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Brain and Cognitive Sciences

The PhD program in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago provides comprehensive graduate training in the mechanisms of thought and behavior. Our research expertise focuses on concepts and conceptual change, language, learning and memory, lifespan development, motivation, and perceptual motor systems. Students are equipped to study these topics through examination of underlying cognitive, neurocognitive, and physiological brain processes and manifested complex behaviors in humans and non-human animals. We value understanding the brain, behavior, and cognition in diverse populations and contexts. Our faculty prepare graduate students for a variety of professional careers by mentoring them to generate new knowledge in one of the most exciting fields of our time, at the confluence of cognition, neuroscience, and data science.

Program Overview Heading link

  • Program Outcomes

    Graduate students in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences PhD program:

          • Complete coursework that provides an integrative perspective on core topics across multiple scales and levels of analyses
          • Become proficient in research design and quantitative analyses, with integrated proficiency in R
          • Conduct research through all years of their graduate work, completing a master’s thesis in their first two years, followed by doctoral dissertation work.

        Areas of research expertise include:

            • Sensorimotor processing, communication, language
            • Comprehension, problem-solving
            • Affect, motivation
            • Learning, memory
  • Learning Outcomes

    Throughout graduate school, students:

          • Participate in a variety of seminar series on current research and issues
          • Present their work at local, national, and international conferences
            • Receive financial support from teaching or research assistantships, or from a variety of fellowships from UIC and external funding agencies (American Psychological Association, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, NSERC)
              • Conduct research in internationally recognized labs that are funded by such foundations and agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Institute for Education Sciences, Office of Naval Research, and Brain Research Foundation.

        Publish in the top journals in their fields, including:

              • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
              • Cognition
              • Memory & Cognition
              • Cognitive Science
              • Journal of Neuroscience
              • PNAS
              • Neuron
              • Nature Neuroscience
              • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Faculty

    Our faculty belong to the a wide range of professional societies, including:

    • Psychonomics
    • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
    • Society for the Neurobiology of Language
    • American Association of Applied Linguistics
    • Society for Neuroscience
    • Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior
    • Research Society on Alcoholism