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Currently, three departments are associated with this exciting interdisciplinary program: Psychology, Computer Science and Child Study and Human Development. Students apply to and enroll in the joint Cognitive Science Ph.D. program through one of these departments (referred to as the 'home 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.).

A graduate student in the Cognitive Science Program is required to meet the requirements of their home department (Psychology, Child Study and Human Development or Computer Science) as well as the requirements for the Cognitive Science Program, see below. Note, however, that some of these requirements will overlap with one another.

There are two broad sets of requirements:
Because the cognitive science Ph.D. will require more preparatory course work of students than other disciplinary Ph.D. degrees, the typical duration of the program will likely be five years.

Financial Aid

Students in the cognitive science Ph.D. program are guaranteed at least four years of funding, of which one year will be in the form of a mandatory teaching assistant position. The remaining time will be a combination of teaching assistant and research assistant positions (the latter likely funded by one of the student's advisors). It is expected that all funded graduate students will receive at least support for nine months per calendar year in addition to full tuition remission. Note that the particular funding conditions of the teaching and research assistant position, however, will depend on what is customary in the home department of the student.