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The PhD program in Cognitive Psychology at UIC promotes basic and applied research on human cognition and prepares students for careers in research and teaching.

At UIC, Cognitive Faculty research programs are linked through the theme of exploring complex cognitive processing, which includes the study of learning, memory, language, text and discourse processes, problem solving, conceptual change, and metacognition. Over the past 10 years, research efforts have resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications in top journals like Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Memory & Cognition, Cognitive Science, Learning & Instruction, Learning & Individual Differences, Journal of Educational Psychology, Discourse Processes, and Journal of Memory & Language, and at least twice that number of presentations at the meetings of national and international societies, including American Educational Research Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Cognitive Science Society, the International Conference of the Learning Sciences, the Psychonomic Society, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the Society for Text and Discourse. The excellence of the faculty is recognized through honors such as membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Education, a Humboldt Fellowship (Germany) and an Erskine Fellowship (New Zealand). The division has a long-standing record of funding from foundations and federal agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Institute for Education Sciences.

Our students are trained through a mentorship model, thereby allowing them to gain first-hand research experience under the supervision of one or more faculty members. Students are expected to be actively involved in either faculty-sponsored or independent-supervised research continuously throughout their training. As part of the required curriculum, all students take courses in basic areas of cognitive psychology, including: attention & memory, language, problem solving & reasoning, and skill & knowledge acquisition. In addition, seminars are offered in specialty areas, such as: cognitive perspectives on individual differences, future thinking, cognitive aging, educational assessment, creativity, metacognition, bilingualism, and reading. Students receive training in traditional experimental methods as well as in specialized methods such as analyzing verbal protocols and action sequences, tracking eye movements, ERP, individual differences approaches, and computer simulation. Expertise in teaching is strongly promoted through the department’s teaching practicum. Our graduate students have received prestigious awards, such as the Erlbaum Award in Cognitive Science, the APA Young Researcher Award, the Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Award, the NSERC predoctoral fellowship, Psi Chi graduate research awards, and APA Dissertation Awards.

If you are interested in earning a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at UIC, please feel free to e-mail any of the faculty for additional information.