Cognitive Science

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary effort to understand and explain the mind. It draws on knowledge from psychology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, neuroscience, and biology.

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

Cognitive Sciences Ph.D. Program

  • Ph.D. in Psychology: Cognitive Science 

Indicate "Cognitive Science" on application.

  • Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development

Enroll in Cognitive Sciences program after matriculation.

  • Ph.D. in Computer Science

Indicate "Cognitive Science" on application.

  • Ph.D. in Education: Cognitive Science 

Indicate "Cognitive Science" on application.

Cutting across the information and life sciences, cognitive science is a paradigmatic multi- and inter-disciplinary research program with enormous future societal benefits, especially as intelligent artificial agents are becoming part of our lives.

In recent years, Tufts has built up a world-renowned faculty in Cognitive Science, some of whom have been prominent since the beginnings of the field. The new joint Ph.D. program has particular interdisciplinary strength in the area of human language, including theoretical linguistics, psycho- and neurolinguistics, reading and dyslexia, and computational linguistics, and it offers considerable expertise as well in other traditional subareas of cognitive science including animal cognition, human memory, behavioral/cognitive/affective neuroscience, cognitive modeling, robotics, and human computer interaction.


Learn more about the Cognitive Science Program


Bárbara M. Brizuela
Professor and Dean of Academic Affairs
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Mathematics education, early childhood education, and cognitive development
Richard A. Chechile
Ph.D. , University of Pittsburgh
Mathematical Psychology, Memory
Robert Cook
Professor, Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley
Animal Cognition and Learning
Calvin Gidney
Calvin Gidney III
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Georgetown University
Linguistics and Language of African American children
David Hammer
Ph.D. , University of California
Physics education; Director, STEM Education
Ray Jackendoff
Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Natural language semantics and Syntax
Robert J. K. Jacob
Ph.D. , Johns Hopkins
Human-Computer Interaction, New Interaction Techniques and Media, Tangible User Interfaces,Virtual Environments, User Interface Software, Information Visualization, Software Engineering
Gina Kuperberg
Ph.D. , Kings College, University of London
Cognitive Neuroscience, Language (semantics), Clinical cognitive neuroscience (neuropsychiatry)
Matthias Scheutz
Professor and Program Director
Ph.D. , Indiana University
Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Life, Cognitive Modeling, Complex Systems, Foundations of Cognitive Science, Human-Robot Interaction, Multi-scale Agent-based Models, Natural Language Processing
Holly A. Taylor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Spatial Cognition, Language, Memory
Ayanna K. Thomas
Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director
Ph.D. , University of Washington
Memory and Aging
Heather L. Urry
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Arizona
Affective Neuroscience
Maryanne Wolf
Maryanne Wolf
Ed.D. , Harvard University
Dyslexia, Cognitive Neurosciences, and Reading Development and Intervention

Application Deadline

Fall: December 1 (Child Study and Human Development), December 15 (Psychology and Computer Science)
Spring: September 15 (Computer Science)

Currently, three departments are associated with the joint cognitive science Ph.D. program: Child Study and Human Development, Computer Science, and Psychology. Students apply to and enroll in the joint cognitive science Ph.D. program through one of these departments either as a prospective graduate student or as a current graduate student after they have been accepted by one of the departments (e.g., after they have already started their Ph.D.).

There is no separate admissions process for the cognitive science Ph.D. program. Applicants simply indicate in their application to a home department that they would like to be admitted to the cognitive science Ph.D. program. The program director will work with faculty responsible for admission in the home department to determine the applicant's eligibility. The director proposes candidates to the Steering committee, who will vote on admissions. Note that this process will not conflict with the admissions process (or criteria) in the student's home department; only students that satisfy the admissions criteria of the home department can be considered for admission into the cognitive science Ph.D. program.

Current Tufts graduate students in one of the affiliated departments can send the program director an informal petition to be admitted to the cognitive science Ph.D. program. As with prospective graduate students, the director proposes eligible candidates who meet the prerequisites for the cognitive science program to the Steering Committee which then approves admissions.

Application Requirements:

> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
Personal Statement
Official GRE scores
Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
Three Letters of Recommendation

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact your graduate program director:

Computer Science/Cognitive Science
Anselm Blumer

Psychology/Cognitive Science
Gina Kuperberg

Child Development/Cognitive Science
Chip Gidney or Maryanne Wolf