Cognitive neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of study that primarily focuses on the neural basis for such things as cognition, language, decision making, and other functions of the human brain. This branch of psychology and biology relies on neuroimaging techniques, such as MRIs, to examine the hows and whys of different aspects of human behavior and learning. In Texas, cognitive neuroscience is typically studied at the PhD level, but some of these programs award master's degrees to PhD candidates as well.
Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Programs in Texas
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University has a PhD program in cognition and cognitive neuroscience. This is a 96-hour program, or a 64-credit program if you already have a master's degree, that can be completed in five years. Over the course of the program, you will take core coursework that will give you a framework of research methodology and ethics and will be required to collaborate on or develop your own first-year research project. You can select cognitive neuroscience as your concentration, and you can study with faculty and develop your own research interests in topics like motor ability, memory, or cognitive development.
The University of Texas at Dallas
At the University of Texas at Dallas, you can earn a PhD in cognition and neuroscience. This program takes a twofold approach to the field with a focus on cognitive neuroscience and systems neuroscience. As a 75-credit program, it will take about five years to complete. In that time, you will complete coursework, work with faculty on a research project, and undergo the dissertation process. This program offers the opportunity to work in a number of research facilities that study brain health, aging, and other topics related to cognitive neuroscience.
The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin offers a PhD in psychology with a concentration in cognitive science. During the first year of this program, you will take one statistics course, two core courses, and courses within the cognitive science specialty. The second year will have you engaging in more research and finishing your core and specialty coursework, and you may have to complete a research project or examinations. The third year and beyond will focus on working on and completing a dissertation. In addition, to the PhD program, this school also offers a neuroimaging track, which can be completed as you earn your PhD. The length of time it will take to complete this program will vary, depending on whether you enter with a bachelor's or master's degree and whether you choose a clinical or non-clinical track; however, six years is a reasonable estimate for this PhD program.
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University offers a PhD in cognition & cognitive neuroscience. This program focuses on several different topics within the realm of cognitive neuroscience, such as how humans learn language, how brains age, the interactions between humans and animals, and the psychology of artistic creation. For this program, you will take coursework that focuses on the cognitive neuroscience specialty and will be expected to conduct your own research. You will also be able to work and conduct research in the school's state-of-the art lab.
University of Houston
The Integrative Program in Developmental, Cognitive, & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Houston allows you to earn a PhD with a concentration is cognitive neuroscience. For this program, you will work with a faculty of member in the cognitive neuroscience field. You could also apply to the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention Lab where you will be able to conduct your own research while also working with the lab's director. It's possible to complete this program within four years. The first two years will be spent completing coursework, and by the end of year three, you should earn a master's. The last year of the program will be spent developing your own independent research.
Common Entrance Requirements
There are several common entrance requirements for PhD in cognitive neuroscience programs that include an application, letters or recommendation, transcripts, and an essay or statement of purpose that relates to your specific academic goals. Most of these programs will also require GRE scores. Some of them will only require a bachelor's degree, as you could be able to earn your master's during the course of working towards your PhD. To round out your application, most programs will want to see that you have research experience or have taken undergraduate courses related to the field of neuroscience.
Texas has a number of schools to choose from all offering PhD programs in or related to cognitive neuroscience. You will want to make sure that the program you apply to fits with your specific research and career goals.