Language and Cognition

Ph.D. Concentration

The language and cognition concentration at UConn examines a number of major themes, including the neurobiological mechanisms in speech perception, reading, sentence processing, semantic memory, and concept formation; event cognition; individual differences; and dynamical systems approaches to language and cognition in typical and atypical populations.

We have a strong track record of interdisciplinary research spanning from theory and computational modeling to empirical cognitive and neuroscience approaches. Our concentration is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in our local and global communities. We offer mentorship programs for underrepresented and first-generation students.

Program Overview

UConn graduate students earning a Ph.D. in psychological sciences can choose choose language and cognition as their area of concentration. Language and cognition is a subfield of the perception, action, and cognition program—one of several research divisions in the Department of Psychological Sciences.

Students take courses in cognition, the psychology of language, and quantitative methods in behavioral science. They also take advantage of several interdisciplinary graduate training programs that set them up for success after graduation, including the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship Program.


Learn more about courses and curriculum

Research and Collaboration

UConn language and cognition researchers are highly collaborative. Their work focuses on the interplay between new cognitive science insights and the classical foundation in the computational theory of mind.

Graduate student researchers work closely with faculty in their concentration. They also collaborate with scholars and peers in other divisions in the Department of Psychological Sciences and across the University, including:

  • The developmental psychology and behavioral neuroscience research programs in the Department of Psychological Sciences.
  • The departments of linguistics; speech, language, and hearing sciences; cognitive science; philosophy; biomedical engineering; educational psychology; and UConn Health.

The Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action, Institute for Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and other interdisciplinary centers and institutes.

UConn language and cognition researchers also have strong connections with external collaborators at Haskins Laboratories, an internationally renowned interdisciplinary research facility located in New Haven, which provides a stimulating environment for graduate research and training.

Learn more about research specialties.


Graduate students take advantage of UConn’s state-of-the-art facilities and a dynamic program of colloquia, internal talk series, and interest groups. Our facilities include:

Financial Aid

Most students admitted into the Ph.D. program receive a graduate assistantship for research or teaching. The assistantship includes a tuition waiver, stipend, and a range of other benefits. Students can also apply for other scholarships, fellowships, and awards based on financial need and academic merit, as well as interdisciplinary graduate training programs.

Learn more about graduate funding and financial support.


All application materials must be received by December 1.


Full Ph.D. Admissions Requirements

Please designate "language and cognition” as your concentration in the online application.

We strongly encourage applicants to review our list of faculty members and reach out to inquire whether they are accepting new students.

Applicants should have an excellent academic record. Research experience is helpful but not necessary. Applicants may have an undergraduate major in psychology, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, cognitive science, or other related fields of study.

Contact Us

For questions about the developmental psychology concentration, please contact the director of the Perception, Action, and Cognition Research Program:

Whitney Tabor

Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences