in person

Applied Cognitive Psychology

PhD in Psychology

The Applied Cognitive Psychology PhD Program is not currently accepting applications.

The PhD Program in Applied Cognitive Psychology offers students training in cognitive psychology research and theory and a wide range of statistical and methodological skills necessary to do basic and applied research on important issues related to human cognition.

CGU’s PhD programming in Applied Cognitive Psychology offers in-depth scholarship in the theories and research that define the traditional and contemporary areas of cognitive psychology, including cognitive aging, eyewitness memory, intelligence and working memory, and perception and human performance. Intensive research will define your education; you’ll be quickly involved as a student, collaborator, and colleague with globally renowned faculty-scholars, conducting research on applied topics that inform important societal problems.

Program Highlights
  • A key component of the Applied Cognitive Psychology program is the apprentice model, in which PhD students collaborate closely with their faculty research advisors throughout their graduate studies.
  • Many cognitive psychology students focus their research in law & psychology, including the topics of eyewitness memory, autobiographical memory, and lie detection.
  • Cognitive psychology students also collaborate with faculty from The Claremont Colleges on a range of topics, including cognitive aging, decision-making, prospective memory, autobiographical memory, and embodied cognition.
  • Cognitive psychology graduate students and faculty gather regularly for Cognitive Brown Bag Lunches to hear research presentations on topics of current interest.
  • All Applied Cognitive Psychology students who request financial aid receive fellowships. The Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.
  • We also offer an MA program in Applied Cognitive Psychology: User Experience. Learn more

Program At-a-glance

  • 72 units

    required units

  • PhD in Psychology

    degree awarded

  • In Person


  • Spring, Fall

    program start

  • 5-7 years | full time*

    estimated completion time

Request info Apply now

Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions


Where You Can Find Our Alumni


  • Portrait of Kathy Pezdek

    Kathy Pezdek

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Memory & Comprehension, Eyewitness Memory, Autobiographical Memory

Extended Faculty

  • Lise Abrams

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Language and memory, speech production, tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states, cognitive aging, bilingualism

  • Gabriel I. Cook

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognition, memory

  • Jennifer Groscup

    Scripps College

    Research Interests

    Intersection of psychology and law

  • Alison Harris

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive neuroscience, decision neuroscience, neuroeconomics

  • David Moore

    Pitzer College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive development, development of mental rotation, infant-directed speech, categorization in infancy

  • Catherine L. Reed

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognitive neuroscience, electroencephalography, human behavior and human factors, multisensory perception

  • Shlomi Sher

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Rational and psychological levels of analysis; scientific approaches to the mind-body problem

  • Patricia Smiley

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Language development, self-development, achievement motivation

  • Sharda Umanath

    Claremont McKenna College

    Research Interests

    Cognition, education, experimental psychology, memory

  • Megan Zirnstein

    Pomona College

    Research Interests

    Sentence processing, individual differences in reading behavior and comprehension, bilingual language processing, ERPs, eye tracking


Cognitive Psychology (12 units)
Cognition (4 units)
Memory (4 units)
Applied Cognitive Psychology (4 units)

Cognitive Psychology & Related Electives (32 units)
You are encouraged to take elective courses in the School of Educational Studies, the Drucker School of Management, the Division of Politics & Economics, and the Center for Information Systems & Technology.

Statistics & Research Methods (20 units)
Research Methods (4 units)
Directed Research: Cognitive Psychology (two 2-unit courses)
Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)
Additional 4 units of Advanced Methodology

Field/Teaching Experience (4 units)
Supervised Teaching Seminar (4 units)
Field Placement (4 units)

Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units)
All PhD students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from the “TNDY” course sequence during their first three semesters at Claremont Graduate University.

In addition to 72 units of coursework, you must complete a portfolio that represents a cohesive set of experiences balancing training in your area of specialization.

PhD Completion
• PhD qualifying exam
• Dissertation proposal
• Dissertation and oral defense

Back to the tabs
Apply now