions for our program are made in March. Please note that we do not make mid-year (winter or spring) admission offers. Admission is for the beginning of fall only.



Application materials include the following items:

  • CV/Resume
  • Statement of Purpose - Please prepare a statement focusing on your academic/research background and interests.
  • Personal Statement – Please prepare a statement focusing on your personal background, including any familial, cultural, or social experiences relevant to your academic journey.
  • Official Transcripts
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation

Applicants are selected using a holistic evaluation system. The essay (statement) requirement will assist the admissions and fellowship review committees to evaluate your preparation for your proposed field of study as well as your background and motivation for graduate study.



**IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR FALL 2024 APPLICANTS: The department continues to waive the GRE requirement for the Fall 2024 admissions cycle. You do not need to take nor submit GRE scores with your Fall 2024 application to be considered for admission into the program.**

The following is included for informational purposes only. As noted above, the GRE requirement has been waived for Fall 2024 applicants. The GRE test scores are 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.

Please note that:

  • We cannot accept GMAT, LSAT, or MCAT scores in place of the GREs.
  • We do not require applicant file scores from any of the various GRE (subject) tests available.
  • GRE test results are not valid for more than five years.

For further information about this requirement, please see:



All graduate applicants are required to demonstrate English proficiency for admissions consideration.  Applicants are waived from the English Language Proficiency requirement if they have earned an undergraduate or master’s degree from an institution at which English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database (WHED). Please see WHED’s instructions on how to search for your institution. If English is not the sole language of instruction listed or if no language is listed at all, the waiver does not apply and the applicant is required to take and pass an approved English proficiency test.  Approved tests and minimum scores are outlined in the next section.  

Please note: Test results that are two years old or older are not acceptable.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students who will be supported as a Teaching Assistant (TA) should read the English proficiency requirement policy for Teaching Assistantships. Further information about the TOEFL (including institutional code and overall minimum score) can be found at:



The current financial support package offered to students admitted into our program is for five years - fifteen quarters - of enrollment contingent on satisfactory academic standing and progress. Satisfactory progress in the department is evaluated based on acceptable completion of course work, timely completion of program examination requirements, acceptable progress in research and teaching as determined by your program faculty, and adherence to UCI's student conduct code.

This guaranteed support takes the form of a teaching assistantship, a research assistantship, or a fellowship (internal or extramural). Tuition, most associated educational fees, and graduate student health insurance (UC-SHIP) are covered as a benefit of employment for students holding teaching assistantships or research assistantships, and paid by the School during fellowship quarters.

An additional fee ("local fees") is assessed on all students each quarter. It covers on-campus, student-funded services - i.e., Associate Graduate Students, Student Center, Bren Events Center, Recreation Center - and is a quarterly out-of-pocket expense for the student. For 2022-23, the total was $264.33 per quarter. See:



The Cognitive Sciences Graduate Student Corner provides current and prospective students with information about milestones and available graduate and wellness resources in addition to annual reminders about while progressing through the program. For prospective applicants, some FAQs along with expected backgrounds can be found on this site. See:




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