Cognitive Science Major
The key elements of the Cognitive Science major are (1) a sustained, broad, in-depth exploration of mental phenomena via the multidisciplinary strategy of the field, (2) application of the Cognitive Science strategy to a specific domain of interest to the student, and (3) completion during the senior year of an independent research project on a topic chosen by the student.
The first of these goals is met by completion of the Core Courses. All majors are required to complete all of these courses:
- COGS 100 - Introduction to Cognitive Science
- COGS 211 - Perception and Action
- COGS 213 - Language
- COGS 215 - Knowledge and Cognition
- PSYC 200 - Statistics and Experimental Design
- COGS 219 - Research Methods in Cognitive Science
- COGS 311 - Seminar in Cognitive Science
The second goal of the major is met by choosing one of the paths listed below and electing four elective courses from the chosen path. Courses under each path are listed on the Cognitive Science website and are also available in the Cognitive Science office in New England 104, and by request from any faculty member of the Program. The following stipulations apply to path electives: (1) the choice of path and electives within the path are to be made in consultation with the adviser at the time of declaration of the major. (2) At least one of the four electives must be a 300-level seminar. This can include a second Cognitive Science seminar if it is relevant to the path. (3) No more than one of the electives can be a 100-level course. The exception is the CMPU 101-CMPU 102 sequence. A student who takes this sequence can have both courses count toward the major. A student may petition his or her advisor to develop a customized path and will be allowed to do so under the direction of the advisor if the rationale is deemed justified. Independent work in Cognitive Science, for instance the annual Robot Competition, can count toward the major with the approval of the Program. The Cognitive Science Book Club, taken as an independent, counts as a path course. Please consult the Cognitive Science website for the full listing of courses under each path.
Cognitive Science Electives Paths:
- Cognition and Culture
- Cognition and Language
- Cognition and the Arts
- Cognitive Development and Education
- Embodied Agents
- Evolved Minds
- Formal Analysis of Mind
- Mind and Brain
- Rationality, Value, and Decision-making
The final goal of the major is met by completing a thesis in the senior year. The topic of the thesis is chosen by the student in consultation with one or more members of the program faculty. All majors must sign up for the thesis in the senior year. Students are strongly encouraged to sign up for COGS 300-COGS 301 for 1/2 credit in the a-semester and 1/2 credit in the b-semester, for a total of 1 unit of credit. In cases where this is not possible it is acceptable to sign up for COGS 302 for a full unit in either the a- or the b-term. Students should consult their adviser before electing the latter option.
After declaration of the major, all courses within the major must be taken for letter grades.