Top 3 US Brain and Cognitive Science University Programs

We’ll be honest: There’s a huge difference between someone with a passing interest in neuroscience and someone who eat, sleeps, and breathes all things brain and behavior. While most people hear the word “psychologist” and think in clinical terms, psychologists–particularly those with a neuroscience emphasis–are unbelievably valuable in the learning sphere. After all, who better to advise on how best to make learning really stick than those individuals who have a deep and expert knowledge of the way the brain works?

From marketing to education, neuroscience, cognitive science, and behavioral experts are in high demand in the corporate world. Universities across the country are rising to the occasion by offering programs that focus heavily on behavioral and cognitive science. If you’re interested in a career in neuroscience, here are our top picks for programs.

  1. NYU: Cognition and Perception Doctoral Program

Once you’ve earned your degree in psychology, NYU offers an excellent program that delves deeper ibto the science of how (and why) people think and act. A heavy focus on research and topics such as memory, perception, cognition, and attention preps graduates to advise on behavioral topics. NYU boasts an on-site Center for Brain Imaging for research and the program seeks to help students publish their findings in research journals and become renowned experts in brain science.

  1. University of Santa Barbara: Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience Program

UC Santa Barbara’s cognition program has a secret weapon, and his name Is Richard Mayer. A professor of psychology, Dr. Mayer’s area of interest is multimedia learning, or the scientific study of how learners glean information from computer-based applications, such as animations, videos, and simulations. If your interest in neuroscience has a decidedly neurolearning slant, the UC Santa Barbara might be one of the best foundations in the country, with a forward-thinking attitude and emphasis on technology’s role in learning.

  1. Columbia University: Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior

Columbia is home to the Kavli Institute for Brain Science, a beacon in the study of neuroscience, biology, and cognitive function. The program has churned out three Nobel Prize winners and encourages students to enjoy a high degree of autonomy in selecting and researching a neuroscience-based thesis. The program explores how the nervous system affects human behavior, and distills that system down to the very cells, circuits, and molecules that cause everything from decision to bias.

As experts in the field of neurolearning and cognition, we are more than excited to see new programs and fields crop up around the world. Career opportunities for those who understand the way the brain works are nearly infinite. From clinical settings to corporate applications, the study of the brain may be one of the most rewarding career paths possible. And if you’d like a smaller dose of neuroscience and behavioral/cognitive science before you commit to a program, check out our recommendations for 3 must-read neuroscience books.