Cognitive Science Major

Cognitive Science is the study of how intelligent beings (including people, animals, and machines) perceive, act, know, and think.


Cognitive Science 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
Oak Hall 350, U-1145

Cog Sci Undergrads

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) Foundations of Cognitive Science, COGS 2201; Seminar in Cognitive Science, COGS 3584 and four of the following courses: Cognitive Anthropology, ANTH 3250; Artificial Intelligence,  CSE 4705; The Science of Linguistics, LING 2010Q; Philosophy of Mind, PHIL 3250/W; Cognitive Psychology, PSYC 2501; Neuroscience of Cognition and Communication Disorders, SLHS 4245/W
Research Courses (6 credits) Statistics (one of the following for at least 3 credits): Principles of Research in Psychology, PSYC 2100Q or 2100WQ; Introduction to Statistics,  STAT 2215Q; Statistical Methods, STAT 3025Q (Calculus level)
Research Methods (one of the following for at least 3 credits): Cultural Research, ANTH 3004 (if elected for 3 credits); Experimental Linguistics, LING 3110; Lab in Animal Behavior and Learning, PSYC 3250/W; Lab in Physiological Psychology, PSYC 3251/W; Sensory Neuroscience Lab, PSYC 3253; Lab in Developmental Psychology, PSYC 3450W; Lab in Cognition, PSYC 3550W; Lab in Psycholinguistics,  PSYC 3551W; Lab in Sensation and Perception PSYC 3552
Formal Systems Courses (3 credits) Digital Logic Design,  CSE 2300W; Introduction to Discrete Systems, CSE 2500; Algorithms and Complexity, CSE 3500a; Theory of Computation, CSE 3502a; Numerical Methods, CSE 3802; Introduction to Computational Linguistics, LING 3000Qa; Phonology, LING 3310Qa; Semantics, LING 3410Qa; Syntax, LING 3511Qa;  Applied Linear Algebra, MATH 2210Q; Elementary Differential Equations, MATH 2410Q; Probability, MATH 3160; Abstract Linear Algebra, MATH 3210; Abstract Algebra, MATH 3230; Symbolic Logic, PHIL 2211Q; Symbolic Logic II, PHIL 3214
Advanced courses (12 credits) Must include courses from at least 3 departments. Can include core courses not needed to satisfy the core course requirement.
Human Behavioral Ecology, ANTH 3200; Religion and Mind, ANTH 3405c; Algorithms and Complexity, CSE 3500a; Theory of Computation, CSE 3502a; Introduction to Computational Linguistics, LING 3000Qa; Phonology, LING 3310Qa; Semantics, LING 3410Qa; Syntax, LING 3511Qa; Language and Culture, LING 3610W; Epistemology, PHIL 2208/Wc; Metaphysics, PHIL 2210/W; Philosophy of Science,  PHIL 2212/W; Language: Meaning and Truth, PHIL 3241; Biology of the Brain, PNB 3251; Physiological Psychology,  PSYC 2200; Sensory Systems Neuroscience, PSYC 2208; Learning & Memory: Brain to Behavior, PSYC 2209; Developmental Psychology, PSYC 2400; Learning, PSYC 2500; History and Systems in Psychology PSYC 3100/W; Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience, PSYC 3270; Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, PSYC 3440; Current Topics in Developmental Psychology, PSYC 3470b;  Psychology of Language, PSYC 3500; Sensation and Perception, PSYC 3501; Psychology of Consciousness,  PSYC 3502; Anatomy/Physiology of Speech & Hearing, SLHS 2203c; Speech and language Acquisition,  SLHS 2204; Bilingualism in Typical & Atypical Populations, SLHS 4123c; Introduction to Language Disorders in Children, SLHS 4254/W; Language Impairments and Literacy, SLHS 4376
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: Algorithms and Complexity, CSE 3500; Theory of Computation, CSE 3502; Introduction to Computational Linguistics, LING 3000Q; Phonology, LING 3310Q; Semantics, 3410Q; Syntax, 3511Q. In this event, two electives are required.

b Current Topics in Developmental Psychology, PSYC 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.

When you have completed your plan of study, please send it to the DUS for approval.

Click here to view past UConn Honors Theses in CogSci.

Major Plan of Study


2018-2019 Version B

2018-2019 Version A





Prior to 2013