Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology

Graduate students trained in Cognitive, Developmental, Social, or Quantitative Psychology follow a single curriculum with a uniform set of requirements, but their research programs and seminar courses focus on their unique areas of interest.

Our philosophy can be summed up as cooperative, and the small size of our program ensures individualized attention for all students. Although students work directly with a faculty advisor, following a mentor-apprentice model, they also have considerable freedom to collaborate with other faculty and students within and beyond the Department. Indeed, we encourage students to publish with several faculty members before they graduate. Greensboro’s central location in NC has resulted in close ties to other top departments, creating opportunities for our students to take courses, collaborate, and network.

We are no longer accepting GRE scores from applicants to the MA-PhD program in Cognitive Psychology, for entry starting in Fall 2024.

Application Deadline:

  • December 1

Program Highlights

  • Individual attention and mentoring from faculty
  • Students have a primary faculty advisor but are also supported to conduct research projects with other faculty if it fits with their goals
  • Students typically receive 5 years of funding, including tuition remission
  • We’re a highly collaborative group, who not only enjoy “talking science” with each other but who also frequently conduct research together across laboratories
  • Methods training in experimental design, experience and thought sampling, protocol analysis, eye-tracking and pupillometry, and psychometrics
  • Recent graduate seminars in Variation in Executive ControlCognition in the ClassroomEvent CognitionCognitive AgingMetacognitionWorking Memory, Memory and Belief, and What’s the big idea? Competing perspectives on human cognition

Recent graduates have secured postdoctoral and tenure-track positions:

  • Appalachian State University [Matt Meier]
  • Millikin University [Sydney Garlitch]
  • Washington University in St. Louis [Matthew Welhaf]
  • Youngstown State University [David Frank]

Faculty in Cognitive Psychology


Adams, R. L., & Delaney, P. F. (2022). Long-term working memory and language comprehension. In J. W. Schweitzer & Z. E. Wen (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language (pp. 98-119). Cambridge University Press.

Garlitch, S. M., Richmond, L. L., Ball, B. H., & Wahlheim, C. N. (2023). Adult age differences in subjective context retrieval in dual-list free recall. Memory, 31, 218-233 (OSF Link)

Gilbert, L. T., Delaney, P. F., & Racsmány, M. (2023). People sometimes remember to forget: Strategic retrieval from the list before last enables directed forgetting of the most recent information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 49(6), 900–925.

Hermann, M. M., Wahlheim, C. N., Alexander, T. R., & Zacks, J. M. (2021). The role of prior-event retrieval in encoding changed event features. Memory & Cognition, 49, 1387-1404.

Kemp, P. L., Alexander, T. A., & Wahlheim, C. N. (2022). Recalling fake news during real news corrections can impair or enhance memory updating: The role of recollection-based retrieval. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 7:85. (OSF Link).

Kemp, P. L., Loaiza, V. M., & Wahlheim, C. N. (2022). Fake news reminders and veracity labels differentially benefit memory and belief accuracy for news headlines. Scientific Reports, 12:21829. (OSF Link).

Smith, W. G., & Delaney, P. F. (2023). Updating and pre-existing semantic associations: Testing can enhance or impair new learning. Memory, 31(4), 530-544.

Wahlheim, C. N., Smith, S. T., Garlitch, S. M., & Wiley, R. W. (2023). Interpolated retrieval retroactively increases recall and promotes cross-episode memory interdependence. Learning & Memory. (OSF Link).

Welhaf, M.S., & Kane, M.J. (2023). A nomothetic span approach to the construct validation of sustained attention consistency: Re-analyzing two latent-variable studies of performance variability and mind-wandering self-reports. Psychological Research.

Welhaf, M.S., Meier, M.E., Smeekens, B.A., Silvia, P.J., Kwapil, T.R., & Kane, M.J. (2022). A “Goldilocks Zone” for mind wandering reports? A secondary data analysis of how few thought probes are enough for reliable and valid measurement. Behavior Research Methods.

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