The Department of Psychology conducts cutting-edge research aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of mental processes and behavior. Our work addresses social, cognitive, and neural levels of analysis. We are innovative and interdisciplinary in our approach and emphasize understanding phenomena that have a direct impact on society.

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

PhD in Psychology

The graduate program in psychology offers a PhD program in experimental psychology and an interdisciplinary PhD in Cognitive Sciences, both designed to prepare scholars for entering scientifically-oriented research and/or teaching jobs. All students are admitted to the PhD program, which is comprised of a pre-master's and a post-master's part. The program is not designed to grant a terminal master’s degree. Instead, it is expected that students will proceed to PhD study.

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PhD in Psychology Learning Objectives

The graduate program's course-work and milestone requirements have been constructed to consider the student's professional development and to foster a successful research career. Effective written communication is an essential research skill. As such, one of the main objectives of the graduate program focuses on effective written communication of scientific research. To achieve this objective, students receive extensive feedback on writing from personalized faculty committees

  • Written communication—students will gain facility in written scientific communication.
  • Oral communication—students will gain facility in oral scientific communication.
  • Synthesizing psychological research literature—students will gain facility in understanding scientific research from theoretical and methodological perspectives.
  • Independent scientific research—students will move toward conducting independent and peer-collaborative scientific research.
  • Statistical competence—students will learn fundamentals of promoting and responding to the broader research community about their work
  • Teaching competence—students will learn fundamentals involved with teaching courses in psychology.


Samuel R. Sommers
Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. , University of Michigan
Social Perception and Judgment
Stephanie Badde
Stephanie Badde
Stibel Family Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Science
Ph.D. , University of Hamburg
Robert Cook
Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley
Animal Cognition and Learning
Jan P. de Ruiter
Professor and Director of Cognitive Science Program
Ph.D. , Radboud University, Nijmegen
Philosophy of science, artificial intelligence, inferential statistics, social robotics
Ariel M. Goldberg
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Johns Hopkins University
Psychology of Language, Linguistics
Xandra Kredlow
Xandra Kredlow
Dean of Arts and Sciences Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Boston University
Clinical neuroscience
Gina Kuperberg, Stibel Dennett Professor of Cognitive Science
Gina Kuperberg
Dennett Stibel Professor of Cognitive Science
Ph.D. , Kings College, University of London
Cognitive Neuroscience, Language (semantics), Clinical cognitive neuroscience (neuropsychiatry)
Keith B. Maddox
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of California, Santa Barbara
Social Cognition
Klaus A. Miczek
Ph.D. , University of Chicago
Paul Muentener
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Cognitive Development
Elizabeth Race
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Cognitive Neuroscience, Memory, Cognitive Control
Lisa Shin
Lisa Shin
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Clinical Neuroscience
Holly Taylor -  Professor
Holly A. Taylor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Spatial Cognition, Language, Memory
Ayanna Kim Thomas
Ayanna Kim Thomas
Dean of Research and Professor
Ph.D. , University of Washington
Memory and Aging
Heather L. Urry
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D. , University of Arizona
Affective Neuroscience
Nathan Ward
Nathan Ward
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of Utah
Applied Cognition

Application Deadline

Fall: December 1

Application Requirements:

> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal Statement: This statement should describe your previous experience with the type of research you are interested in, how that experience will facilitate your graduate education, and why you are choosing to pursue graduate education in our department. Your goal should be to demonstrate how well you will fit in the Tufts Psychology program and in a specific laboratory or laboratories. If you are applying for the Cognitive Science program, please also describe why you are interested in that interdisciplinary program. For more information please see the department's page. Please limit your statement to 2,000 words.
> GRE General and Subject test scores are optional
> Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three Letters of Recommendation
> Optional Writing Sample: You have the option to provide a writing sample that provides additional indication of your writing and research experience. This could include a scientific publication, experimental write-up, honors thesis, or other scientific writing. 
> Optional Additional Materials: You also have the option of submitting additional supporting material that further demonstrates fit with the lab or indicated supervisor, and that were not discussed in the personal statement (e.g., online courses and/or boot-camps, poster presentations, relevant professional development opportunities, certifications in programming languages, videos of an experiment currently in progress, video of scientific presentation, relevant blog posts, relevant publications).

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact the graduate program director, Professor Heather Urry.

Department of Psychology
Tufts University
490 Boston Ave.
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3523
Fax: 617.627.3181