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

Program at a Glance

72 units

5-7 years

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

PhD in Psychology

Featured Courses


Provides a comprehensive overview of information-processing mechanisms of the mind, including consciousness, perception, attention, memory, and knowledge.

PSYCH 350u
Applied Cognitive Psychology

Explores the most productive avenues for applying cognitive psychology to understanding and solving real world problems.

PSYCH 328a

Explores the major empirical and theoretical issues in human memory research and analyzes the interaction between memory and emotion and the neural basis for this interaction.

PSYCH 350d
Law & Psychology

Covers topics including eyewitness memory, plea bargaining decisions, investigative interviewing, false confessions, the death penalty, and more.

Interaction Design and Usability Testing

Understand and apply interaction design theory and techniques to conceive, design, and test responsive websites that run on the web and mobile devices.

PSYCH 350ux
User Experience Design & Strategy

Advances a strategic method to quickly and effectively launch a product or service online and empirical practices that are a better guarantee of successful product development.


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

Faculty & Research
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

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Applied Cognitive Psychology program

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Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9421