Applied Cognitive Psychology

The program in Applied Cognitive Psychology seeks students committed to conducting a strong program of cognitive research on important contemporary issues. All students are actively involved in research throughout their graduate studies.  Typically, students focus on one of four sub-areas within cognitive psychology:

  • Cognitive Aging
  • Eyewitness Memory
  • Critical Thinking
  • Perception and Human Performance

cognitive psych students
Dr. Kathy Pezdek leads a class in discussion of topics in Cognitive Psychology.

Applied Cognitive Psychology at Claremont is an active and vital enterprise with a long and distinguished history – we have essentially defined graduate training in Applied Cognitive Psychology world wide. A key component of the Applied Cognitive Psychology Program is the apprentice model in which Ph.D. students are actively involved in research throughout their graduate studies working closely with their faculty research advisor. The Applied Cognitive Psychology Program incorporates the faculty resources from across The Claremont Colleges Consortium.

On a regular basis, cognitive psychology graduate students and faculty gather for “Cognitive Brown Bag Lunch” to hear research presentations on topics of current interest in cognitive psychology.

Many research opportunities are available to Ph.D. students in the Applied Cognitive Psychology Program, including grants, contract research, and field work opportunities. Many cognitive students focus their research in Law and Psychology, including the topics of eyewitness memory, false confessions, and jury decision making. Another focus of research at CGU is memory and the aging process. The affiliated Pomona College Project on Memory and Aging has received support from the National Institute of Health for 19 years and offers graduate students a number of opportunities to study cognitive aging.

Students in the Applied Cognitive Psychology Program are preparing for careers in both academic and applied settings. Students acquire a background in the theories and research that define the traditional and contemporary areas of cognitive psychology. In addition, the program emphasizes the development of methodological and statistical skills. Most of the ongoing research projects by the cognitive students and faculty are on applied topics that inform important societal problems.

Our faculty and advanced graduate students would be happy to provide you with more information about the field and career opportunities in Applied Cognitive Psychology. To make a phone appointment or to arrange a visit to campus, please e-mail Ellen Soakai at

Degree Options

We currently offer two degree options in Applied Cognitive Psychology.  Follow the links below for specific program requirements:

Follow this link for more information about the M.A. program in Psychology.

We have a very generous transfer-of-units policy for students who have already earned a Master's degree from another institution.  That is, if you are applying for a Ph.D degree you may transfer up to 24 units of relevant coursework and a Master's Thesis.  Advanced CGU graduate students and faculty would be happy to provide you with more information about the field and career opportunities in Cognitive Psychology.

Cognitive Psychology Resources

Financial Aid

Generous gifts to Claremont Graduate University have made it possible for us to realize our mission of making high-quality graduate education more accessible to a diverse group of students.  We are happy to report that all cognitive psychology students who request financial aid receive fellowships.  At the time a student is offered admission to one of our graduate programs, SBOS faculty contact students to discuss the details of their financial aid package.  In addition, significant increases in faculty research funding have resulted in a substantial increase in the number of stipends and the amount of tuition remission support we are able to provide.  DBOS also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.  The CGU Office of Student Financing assists students with finding work study positions, private scholarships, and government loans.

The Cognitive Psychology team (including Professors Berger and Pezdek and staff member Edith Martin, along with graduate students in the program) won the championship in Fall 2008's SBOS Kickball Tournement.