Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences Option


From the Department Chair:

December 21, 2020

Dear students:

Thank you for your interest in studying psychology at UMKC.  I am writing today to let you know that our department has made the difficult decision to suspend admissions for Fall ’21.  We will not be admitting any students for the coming ’21 – ’22 academic year.

We did not come to this decision easily.  We are experiencing a number of uncertainties related to student funding and program offerings that convinced us that suspending admissions was the best course of action.  We plan to use the coming year to redesign our program to better serve our students and the faculty who teach and mentor them.

I understand that preparing an application requires significant time and effort, and I apologize that this decision has come so late in the process.  Of course we will be refunding your application fee as soon as possible.

I hope that the coming year is a healthy and productive one for you.  If your interest in UMKC remains active a year from now, we would be happy to receive your application at that time.  In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Joan M. McDowd, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair | Department of Psychology


Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences Psychology at UMKC is a full-time program of graduate study. Didactic instruction is integrated with research from the beginning of students’ training. Students are paired with a faculty mentor and become part of a lab where they learn how basic research is applied to practical problems and develop the knowledge and skills to carry out original research. These experiences are graded in complexity and designed to foster the development of cumulative knowledge and skill as the student progresses through the program. Click here to view a short, informational video about the Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences (previously known as Experimental Health Psychology) option here at UMKC.

Areas of study representing core faculty research include:

  • Social cognition and health
  • Health in diverse communities
  • Infant, child, and adolescent cognition
  • Neuroeconomics
  • Affective neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and applied neuroscience
  • Cognitive aging
  • Psychophysiology in cognition and mental health
  • Applied quantitative methods and measurement

In addition, students complete a Master’s Thesis, pass Comprehensive Examinations prior to candidacy for the doctoral degree and complete a dissertation leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology degree.


Our curriculum requires students to take 9 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester in the first three years. All graduate students are awarded non-resident tuition waivers, and they pay resident rates. Tuition and fee costs for 2020-2021 are calculated at $407 per credit hour tuition plus approximately $58 per credit hour in fees. (Most fees are capped at 12 credits.) Additional flat rate fees, including a Graduate Professional Development fee, total $75.55 per semester. (Click here for details regarding tuition and fees.) After the first three years, students take 3-6 credit hours each semester in the Fall and Spring.

The Department’s goal is to provide funding in the form of tuition support and a stipend to incoming students. However, due to budgetary constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot guarantee financial support to incoming students. We will post updates as they become available.