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Incoming Students

Before You Arrive

Background Knowledge

It's assumed all entering students posses basic prerequisite knowledge within the field of cognitive science; incoming students will be presented with a reading list that covers these topics. Students lacking this background can acquire it through self-study preceding his or her arrival at UC San Diego or by taking self-paced study courses or relevant undergraduate courses at UC San Diego.

After You Arrive


An interim advisor is appointed to serve as general advisor and counselor for each entering student. The advisor helps chart a set of courses that fulfill the content area requirements, taking into account the student's prior training and interests. Students may change the interim advisor at any time (as long as the new interim advisor is willing). At the time of advancement to candidacy, students choose a permanent advisor who also functions as the chair of the dissertation committee.

All students must have a primary advisor in the department. A co-advisor may be adjunct faculty or outside of the department but each student must have a primary advisor who is a full time faculty member.