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Application Instructions

The IDP is a program you apply to after you have established a home department (among the affiliated departments at UCSD).  Typically, students apply after their 2nd year in their home department doctoral program.  This allows students time to consider their secondary area of specialization, familiarize themselves with course offerings, and establish their doctoral committee, including an advisor who can write a letter of recommendation.

Please submit an application via our online application form.


Address: Use your current mailing address and also list a campus address and email address.

Primary Area: Your area of concentration within your home department.

Secondary Area: The area of your secondary specialization. If there is an issue you want to explore that spans several areas, mention it here. Feel free to include more than one area. See the UCSD General Catalog or Cognitive Science brochure for a more detailed description of the secondary specialization.

Statement of Purpose: A general statement of your research objectives and direction in cognitive science (approximately one paragraph). Why would you like to join the interdisciplinary program, and what do you plan to study?

Cognitive Science Instructional Adviser: In addition to your home department adviser, you have a cognitive science instructional adviser until a thesis adviser is named; it is not presumed that your instructional adviser will act as your thesis adviser. Your cognitive science instructional adviser may be any faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science who is in your home department and who agrees to act as your adviser. If you do not find an adviser, you will be advised by the member of the Instructional Committee from your home department. Current members are:

  • Anthropology – Katerina Semendeferi
  • Communication – Morana Alec
  • Computer Science – Gary Cottrell
  • Linguistics – Robert Kluender
  • Neurosciences – Andrea Chiba
  • Philosophy – William Bechtel
  • Psychology – Piotr Winkielman
  • Sociology – Akos Rona-Tas
  • Director – Gary Cottrell

Letters of Recommendation: 2 letters are required which can be emailed directory to

Adviser's Signature: Signature is not required on the application if one of recommenders is current advisor.

Questions: Contact or Gary Cottrell at (858) 534-6640,

Please submit an application via our online application form.