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Cognition, Language, and Development

Mission Statement/Training Philosophy

CLD aims to provide students with:

  •  Knowledge of core concepts and theories in the field;
  • Competence in a variety of research skills and methods (including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs, computational modeling, computer-assisted experiments);
  • Extensive laboratory experience; and,
  • Professional development skills to prepare students for a variety of careers.

Students begin research immediately upon entering the program, and enroll in Research (3 cr) every semester.  In their first two years, students work closely with faculty on studies related to ongoing faculty research.  During this time, students acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to develop their own line of research.  During the first semester, students work with their primary advisor.  Students are encouraged to work in two different faculty labs during their first two years.

In every semester for the first three years, in addition to Research, students enroll in a seminar (Research Skills and Professional Development – RSPD, 3 cr).  The program of study thus combines formal courses with intensive research experience.  In the model course of study, students will have finished their course requirements by the end of their third year, leaving the next two years for dissertation work and completion of the PhD by the end of the fifth year.

Advising structure. Students will have a primary advisor and an advisory committee of 2-4 people, at least one of whom must be within CLD.  In their first year, students will begin research with their primary advisor.  They will meet with their committee at least once each semester.  The committee's functions are to provide constructive intellectual advice and support, to monitor progress, to identify the student's strengths and weaknesses, to suggest cognate courses and skills, and to approve the student's course of study.   Students have the option of restructuring their committee after the first year.