Preparing for Graduate School

The Cognitive Science major provides an excellent background for those interested in pursuing graduate school. If you are interested in graduate school, start preparing early. You will need to keep up your academic performance while also networking, and gaining relevant work and research experience.

Here are some things to consider and links to resources that may assist you.

  1. Talk with advisors. The undergraduate advisors should be your first resource when considering graduate school. In addition, the graduate advisor (in CSB 143) can provide information on the graduate application process. You should also talk to your instructors and career services counselor's to gather solid input and direction.
  2. Gain research experience. This is especially important if you plan to attend a Ph.D. program. There are several things you can do to obtain research experience such as participating in 99/199 projects, completing an honors project or applying to a summer research program. To see UCSD summer programs, please see the Graduate Student website.
  3. Get involved. Join a CogSci student organization and meet other students interested in the field. Consider signing up to be an IA (Instructional Apprentice) to gain teaching experience.
  4. Attend Career Services events and workshops. Meet with a career services counselor to learn about the possible graduate study tracks and their application processes or request a critique of your graduate school essay and application.
  5. Learn about what it takes to apply successfully for grad school.
    • Plan early. Know all the deadlines. Be aware that graduate school application deadlines are often in the late fall.
    • Obtain good references. Letters from faculty members describing your ability to excel in graduate school strongly influence admissions decisions. If faculty doesn't know you, they can't write a good reference letter for you. Ask questions in class, go to office hours, and show interest in the subject. Work in a lab (via 99 or 199 courses or as a volunteer) so the professor will be familiar with your work. Also, review the Student Guide to Obtaining Letters of Reference on the Career Services website.
    • Prepare for graduate entrance exams (GRE's). These exams may be a pivotal aspect of your credentials, and completing a practice exam may be helpful.
    • Spend time writing a good essay. Review the Statement of Purpose guidelines, become familiar with faculty and their research, and review recent books and articles written by them. Be specific when explaining your goals.
  6. Search for graduate programs:
    • The Gradschools website offers a comprehensive listing to search for a variety of programs.

Graduate Program Opporntunities 


University of Virginia’s M.S. in Commerce

Attend the UVA M.S. in Commerce Information Session at UCSD!

A one year management degree for non-business majors. The M.S. in Commerce at UVA offers tracks in business analytics, finance, and marketing and management, concluding with a three-week global immersion experience to Europe, Latin America, Asia, or the Middle East.

Ranked No 2 “Master’s in Management” in the world by The Economist, this program boasts 95-99% placement within three months of graduation.

UVA M.S. in Commerce Information Session at UCSD
  • Wednesday, March 13 (5:30 – 6:30 pm)
  • Career Center – Round Room
  • Register Here
Meet With Graduate Admissions
  • Thursday, March 14 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • 30 minute Sessions
  • Starbucks – Price Center
  • Sign up Here

For more information, please visit UVA's M.S. in Commerce website. 


UCI’s Post-Baccalaureate Program in Psychological Science

The Department of Psychological Science at UCI is accepting applications for their post baccalaureate program!

Program Overview:
Designed for people who have a bachelor’s degree (in any discipline); who are interested in a psychology-related graduate program and who could benefit from additional coursework, research and/or real-life work experience.Those interested in a Doctoral-level or Master’s degree program in psychology can strengthen their graduate school applications by completing this program, which offers an individualized course of study based on each person’s qualifications and goals.

Program Description: 
The program consists of a eight courses, which may include lower- and upper-division lectures, small seminars (including advanced statistics and research methods), hands-on research lab courses, and/or hands-on internship courses.

  • Application Deadline: May 31, 2019 for Fall 2019 admission

For more information, please visit the Post-Baccalaureate Program website


L.A. BioMed - Lundquist Institute PhD Program in Translational Research

The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (The Lundquist Institute) is accepting applications for its second class in the PhD Program in Translational Research for Fall 2019.

Program Overview:
Take a look at the Graduate Program Curriculum!

Program Description: 
UCLA-affliated training faculty with proven track records in  commercializing their discoveries State-of-the-art Laboratories, to include an incubator for bioscience start-up companies. Unique, comprehensive curriculum for translational research 3-4 year time to degree. Includes $37,000 annual stipend. Student housing available. Location: LA BioMed Research Campus, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

  • Application Deadline: April 15th, 2019 (Online Application and Postmarked Materials)

For more information, please visit the LA BioMed Ph.D. Training Program website