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The graduate program in Cognitive Psychology provides students with both a thorough understanding of cognitive psychology and the skills necessary to perform high quality independent research. The program is oriented toward doctoral studies. The research interests of the faculty are diverse, encompassing problems and issues in visual cognition, memory, attention, consciousness, awareness, neuropsychology, reading, reasoning, judgment and decision making, skilled performance, and applied experimental psychology.
The program allows students the flexibility to include courses related to their interests in cognition and perception, as well as in other areas of psychology, including Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental, Social, and Statistics/Psychometrics. By participating in a lively series of seminars, students learn presentation skills and acquire an ability to critique theories, methods, and research in an environment that fosters new research ideas. Research collaboration is encouraged and supported.
Students in the program have access to a variety of resources that support and enhance their research. There is ample research laboratory space with up-to-date equipment. Undergraduate research assistants, many of whom have extensive research experience, play an important role in supporting faculty and graduate student research. The program maintains a year-round paid research participant pool, which is available in addition to the departmental pool of participants drawn from introductory psychology courses. Travel funds, provided through faculty member research grants as well as department and university sources, allow graduate students to attend academic conferences, present their work, and meet colleagues from other universities around the world.
In this environment, motivated students are able to make rapid progress on their research and degree requirements. It is not unusual for students to complete their masters degree at the end of their first year. The PhD is typically completed by the end of the fifth year, but recently, a number of our students have finished in four years. The focus in our graduate program is on the completion of top-notch, publishable research and the development of independent research skills that will aid students in their subsequent careers. For this reason, there is no comprehensive examination requirement in our program. Students generally have several publications by the time they complete their degree. As the partial list of our graduates shows (under the Alumni section), they have been very successful in obtaining positions both inside and outside academia.