What will I learn?

The PhD program in cognition and neuroscience offers advanced study and research training for students seeking to become leading scientists and scholars in the field. Research in cognition and neuroscience encompasses all aspects of cognition, including studies of perception, memory, reasoning, decision-making, neuroplasticity and neuro-engineering.

The cognition and neuroscience PhD program offers a distinctive blend of research initiatives and doctoral study in the neural processes underlying sensation, perception, memory, learning, language and executive function throughout the lifespan. Students may focus on perception and memory for complex information patterns such as faces, speech, language, music, and text, or reasoning and decision-making processes in conditions such as brain damage and addiction. Another area of strength is cellular and molecular neuroplasticity - in typical learning and memory as well as in chronic pain and other atypical conditions. The program also has strengths in artificial neural networks and neuro-engineering.

The PhD program in cognition and neuroscience offers exceptional research facilities, including state-of-the art laboratories for investigating neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, neurochemical, and neuropsychological processes, as well as for conducting advanced mathematical analyses and modeling. In addition, the school’s centers, such as the Center for Brain Health and the Center for Vital Longevity, house outstanding research facilities for the study of cognitive neuroscience, including cutting-edge brain imaging technologies for identifying the neural signatures of learning, aging, and disease. Collaborative arrangements with the UT Southwestern Medical Center expand student research opportunities through additional access to clinical populations and neuroimaging facilities.

Career Options

Graduates of the program seek positions such as: neuroscientist in academic, private practice, industry or medical settings; researcher or professor.

Degree Program

The PhD program in cognition and neuroscience is divided into two tracks: cognitive neuroscience and systems neuroscience. Coursework and some degree requirements differ between the two tracks, but all students are required to complete a minimum of 75 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Which department am I in?

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Study options

Full Time (75 semester credit hours minimum beyond the baccalaureate degree)

Tuition fees
US$29,796.00 per year
International Student Special Services Fee: USD $100
Start date

Expected January 2022


School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences


800 W Campbell Road,



75080, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements: A score of 550 on TOEFL paper based test; English 112 (provided by ELS Language Centers): Pass. PTE score of 67.

For international students

The minimum requirement for admission to any doctoral program is an appropriate earned UT Dallas master's degree or its equivalent, with an average of at least B+. Applicants currently enrolled in post baccalaureate study may be admitted on the condition that official documentation confirming the conferral of their master's degree is presented before enrollment at UT Dallas is permitted.

Some departments admit directly to the doctoral program from a bachelor's degree for highly qualified candidates.

English proficiency requirements

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT (Internet-based test) Minimum score: 80

TOEFL PBT (paper-based test) Minimum score: 550

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Minimum score: 6.5

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) Minimum score: 67

Completion of Level 112 at an ELS Language Center

Duolingo English Test Minimum score: 105

Application Deadlines: Fall term - January 15 (Early), May 1 (Regular); Spring term - May 15 (Early), October 1 (Regular).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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