Background & Goals

The goal of Penn’s training program in Language and Communication Sciences (LCS) is to foster a community of scholar-scientists with the conceptual reach and technical expertise to integrate the computational, cognitive and neuroscientific study of communication, both linguistic and non-linguistic, in humans, animals and machines.

Any existing Penn graduate student who is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Linguistics, Psychology, Computer and Information Science, or Neuroscience, is welcome to participate in this program and its activities. Students from other graduate groups are also allowed to participate and are encouraged to contact the director if they are interested. Students who complete the program requirements, described below, will obtain a Certificate in Language and Communication Sciences upon completing his/her Ph.D.

The Language and Communication Sciences (LCS) training program is designed to work within Penn’s existing graduate education infrastructure, especially with regard to how our training will interact with ongoing interdisciplinary training in the brain and cognitive sciences more generally. Fortunately, the administrative structure of graduate studies at Penn is designed to facilitate programs that span departments and schools since graduate students are able to enroll in courses offered by other graduate groups. For instance, even though LCS graduate students must be admitted into a specific graduate group, coursework may readily be taken across any reasonable spectrum of offerings. In this context, the cross-disciplinary education that is the hallmark of the LCS program is both logistically straightforward and academically established at Penn, providing LCS students with the flexibility needed to study and learn the diverse topics needed for interdisciplinary research in the dynamics of communication.