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Graduate Study

The Graduate Field of Psychology includes 39 faculty members from departments across the university including Psychology, Human Development, and Neurobiology and Behavior. Only Ph.D. candidates are admitted. The Field does not have an M.A. program. The goal of the Field is to educate students to become researchers, scholars, and teachers who will contribute to the future of psychology as a scientific discipline in academic or other research-oriented settings.

The dominant strengths of the Field lie in three broadly defined areas: behavioral and evolutionary neuroscience, perception, cognition and development, and social/personality psychology. We do not offer training in clinical psychology, counseling, school psychology, community psychology, industrial psychology, or clinical neuropsychology. Applicants with primary interests in these subjects are not admitted.

Perception, Cognition and Development

How do we perceive, learn about, and store information about the environments around us? How does what we have learned affect how we perceive and understand? PCD researchers in the graduate field of psychology at Cornell study human perception, language, and memory, as well as the development of various cognitive functions in infants. The methods they use are diverse, and range from human behavioral experiments in development, perception, and psycholinguistics, through computational modeling and simulation of auditory, visual, and language processes, to human electrophysiology by means of event-related potential (ERP) analysis.

Behavioral and Evolutionary Neuroscience

The biopsychology group seeks to understand behavior and cognition through investigations of the integrated roles of evolution, development, and mechanisms. The emphasis is on naturalistic behaviors of animals and ecologically relevant behaviors of humans. Comparative perspectives are well represented, the full range of development, including aging, is investigated, and both social and non-social behaviors are explained. Core questions are, what are the mechanisms (brain, sensory, endocrine, and behavioral) that enable animals (including humans) to behave appropriately? How do these mechanisms work? How do they develop? How did they evolve?

Social and Personality Psychology

Faculty members in the social/personality area are interested in understanding how people think, feel, and act in real-world social situations. There is a particular interest in how people make sense of the social world around them, as represented by research programs on judgment and decision making, attribution, self-knowledge, affect and emotion, and stereotyping/prejudice. Frequent topics of inquiry include whether people reach accurate or erroneous judgments about themselves and others, how people arrive at their decisions, and how those decisions can be influenced by emotions or factors outside of awareness.

How to apply to the Cornell Graduate Program in Psychology:

You must apply to directly to the Cornell University Graduate School via their web site. You may also want to investigate the Cornell Graduate School site for additional information.

Contact Information

Director of Graduate Studies: David J. Field
Graduate Field Secretary: Pam A. Cunningham
211 Uris Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-3834
Fax: 607-255-8433