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Bachelor's Degree in Cognitive Sciences

Researchers in this interdisciplinary field seek to understand such mental phenomena as perception, thought, memory, the acquisition and use of language, learning, concept formation, and consciousness. Some investigators focus on relations between brain structures and behavior, some work with computer simulation, and others work at more abstract theoretical levels.

Degree Requirements for B.A. in Cognitive Sciences

As of Fall 2016, students majoring in cognitive sciences must complete 8 core courses and 6 additional courses. Among the 6 additional courses, at least 3 and no more than 4 must be in a single area of concentration: linguistics, philosophy, psychology, or neuroscience.

Introductory Courses

Because the major is interdisciplinary, no single course introduces the full range of the subject. However, students who are interested in majoring in cognitive sciences should take 1 or more of the following courses during their 1st and 2nd years: LING200, PHIL103, or PSYC203.

Honors Program

Students with a 3.5 GPA in cognitive sciences and 3.3 overall GPA may apply for the cognitive sciences honors program. Students in the honors program are expected to conduct an independent research project of either 1 or 2 semesters under the guidance of a member of the cognitive sciences faculty. Students who wish to enter this program should consult with prospective advisors during their junior year and submit a proposal by the end of the semester proceeding the initiation of the project. Typically, this means submitting a proposal by the end of the junior year and beginning the project during the fall of the senior year. Proposal will be reviewed by both the supervisor and the program director. Students who undertake a 2-semester project will be allowed to continue into the 2nd semester only if their advisor judges that sufficient progress has been made during the 1st semester. At the end of a project, honors students are expected to submit a final paper to both their advisor and the program director and make an oral presentation. For more details, contact the program director.

Independent Research

Majors may undertake supervised independent research by enrolling in CSCI390 or the honors program and may apply up to 6 credits of independent research toward the major. Students who wish to take CSCI390 must complete a CSCI390 contract and have it approved by their supervisor and the program director prior to the end of the 1st week of classes. All students taking CSCI390 also must write a substantive research paper, which is to be submitted to both their advisor and the program director at the end of the semester. (Copies of the contract form and instructions are available on the “forms” section of the cognitive sciences website.)