Culture and Cognition


Culture and Cognition
Admits Fall term. Deadline for applications is December 15. Contact department for additional information and requirements.
Please use the following information when completing the application.
Code: 00159; Academic Program: Culture and Cognition; Certificate.


Director: Professor Shinobu Kitayama

Professors: Pheobe Ellsworth, Richard Ford, Susan Gelman, Allan Gibbard (Philosophy), Patricia Gurin, James Jackson, Shinobu Kitayama, Richard Nisbett, Gary Olson, Sheryl Olson, Daphna Oyserman (Psychology and Social Work), Coleen Seifert (Psychology), Marilyn Shatz, Jacqui Smith, Henry Wellman, and Frank Yates (Psychology)

Associate Research Scientist: Scott Atran

Affiliated Faculty at other Universities: Hazel Markus (Stanford University) and Dan Sperber (Graduate School of Social Sciences, Paris)


Degree Programs

Certificate Program

Certificate of Graduate Studies

In addition to the specific requirements listed there, see the Certificate Programs section of the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies.

Certificate of Graduate Studies

The program of study will provide:

  • an in-depth perspective on theories of culture and ethnographic methods;
  • an in-depth perspective on theories and method in an experimental area of psychology (i.e., social personality, cognitive, or developmental); and
  • opportunities to develop analytic skills in the context of collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects.

Admission: Any student with a bachelor's degree who has been admitted or is currently enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Michigan will be eligible to apply for a Graduate Certificate in Culture and Cognition. Applicants currently enrolled in a doctoral program will be asked to submit a transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose explaining their interest in the Program and their background in cultural psychology or psychological anthropology.

Minimum Number of Credits Required: 18 - 19 credit hours.

Specific Course Requirements: Of the 18-19 credit hours in the Certificate Program, eight will be earned in the core colloquium and the remainder will be earned through two sequences of courses, which will vary depending on the home department of the student.


All nonanthropology students will take Anthropology 527, Traditions in Ethnology. This is a comprehensive survey of post-war theory in cultural anthropology.

Electives: Two or more electives (6 or more credits), to be chosen with the approval of the Graduate Committee. Electives will be distributed over the following content areas: one course in either linguistic or biological anthropology, a qualitative methods seminar, and an ethnological theory seminar either in symbolic, psychological, cognitive, or postmodern anthropology.

Students entering the Certificate Program during their first year of graduate study will be expected to complete coursework in their home discipline as well as elect Anthropology 760/Psychology 689. Students are encouraged to elect the nonhome department proseminar their second year in the program. The remaining electives will be taken the student's second and third year. Students entering the Certificate Program after having completed a year of graduate study will be expected to enroll in the nonhome department proseminar as well as Anthro 760/Psych 689 in their first year in the Program.


All nonpsychology students will take an area proseminar in psychology (e.g. Psych 632 in Social Psychology or Psych 759 in Developmental Psychology). Students will also take two electives, one of which must be a methods or laboratory course (e.g. Psych 786 in Social or Psych 659 in Developmental). Students are strongly encouraged to take at least one elective in the cognitive area. Electives may be taken concurrently with Anthro 760/Psych 689 and/or Psych 600.

In addition, students will be expected to demonstrate a proficiency in statistics. Students who cannot demonstrate proficiency in statistics should take a statistics course before taking any advanced courses in psychology.


University of Michigan

3424 East Hall
530 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1043
Phone: (734) 764-0328
Program Website: