Doctoral Program in Cognitive Psychology at Colorado State University
Cognitive psychology is an active area of study at Colorado State University, as one of five doctoral programs offered by the Department of Psychology. We are committed to maintaining a nationally recognized program in cognitive psychology and to training first-rate researchers and scholars in the science of the human mind. The research conducted by cognitive faculty members spans a variety of topics, with a focus on human learning and memory, perception, and performance. Several faculty members are also interested in cognitive aging.
A relatively small group of students participate in the Program (typically 2-3 students per faculty member) so as to provide highly individualized graduate education, allow close collaboration with faculty, and promote frequent formal and informal interaction with faculty and peers. At the same time, the Program benefits from the facilities and resources of a large and thriving department at a Carnegie Foundation level-one research institute. There are, for example, opportunities for interdisciplinary education in other academic units, including the Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, and Program in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences.
The Program is administered according to a mentorship model. New students are matched with a specific faculty member according to area of interest and by mutual consent of the student and faculty member. The faculty advisor serves as a mentor to the student and, with the student’s advisory committee, guides the student through the Program.
The general goal of the Doctoral Program in Cognitive Psychology is to train students for productive careers as teachers and researchers in academic settings, or as research scientists and/or applied cognitive psychologists in business and industry. This training goal is achieved through coursework, research experience, teaching experience, and scholarly interaction within and outside of the Department.
All students in the Doctoral Program develop sophistication in research methods, experimental design, and statistical analysis by virtue of courses completed during their first year of graduate study. Additional coursework provides a comprehensive foundation in cognitive psychology, and participation in specialty seminars and research provide specialization within cognitive psychology. In addition, our commitment to interdisciplinary study means that all students take two courses in other areas of psychology, with numerous opportunities for additional interdisciplinary coursework within and outside of the Department.
To foster the development of research skills, students are actively involved in research throughout their time in the Program. Students typically begin research under the supervision of their faculty mentor and then become increasingly more independent as they progress through the Program. Students are expected to publish their work in professional journals and the typical student authors or co- authors several articles by the time they graduate.
To foster the development of teaching skills, all students obtain direct teaching experience through the supervised teaching of two different laboratory courses. One strength of the Program is that there are many additional opportunities to develop teaching skills, if desired. Graduate students may be invited to teach lecture-oriented courses during regular semester sessions or condensed summer sessions. The Department of Psychology also administers a Teaching Fellow Program that involves the supervised instruction of General Psychology. In addition, The Institute for Learning and Teaching sponsor lectures, seminars, and workshops on college teaching.
Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, a city with about 144,000 people that is rated as one of the best places to live in the country.
Scholarly communication and presentation skills are developed through participation in our weekly brownbag meeting. Students are also highly encouraged and may be awarded financial support to attend and present their work at local, national, and international conferences.
Students applying to the Doctoral Program in Cognitive Psychology should be firmly committed to the completion of the Ph.D. Although a master’s (M.S.) degree is awarded
Cognitive Psychology at CSU Page 2