Cognitive Science

Bannière Cognitive science
Program type Initial Training
Degree Master's
Graduate program(s) Cognitive Sciences
Domain(s) Humanities & social sciences, Fundamental Sciences
Discipline(s) Anthropology, Economics, Computer Science, Médecine, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Cognitive science, Engineering Science, Life Sciences, Social Science, Sociology
Teaching language(s) English
Place Paris

PSL host school


Hosted by the Ecole normale supérieure - PSL and the EHESS, the master's degree in cognitive science offers a unique curriculum in Europe. It is open to students with diverse backgrounds and offers academic and industrial opportunities in prestigious research institutions and in many companies in data science, artificial intelligence, bio- and neuro-technologies, education and public policy. 

The intensive training programme involves multiple excellent higher education institutions to offer the best in each field, with 2000 hours of courses taught by leading experts. In order for students to be directly immersed in research, it offers the opportunity to perform internships in the best cognitive science laboratories in France and in the rest of the world. 
The lectures are given in English. 

This master's program is part of PSL Cognitive sciences graduate program.

Visit the master's degree in Cognitive science website

Learning outcomes 

The goal of the master's degree is to train high-level scientists in at least one discipline of cognitive science, with broad knowledge and a solid methodological training covering all of the cognitive sciences.


More details on M1 courses here.
More details on M2 courses here.

Who should apply?

This program is intended for a small number of highly motivated students, from very diverse backgrounds but with a solid training in one of the fundamental disciplines of cognitive science: psychology, biology, linguistics, philosophy, social science, mathematics, computer science. It is also open to medical and engineering students. 


This master's degree is primarily a research programme, which prepares students to start a PhD, and also offers many other opportunities. Its international scientific level allows students to aspire to occupy positions in academic or industrial research, in various institutions and companies. 

  • An intensive and interdisciplinary training programme in cognitive science, unique in Europe 
  • An exceptional scientific environment within PSL
  • A localization at the very lively and cultural heart of Paris.
  • A wide variety of basic and advanced classes, given by world-renowned scholars ; A multidisciplinary curriculum.

Application deadlines

Online applications : January 11 to March 11, 2024 (11:59 pm, CET time) via the PSL portal
(Only one admission session).

Application process

The process involves an online application and interview
Most candidates apply to the first year (M1). Their application is evaluated by the admission track that best corresponds to their initial training. The admission track does not presume that the student will follow the same major in their curriculum.

Candidates who already hold an M1 or equivalent degree can also apply directly to M2.


There are no specific courses preparing for this master's degree. The course is open to students from extremely different backgrounds, belonging to diverse scientific cultures: experimental sciences, formal sciences (mathematics, logic, physics), social sciences, engineering sciences, management, medicine, etc.
What we expect of students is that they show a keen interest in cognition, supported by readings or experiments in the laboratory, as well as strong research skills: intellectual autonomy, curiosity, motivation, precision, hard work.
There is no prerequiste level in mathematics or programming. However, candidates should be willing and able to learn some basics, as part of the compulsory core curriculum.

In preparing your application, please include the following:

  • On-line application form
  • Résumé (CV)
  • All higher education grade transcripts and diplomas (with French or English translations, if originals are in another language)
  • Cover letter: Your cover letter is a crucial component of your application. Although there is no preordained format, it should not exceed three pages. Good letters showcase your knowledge about the field and your commitment and interest in studying cognitive science. You do not need to reiterate what is already in your CV. Emphasizing your intellectual, scientific, or professional evolution is more important than detailing your personal experiences. Please indicate how your interests align with the strengths of our programme, and the courses you wish to follow. This helps us understand how you can fit in and benefit from studying in our master's program.
  • Writing sample: Please upload a writing sample, such as a thesis or course essay, that demonstrates your writing abilities. If multiple individuals contributed to the piece, please specify your specific contributions.
  • Recommendation letters (at least 1).
  • Note that no official English test is required to apply.

More information

Become a Normalien: apply to the ENS double degree and scholarship

Applicants are strongly encouraged to also apply to become a fellow of the École Normale Supérieure, also known as a Normalien, a highly prestigious status in the French academic system with a number of very important benefits including a scholarship of around 1000€ monthly (for foreign students). More details here.

Tuition fees: ~243 euros / year + 100€ (CVEC).
Institution for registration: Ecole normale supérieure - PSL 
Degree issued: French Master’s degree delivered by Université PSL


Head of the master's degree:
Jean-Baptiste ANDRE (ENS-PSL)
Administrative secretariat:

Further information

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