The Department of Psychology is organized into specialized programs that reflect the contemporary state of the discipline as well as the wide-ranging interests of its own faculty. These programs are:


The goal of the doctoral program in Cognitive Psychology is to train graduate students to be well-rounded researchers and scholars. Our unique approach fosters integrative thinking that crosses disciplinary boundaries, and focuses on research questions that have both theoretical and practical significance. Faculty, students, and post docs collaborate on projects spanning a variety of cognitive domains, such as human memory, language and communication, perception, attention and action, and conflict resolution and negotiation. Not only do we focus on fundamentally cognitive questions, but we also situate these questions within a broader context, including the biological bases and the social manifestations of cognitive phenomena. Our integrative approach allows graduate students to benefit from the University as a whole, by interacting with faculty from the Biological Sciences, the Humanities, and the Social Sciences.

Faculty Advisers in the Cognition Area: Edward S. Awh, Wilma A. Bainbridge, Akram Bakkour, Marc G. Berman, Jean Decety, David A. Gallo, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Leslie M. Kay, Boaz Keysar, Susan C. Levine, Yuan Chang Leong, Sarah London, Daniel Margoliash, Howard C. Nusbaum, Monica Rosenberg, Alex Shaw, Steven K. Shevell, Edward K. Vogel, Amanda Woodward, Jai Yu

Developmental Psychology

The University of Chicago has long been a pioneer in the field of developmental science.  With its renowned faculty and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, the Developmental Psychology Program provides a rich environment for scientific inquiry, training, and mentorship.

Among the faculty, there is particular convergence in the areas of language and cognitive development. Our research on language acquisition spans a broad range of topics, including early vocabulary growth and word learning, the effects of language input on language development, the development of narrative and discourse abilities, and the development of the gestures that accompany speech. Our research on cognitive development includes studies of perceptual development, mathematical and spatial abilities in infants and children, the effects of school and home environments on cognitive development, the development of autobiographical memory, the development of infants' knowledge about objects, and infants' and children's concepts of intentional action. There are also thriving research programs in social and emotional development, including the development of emotional understanding and interactions between parents and children. In addition to these areas of research, a number of us investigate relations between multiple factors in development, for example relations between thought, language and culture, and relations between action, perception and cognition.

Faculty Advisers in Developmental Psychology: Lin Bian, Jean Decety, Susan Goldin-Meadow, Katherine D. Kinzler, Susan C. Levine, Alex Shaw, Amanda Woodward

Integrative Neuroscience

The Integrative Neuroscience graduate program at the University of Chicago is designed to provide the training and research opportunities for the next generation of behavioral, cognitive, and social neuroscientists.  Behavioral, cognitive, and social neuroscience represent three complementary and partially overlapping aspects of this integrative neuroscience of mind and behavior.  Behavioral neuroscience places an emphasis on the biological mechanisms underlying basic behavioral processes; cognitive neuroscience places an emphasis on the biological mechanisms underlying cognition, with a specific focus on the neural substrates of mental processes and their behavioral manifestations; and social neuroscience places an emphasis on the biological mechanisms underlying social processes and behavior, including the ability to perceive and communicate mental states including the beliefs and desires of others and to form and maintain interpersonal and group relationships.  The University of Chicago is optimally positioned to meet this challenge because its unique academic structure facilitates interactions across disciplinary perspectives. 

Faculty Advisers in Integrative Neuroscience: Edward S. Awh, Wilma A. Bainbridge, Akram Bakkour, Marc G. Berman, Jean Decety, David A. Gallo, Leslie M. Kay,  Yuan Chang Leong, Sarah London, Daniel Margoliash, Greg J. Norman, Howard C. Nusbaum, Brian J. Prendergast, Monica Rosenberg, Steven K. Shevell, Edward K. Vogel, Jai Yu

Social Psychology

The Social Psychology Program is defined by its faculty, its students (past and present), and the training and research opportunities that are available to its students at the University of Chicago.  Note that for the 2021 application cycle, we are not accepting students directly into the Social Psychology training area. Instead, any potential applicant who is interested in working with faculty on research projects related to social psychology should contact the faculty member(s) directly to inquire which training area they should select in their application. 

Consistent with the interdisciplinary traditions of the University of Chicago, many faculty members serve on more than one of the department's programs.