Cognitive Science Major

Cognitive Science is the study of how intelligent beings (including people, animals, and machines) perceive, act, know, and think. It explores the process and content of thought as observed in individuals, distributed through communities, manifested in the structure and meaning of language, modeled by algorithms, and contemplated by philosophies of mind. Its models are formulated using concepts drawn from many disciplines, including psychology, linguistics, logic, communication sciences/disorders, computer science, anthropology, and philosophy, and they are tested using evidence from psychological experiments, clinical studies, field studies, computer simulations, and neurophysiological observation.

This program is intended to prepare students for graduate training in cognitive science and related disciplines or to work in the information sciences. The distribution requirements ensure that students will acquire a truly interdisciplinary education. The research and formal systems requirements provide basic knowledge concerning the experimental and theoretical foundations of cognitive science. Finally, majors are encouraged to learn about theory building and testing in a variety of natural and physical sciences. One way to achieve this is to fulfill the requirements of the Bachelor of Science degree.


For information regarding undergraduate program, please contact:
Professor William Snyder
Department of Linguistics, U-1145
Oak Hall 350


Major Requirements

The requirements for the cognitive science major include 40 2000-level or above credits, no more than 21 of which may be taken in any one department. There are several 1000-level courses that are required preparation for the 2000-level and above requirements. These courses should be taken during the first four semesters and may fulfill general education requirements.

A maximum of six 2000-level or above transfer credits may count toward the major with approval of advisor. Students must earn a grade of C- (1.7) or higher in each course that is counted toward the major.

Students and advisers may find this Workflowy document helpful for navigating the course requirements of the major. Mouse over a course, and click the plus to its left to see its prereqs.

Core Courses (16 credits) COGS 22013584 and four of the following courses: ANTH 3250; CSE 4705LING 2010QPHIL 3250/WPSYC 2501; SLHS 4245/W
Research Courses (6 credits) Statistics (one of the following for at least 3 credits)PSYC 2100Q or 2100WQSTAT 2215Q3025Q (Calculus level)
Research Methods (one of the following for at least 3 credits)ANTH 3004 (if elected for 3 credits); LING 3110PSYC 3250/W3251/W32533450W3550W,3551W3552
Formal Systems Courses (3 credits) CSE 2300W25003500a3502a3802LING 3310Qa3410Qa3511QaMATH 2210Q2410Q3160321032303412PHIL 2211Q3214
Advanced courses (12 credits) Must include courses from at least 3 departments. Can include core courses not needed to satisfy the core course requirement.
ANTH 3200CSE 3500a, 3502a4095LING 3310Qa3410Qa3511Qa3610WPHIL 2210/W2212/W32413247/W3249/W3256/WPNB 3251PSYC 2200240025003100/W3470/Wb, 3440, 350035013502SLHS 2204, 4254/W
Electives (3-6 credits) One or two additional courses (from above lists or other related courses from any department), chosen with the approval of the advisors.
aThe following courses may be used to fulfill both the Formal Systems and Advanced Courses requirements: CSE 35003502LING 3310Q3410Q3511Q. In this event, two electives are required.bPSYC 3470 is a variable topics course and may only be counted toward the major with advisors’ approval.
Competency and Writing Requirements The exit requirements for computer technology and information literacy will be met by satisfaction of the Research Methods Requirement. The exit requirements for writing in the major are met by taking any W course on the Plan of Study. Students in the program will have an advisor and an associate advisor, each in different departments contributing to the cognitive science program. Students will consult with both of them to plan a course of study.

A minor in Cognitive Science is described in the “Minors” section.

For forms relating to adding, changing or dropping majors and minors click here.

Find below the Plans of Study for the Cognitive Science major. Plans are arranged by catalog year. Your catalog year is the year you declared your first major/minor in CLAS. You may elect to use a Plan of Study from a later catalog year.

Major Plan of Study





Prior to 2013