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Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Sensorimotor Neuroscience
Human-Robot Interaction
Professor Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Critical Thinking and Data Analysis Skills
Professor Lace Padilla
Visual Decision-Making
Dan Hicks image
Science in a Democratic Society
Professor Michael Spivey
Extended and Embodied Cognition


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Mission Statement

Our interdisciplinary program integrates methods and approaches from linguistics, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and computer science, to study thought and behavior. Our faculty have highly diverse research interests, and serve as graduate advisors, committee members, and collaborators.

Undergraduate Majors

The CIS department administers undergraduate majors in both Cognitive Science and Philosophy. Prospective or current students with questions about our undergraduate programs are invited to contact us for more information. Cognitive Science program information: Philosophy program information:

Ph.D. Funding

The CIS program has multiple means of supporting graduate students. During each academic year, Ph.D. students are funded as either teaching assistants, research assistants, or through internal or external fellowships. All of these positions provide a full stipend and complete tuition waiver. Students almost always receive some form of summer stipend in order to support their research activities when classes are not in session.

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Featured News

March 2, 2023

The University of California, Merced, has officially approved a new Department of Philosophy, fulfilling a longstanding goal of philosophers formerly housed within the Department of Cognitive and...

February 14, 2023

Cognitive and Information Sciences (CIS) Ph.D. student Ben Nguyen spent last summer working as a data analyst at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nguyen was selected for the competitive...

February 10, 2023

Assistant Professor Lace Padilla was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Sciences. “The APS Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding APS Members in the earliest...