Brain and Cognitive Sciences | Psychology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



SIU psychology - brain and cognitive sciences - students monitoring lab

Brain & Cognitive Sciences

The Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) program at SIU emphasizes cognitive behavior approached from a combination of perspectives:

  • Developmental (infancy and childhood, adolescence and aging)
  • Neurobiological (neurophysiology, neuropsychology, genetics)
  • Behavioral (human and animal experimentation)
  • Computational (neural networks, statistical analyses, intelligent software agents)

As an integral part of their training, students become active participants in ongoing faculty research programs in Brain and Cognitive Sciences.  Students will receive training in two or more different research methodologies, and are expected to develop a multidisciplinary approach to their own research.

Graduates of the BCS program typically pursue careers in academic settings such as departments of psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science or medical schools, or in non-academic settings such as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals or in government research facilities.

Features of the BCS Program

  • Financial Assistance:  We offer substantial support, guaranteed to all first-year students and historically available throughout a student’s four years on campus.  Students in good standing can anticipate receiving a stipend and a tuition waiver, and all students complete training assignments as teaching or research assistants or in an externship.  For more information, see the Financial Assistance page.
  • Teaching:  Students have a variety of opportunities to develop teaching and presentation skills.  Most students will have at least one training assignment as a teaching assistant.  Further opportunities include class presentations, formal thesis and dissertation research presentations, conference presentations, and teaching Psychology courses.
  • Atmosphere:  Faculty and students are proud of the Program’s collegial and supportive atmosphere.  We seek to maintain high academic and professional standards, while being responsive to the goals, strengths, and needs of individual students.  In general, students report experiencing the program as being highly facilitative of their professional development.

BCS Faculty

YouJung Choi, Assistant Professor

Lisabeth DiLalla, Professor, (cross-appointed, School of Medicine; Clinical Psychology)

Reza Habib, Associate Professor, Director of School of Psychological & Behavioral Sciences

Michael Hylin, Associate Professor & Program Director, Brain & Cognitive Sciences

Eric Jacobs, Associate Professor

Michelle Kibby, Associate Professor, (cross-appointed, Clinical Psychology)

Usha Lakshmanan, Professor

Yueh-Ting Lee, Professor, (cross-appointed with Applied Psychology; Applied Program Director)

Kathleen Schmidt, Assistant Professor, (cross-appointed with Applied Psychology; Undergraduate Program Director)

Applying to the Brain & Cognitive Sciences Program

The typical student who is admitted to the BCS program has an undergraduate GPA of 3.4, and GRE scores at the 60th percentile on both verbal and quantitative.  Appropriate courses are important (e.g., good grades in research methods, statistics, and science-oriented content courses), and previous experience working in an experimental laboratory helps to demonstrate preparation for graduate-level research.  A strong application will include experience working with experimental methods (e.g., small animal surgery, computer programming, neural imaging) and populations (e.g., rats, children, adults, etc.) that are related to your area of interest.  Letters of recommendation from people familiar with the student's work will help to assess the student's skills, experience, and preparation for graduate study.

Visit the Department of Psychology's Admissions page for more information.