Psychology, Cognitive (PhD)

Program Overview

Binghamton University’s doctoral program in cognitive psychology emphasizes the development of critical thinking, research competence and theory construction and evaluation. Our students are trained in areas of cognitive neuroscience that include language processing, learning and memory, perception, attention and emotion, and cognitive development. A specific teaching curriculum is also included, and research training is heavily emphasized. Students should be dedicated to the pursuit of new knowledge in developmental research and modern pedagogy.

Potential candidates will be invited for an interview on campus with travel expenses compensated by the department. Interviews via Skype are available for students currently overseas. Students may be admitted with a tuition scholarship and stipends for serving as research or teaching assistants. In many cases teaching assistantships include health insurance and a tuition scholarship. Students that remain in good standing are eligible for up to five years of funding.

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Cognitive Psychology

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

After gaining experience as teaching assistants, all doctoral students are required to teach a course under the supervision of a faculty member. Two University research units are available for information and resources: the Center for Cognitive and Psycholinguistic Sciences (CaPS) and the Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience (CDBN). CaPS in particular supports research and training in various areas of cognitive science, and doctoral members are eligible to apply for travel awards to attend conferences and present research findings. Many students also seek out paid internships in industry with organizations such as Bellcore, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola and NASA. See the program roadmap to find out more about what the program entails.

After You Graduate

The Psychology Department has an excellent track record in placing graduates. Alumni have obtained academic or industrial employment in the human factors field, or pursued postdoctoral training at nationally distinguished research institutions. Such organizations include the College of William and Mary, University of California at Los Angeles, Dell Computer, Texas A&M Medical School, Lockheed Martin, James Madison University, IBM and the Yale School of Medicine.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores are suggested, but not required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2023 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.


Degree Fall Spring
Cognitive Psychology (PhD)December 10 (Recommended) / December 31N/A

For more information, visit the Psychology, Cognitive website.