Cognitive Psychology


The Department of Psychology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, offers the opportunity for exceptional students to pursue graduate study in Cognitive Psychology. The cognitive area consists of a group of active faculty whose research interests span topics including Human Memory, Visual Attention, Auditory and Visual Word Recognition and Reading, and Second Language Processing and Bilingualism.

Graduate students take courses in the core areas of cognition, memory, perception, psycholinguistics, statistics, and advanced seminars on selected topics. In addition, students benefit from weekly cognitive seminars, informal readings seminars and departmental colloquia.

The small size of the cognitive psychology program is conducive to interaction, and students are encouraged to collaborate with multiple faculty and with other students. The program has a strong research orientation such that when students leave they typically have multiple co-authored publications with faculty in top-tier journals. Moreover, many of our students conduct research that lead to sole-authored publications and to receiving nationally recognized research awards. Students are expected to engage in research throughout their graduate study, beginning in their first year (the Initial Research Project) and culminating in their doctoral dissertation.

Because most students who graduate obtain positions in an academic setting, students are encouraged to gain some teaching experience. This experience includes serving as teaching assistants in the early part of their graduate training and teaching courses as the instructor of record in the later part of their graduate careers. The research and teaching experiences our students have during their graduate training make them competitive in the job market once they receive their Ph.D.


The Cognitive program’s research facilities include hardware and software to test subjects in a wide range of experiments that allow presentation of auditory as well as visual stimuli, and collection of manual or vocal responses. Albany has a large volunteer participant pool, providing an ample supply of participants for experiments. Students who are interested in interdisciplinary work will benefit from the Cognitive program’s affiliations with the Child Research and Study Center, Programs in Linguistics and Cognitive Science and in Information Technology. The University Library contains over 1.7 million volumes and 16,000 journals, an interactive media center, and a state-of-the-art electronic library system. All offices and labs are networked with the University Computer Center.

Financial Aid

Students in good standing in the Cognitive program typically receive four years of financial support in the form of academic-year assistantships or (in the fourth year) teaching positions. Many students supplement their incomes during the summer by working as paid research assistants or by teaching summer courses of their own.


Individuals interested in obtaining application materials or additional information about the program in Cognitive Psychology at the University at Albany may contact Dr. Laurie Feldman, Program Director, University at Albany, State University of New York, Department of Psychology, SS 399, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222 (Ph: 518-442-4842; Fax: 518-442-4867).

Typical Course Sequence in Cognitive Psychology

Year One: Fall-Spring

APSY 510 Stats and Methods
APSY 511 Stats and Methods
APSY 603 Cognitive Psych
Out of Area Courses
Initial Research Project

APSY 721 Complex Mental Processing

Year Two: Fall-Spring

Out of Area Courses
APSY 699 MA Thesis
APSY 624 Human Memory
APSY 782 Topics in Cognitive Psychology
APSY 565 Psych of Language
APSY 892 Practicum in Teaching

Year Three: Fall-Spring

APSY 625 Info Processing
APSY 782 Topics in Cognitive Psychology
APSY 894 Directed Readings

Year Four: Fall-Spring

APSY 782 Topics in Cognitive Psychology
APSY 894 Directed readings

Years Subsequent to the Completion of the Qualifying Examination

APSY 899 Doctoral research