Social Learning Lab

Stanford University

Information for prospective PhD students

We often receive questions about whether we are accepting new PhD students in the upcoming admissions cycle.

The answer is ALWAYS YES! Every year, we are on the lookout for new students to join our lab.


If you are interested in applying to work with me (Hyo) and the Social Learning Lab, please indicate my name in your application, and Developmental as your primary area of interest (unless you are looking to be jointly advised with one of our colleagues whose primiary affiliation is in other areas). While the area distinction matters very little in our lives, it helps facilitate our admissions process.

To learn more about our work, please see our Publications page where you will find all of our published work including some recent empirical papers (e.g., Vélez et al., 2019; Bridgers et al., 2020; Asaba & Gweon (under revision). If you are curious about our current, ongoing work, look for CogSci Proceedings from the last few years on our Publications page.


Our admissions process is holistic; in addition to the candidate's fit to potential advisors and labs, we carefully consider how the candidate’s research and life experiences mesh with different areas in the department (developmental and cognitive, in particular) and our PhD program as a whole. The incoming class size for the entire department varies each year (7 to 15 for the last several years) and depends on several factors. The number of new students in our lab is also variable. All admitted students will be fully funded for 5 years.

Stanford Psychology has an FAQ page for students who are interested in applying to our PhD program. In addition, our department hosts a “Paths to PhD” program every year in the Fall, dedicated to providing information about the general mechanics of applying to psychology research programs (not specifically about Stanford).


Pursuing a career in science, including pursuing a PhD, is not an easy path. I personally think it is wise to approach it as a way of life, rather than a means to an end. We are in a discipline where researchers try to address some of the oldest, hardest questions about the human mind by developing new methods and approaches, and evaluating our theories against empirical data. Being a PhD student in this field involves a lot of learning, hard work, and commitment to the highest standards for scientific rigor and conscientiousness. If you are curious about how the mind works and are excited to face these challenges, consider joining our team! Visit our Research page to learn more about our work and a statement about who we are & what we value as a lab.