Cognitive psychologists study the mental processes and mechanisms that underlie human behavior and perception. If this is a field that you're interested in, a graduate certificate in cognitive psychology provides the opportunity to specialize.

Graduate certificates in cognitive psychology are shorter academic programs designed for students who want to specialize in the study of mental processes and behavior. A certificate is probably most useful if you already have a master's degree in psychology, but want to specialize. Some students may earn a certificate as part of their master's degree program.

Once graduated, students take on positions in many different fields. You may work in research, academia, human resources, marketing, healthcare, technology, or another field. In all cases, the jobs that cognitive psychologists attain are generally leadership and other high-level positions.

There are more graduate certificate programs in cognitive psychology available online now than ever before, such as the one offered at St. Joeseph’s University. To find out more about how to apply for and obtain a graduate certificate in cognitive psychology online and begin your career in cognitive psychology, continue reading below.

What Will I Learn in an Online Cognitive Psychology Graduate Certificate Program?

An online graduate certificate in cognitive psychology is a shorter program, typically consisting of 15-30 semester credits. Most students complete the program within one year.

The curriculum of a graduate certificate in cognitive psychology typically covers a wide range of topics including perception, memory, attention, language, reasoning, decision-making, problem-solving, and emotion. Students also learn about the various research methods used in cognitive psychology, such as experiments, surveys, and brain imaging techniques.

Some examples of courses that you may take during one of these certificates are:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • Perception and Attention
  • Memory and Learning
  • Language and Communication
  • Reasoning and Problem-Solving
  • Cognitive Development
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

An online certificate might have a practical component, but practicums are less common in graduate certificate programs than they are in master's degrees. Certificates primarily consist of online study, and should you be required to participate in an internship, you will likely do so in your own community rather than through your school’s database.

Admissions Requirements for a Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Psychology

You can apply to an online cognitive psychology graduate certificate program with either a bachelor's or master's degree. The program will likely be of more use if you already have a master's, however. You'll be able to better use the information learned in your career, and you’ll have a better foundation in psychology on which to build when studying the more advanced cognitive topics.

Application criteria vary between certificate programs, as each school has its own requirements. In general, you should expect to submit the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: Most programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. A master's degree may be preferred.
  • GPA: Programs typically have minimum GPA requirements or guidelines. A GPA of ~3.0 will usually qualify, and some schools may have lower requirements if coming from a competitive master's program.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended must be submitted with the application. These must show certain coursework and your GPA.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Some programs may require letters of recommendation from academic or professional references.
  • Personal Statement: An essay outlining your background, motivation for pursuing a certificate in cognitive psychology, and future career goals.
  • Resume or CV: A current resume or CV detailing the applicant’s academic and professional experience. This is especially important if you've been working in psychology for a while.
  • Test scores: Some programs may require standardized test scores, such as the GRE, depending on the applicant’s educational and professional background.
  • Application fee: Most programs require a non-refundable application fee to be submitted with the application. The fee is typically fairly small

List of Cognitive Psychology Graduate Certificate Programs

Find an online or campus-based graduate certificate program in cognitive psychology today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.

Jump to Your State Listings

North Carolina

Graduate Certificate Programs
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
(704) 687-2000


4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
(703) 993-1000

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

Joel Gill
Share This: