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Curriculum

Effective Winter 2019

The cognitive science major has three components. (The complete list of prerequisite, required, and elective courses for each track is included below under each track.)

Number of Credits: minimum: 27/maximum: 35 credits
Students must receive a minimum letter grade of C- or better in all courses counting towards the major.

  1. Introduction to Cognitive Science Course (Gateway Course; 3 credits)
  2. Track-Specific Requirements
    1. Prerequisites (depend on track and electives; typically 4-6 courses or 12-18 credits)
    2. Three required courses (9-12 credits)
    3. Six elective or "depth" courses chosen from a track-specific list (15-20 credits)
    4. The set of required and elective courses must be drawn from three different departments.

Curriculum by Track

Computation & Cognition

Pre-Requisites

  • COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science (gateway course)

Requirements

  • PSYCH 240: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
    (Prereq: PSYCH 111, 112, or 114 OR PSYCH 115 or 116) OR
    PSYCH 245: Cognitive Neuroscience
    (Prereq: PSYCH 111, 112, or 114)
  • EECS 281: Data Structures and Algorithms
    (Prereq: EECS 203: Discrete Math and EECS 280: Programming and Introductory Data Structures with a grade of at least C)
  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    (Prereq: EECS 281: Data Structures and Algorithms with a grade of at least C)

Electives

Six selected from:

  • EECS 445: Introduction to Machine Learning
    (New course)
  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing
    (Prereq: Senior standing)
  • LING 313: Sound Patterns
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax
    (Prereq: LING 209, 210 or 212)
  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds
    (Prereq: AT least one of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115 or LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics
    (Advisory Prereq: LING 315 and 316)
  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind
    (Prereq: One PHIL course with at least C-)
  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality
    (Prereq: One PHIL course with C- or better)
  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence
    (Advisory Prereq: PHIL 414 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory
    (Prereq: Two courses in PHIL, PSYCH or ECON or combination therefore AND satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning req. OR permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of Cognition
    (Prereq: Two PHIL courses)
  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind
    (Prereq: PHIL 345 or 383)
  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology
    (Prereq: One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, 115 or 116)
  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240 or 345)
  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)
  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought
    (Advisory Prereq: PSYCH 250)
  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development
    (Advisory Prereq: PSYCH 250)
  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)
  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology
    (Prereq: Two MATH [but NOT MATH 105, 110, 127, or 128] or STATS courses [200 level or above])
  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes
    (Prereq: STATS 250 or 425)

Decision & Cognition

Pre-Requisites

  • COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science (gateway course)

Requirements

  • PHIL 361: Ethics
    (Prereq: One philosophy course with at least C-)
  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory
    (Prereq: Two courses in Phil, Psych or Econ (or some combination therefore) AND satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning req. OR permission of instructor) OR
    ECON 408/PHIL 408: Philosophy and Economics
    (Prereq: Econ 401 Intermediate Mircoeconomic Theory with a grade C- or better, advisory for Econ 401: Econ 101 or 102: Principles of Economics) OR
    PHIL 444: Groups and Choices
  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes
    (Prereq: Stats 250: Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis or Stats 425: Introduction to Probability; prereq for Stats 425: Math 215)

Electives

Six selected from:

  • ECON 309: Experimental Economics
    (Prereq: ECON 101 and ECON 102 [unless ECON 101 completed with B or higher])
  • ECON 408/PHIL 408: Philosophy and Economics
    (Prereq: ECON 401)
  • ECON 490: Topics in Mircoeconomics: Economics and Psychology
    (Prereq: ECON 401; Advisory Prereq: ECON 404 or 405)
  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    (Prereq: EECS 203, 280, and 281)
  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines
  • PHIL 366: Introduction to Political Philosophy
    (Advisory Prereq: One introductory course in Philosophy)
  • PHIL 429: Ethical Analysis
    (Prereq: PHIL 361 or 366)
  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory
    (Prereq: Two courses in Phil, Psych or Econ (or some combination therefore) AND satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning req. OR permission of instructor)
  • POLSCI 391: Modeling Political Processes
    (Advisory Prereq: One POLSCI course)
  • POLSCI 490: Game Theory and Formal Models
  • PSYCH 335: Introduction to Animal Behavior 
    (Prereq: One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, 115; BIO 162, 163, 171, 172, 195; OR ANTHRBIO 161)
  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology
    (Prereq: One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, 115, or 116)
  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240 or 345)
  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)
  • PSYCH 433: Biopsychology of Motivation
    (Prereq: PSYCH 230, 240, or 345)
  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology
    (Prereq: Two MATH [but NOT MATH 105, 120, 127, or 128] OR STATS courses [200 level or above])
  • PSYCH 476: Positive Psychology
    (Prereq: Junior or Senior standing and PSYCH 230, 240, 250, 260, 270, 280, or 290)

Language & Cognition

Pre-Requisites

  • COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science (gateway course)

Requirements

  • LING 313: Sound Patterns
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210), OR
    LING 315: Introduction to Syntax
    (Prereq: LING 209, 210 or 212) OR
    LING 316
    : Aspects of Meaning
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind
    (Prereq: One PHIL course with at least C-) OR
    PHIL 409
    : Philosophy of Language
    (Prereq: PHIL 296 (Prereq. for PHIL 296: Honor student or permission of instructor) , 303 or 414 (Prereq. for PHIL 414: One PHIL or MATH course) OR
    PHIL 426/LING 426:
    Philosophy of Linguistic Theory
  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds
    (Prereq: AT least one of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115 or LING 111 or 210)

Electives

Six selected from:

  • EECS 376: Foundations of Computer Science
    (Prereq: EECS 203 and 280)
  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    (Prereq: EECS 281 with a grade of at least C)
  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing
    (Prereq: Senior standing)
  • LING 313: Sound Patterns
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax
    (Prereq: LING 209, 210 or 212)
  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 342: Perspectives of Bilingualism
    (Prereq: LING 111, 210 or 272)
  • LING 412: Speech Perception
    (Prereq: LING 313)
  • LING 421: Morphology
  • LING 440: Language Learnability
    (Advisory Prereq: LING 315 and 316)
  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics
    (Advisory Prereq: LING 315 and 316)
  • LING 442: Computational Linguistics II
    (Prereq: LING 441)
  • LING 446: Comparative Linguistics
    (Advisory Prereq: One LING or language analysis course)
  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines
  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind
    (Prereq: One PHIL course with at least C-)
  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language
    (Prereq: PHIL 296, 303, or 414)
  • PHIL 414: Mathematical Logic
    (Advisory Prereq: One PHIL or MATH course)
  • PHIL 426/LING 426: Philosophy of Linguistic Theory
    (Advisory Prereq: One introductory PHIL course or introductory logic course)
  • PSYCH 344/LING 351: Second Language Acquisition
    (Prereq: At least one of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115 or LING 111 or 210)
  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought
    (Advisory Prereq: PSYCH 250)
  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)

 

Philosophy & Cognition

Pre-Requisites

  • COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science (gateway course)

Requirements

  • PSYCH 240: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
    (Prereq: PSYCH 111, 112, or 114 OR PSYCH 115 or 116)OR
    PSYCH 245
    : Cognitive Neuroscience
    (Prereq: PSYCH 111, 112, or 114)
  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines OR
    PHIL 482
    : Philosophy of Mind
    (Prereq: PHIL 345: Language and Mind OR PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality)
  • PHIL 303: Introduction to Symbolic Logic OR
    PHIL 305
    : Introduction to Formal Philosophical Methods

Electives

Six selected from:

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax
    (Prereq: LING 209, 210 or 212)
  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning
    (Prereq: LING 111 or 210)
  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds
    (Prereq: At least one of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115 or LING 111 or 210)
  • PHIL 322: Methods of Science
  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines
  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind
    (Prereq: One PHIL course with at least C-)
  • PHIL 361: Ethics
    (Prereq: One course in PHIL with at least C-)
  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality
    (Prereq: One course in PHIL with at least C-)
  • PHIL 389: History of Philosophy: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
    (Prereq: One course in PHIL with at least C-)
  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language
    (Prereq: PHIL 296, 303, or 414)
  • PHIL 413: Formal Philosophical Methods
    (Prereq: Satisfaction of QR/1 with second semester calculus, advanced logic, ECON course, or STATS course above STATS 265)
  • PHIL 414: Mathematical Logic
    (Advisory Prereq: One PHIL or MATH course)
  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence
    (Advisory Prereq: PHIL 414 or permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory
    (Prereq: Two courses in PHIL, PSYCH or ECON or combination therefore AND satisfaction of Quantitative Reasoning req. OR permission of instructor)
  • PHIL 444: Groups and Choices
  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of Cognition
    (Prereq: Two PHIL courses)
  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind
    (Prereq: PHIL 345 or 383)
  • PHIL 485: Philosophy of Action
    (Prereq: Two PHIL courses or permission of instructor)
  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology
    (Prereq: One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, 115 or 116)
  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240 or 345)
  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)
  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought
    (Advisory Prereq: PSYCH 250)
  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development
    (Advisory Prereq: PSYCH 250)
  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language
    (Prereq: PSYCH 240)
  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology
    (Prereq: Two MATH [but NOT MATH 105, 110, 127, or 128] or STATS courses [200 level or above])
  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes
    (Prereq: STATS 250 or 425)


Curriculum 2014-2018

Cognitive Science (Major) (Fall 2016 - Fall 2018)

Effective Fall 2016

Grade Policies

Cognitive Science majors must earn a grade of at least C in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the major (including the major gateway/prerequisite course, COGSCI 200).

Prerequisites

  1. COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science completed with a grade of at least C

  2. Students may declare the Cognitive Science major after they have completed COGSCI 200.

  3. Each track has prerequisites for that track's core courses. Courses used to satisfy track elective requirements may have additional prerequisites.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 27

The major is structured into four tracks, each representing a major area of research within contemporary cognitive science.

Each track consists of:

  1. Three required courses

  2. Five elective courses (chosen from a track-specific list)

  3. Senior capstone experience (chosen from courses identified each year by the Cognitive Science Executive Committee)

The combined set of students' required and elective courses must be selected from a minimum of three departments.

Decision and Cognition Track

The study of decision and choice is a lively area of contemporary cognitive science inquiry. The Decision and Cognition track provides students with sustained, cohesive instruction in a single, important content area: contemporary approaches to decision-making and choice. Students are presented with theoretical approaches to judgment and decision-making from psychology, emerging neurocircuit models of reward and reinforcement from neurobiology, algorithmic models of planning and action selection from computer science, formal approaches to rational choice (e.g., rational choice theory and game theory) from philosophy and political science, and cutting-edge approaches to understanding irrationality from behavioral economics. Critical thinking skills are honed as students learn about a well-defined content area from diverse perspectives and across multiple levels of analysis. The required courses in the Decision and Cognition track give students an introduction to historically influential approaches to decision-making drawn from three major fields. Students then have the opportunity to take coursework in a number of disciplines that approach decision-making from diverse but complementary theoretical perspectives.

Required Track Courses

  1. PHIL 361: Ethics

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

    2. PHIL 444: Groups and Choices

    3. ECON 408/PHIL 408:Philosophy and Economics

  3. PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

 

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • ECON 309: Experimental Economics

  • ECON 408/PHIL 408: Philosophy and Economics

  • ECON 490: Topics in Microeconomics: Economics and Psychology

  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 366: Introduction to Political Philosophy

  • PHIL 408/ECON 408: Philosophy and Economics

  • PHIL 429: Ethical Analysis

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • PHIL 444: Groups and Choices

  • POLSCI 391: Modeling Political Processes

  • POLSCI 490: Game Theory and Formal Models

  • PSYCH 335: Introduction to Animal Behavior

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 433: Biopsychology of Motivation

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 476: Positive Psychology

 

Computation and Cognition Track

A foundational idea of cognitive science is that mental processes are computational, and computation remains central to (but not the exclusive domain of) the field. This track requires students to take coursework in psychology and computer programming. Subsequent depth courses emphasize — although not exclusively so —computational and formal methods including machine learning, computational linguistics, rational choice theory, and mathematical psychology.

Required Track Courses

  1. One of

    1. PSYCH 240: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    2. PSYCH 245: Cognitive Neuroscience

  2. EECS 281: Data Structures and Algorithms

  3. EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

 

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • EECS 445: Introduction to Machine Learning

  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • LING 313: Sound Patterns

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • LING 541/EECS 595/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality

  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of Cognition

  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 349/LING 347: Talking Minds

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

  • SI 561/EECS 595/LING 541: Natural Language Processing

 

Language and Cognition Track

Because human language is universal in the species and grounded in human cognition and biology, linguistic inquiry was an integral component of the cognitive science revolution. Contemporary approaches to language synthesize models and findings from multiple disciplines, and the proposed curriculum is correspondingly interdisciplinary. The Language and Cognition track gives students a solid theoretical introduction to language through required coursework in linguistics, and in the philosophy and psychology of language. Further coursework broadens the investigation of language to include topics in computational linguistics and computer science, formal methods, and language development and learning.

Required Track Courses

  1. One of:

    1. LING 313: Sound Patterns,

    2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax,

    3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 345: Language and Mind

    2. PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

    3. PHIL 426/LING 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  3. LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

Note: (effective Fall 2016) Students in the Language and Cognition Track may not elect PHIL 426 as both an elective and as one of the required track courses.

 

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • EECS 376: Foundations of Computer Science

  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • LING 313: Sound Patterns

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 342: Perspectives on Bilingualism

  • LING 351/PSYCH 344: Second Language Acquisition

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 412: Speech Perception

  • LING 421: Morphology

  • LING 426/PHIL 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  • LING 440: Language Learnability

  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics I

  • LING 442: Computational Linguistics II

  • LING 446: Comparative

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • LING 541/EECS 595/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

  • PHIL 414: Mathematical logic

  • PSYCH 344/LING 351: Second Language Acquisition

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • SI 561/EECS 595/LING 541: Natural Language Processing

 

Philosophy and Cognition Track

There is extensive interaction between contemporary philosophy, especially philosophy of mind and ethics, and cognitive science. Philosophers have long posed fundamental questions about the nature of mind, the relationship between the mental and physical, and the nature of human agency. Cognitive science provides a rich and ever-expanding body of theory, models, and findings that are relevant to these timeless philosophical questions. The Philosophy and Cognition track requires coursework in core philosophical, formal and cognitive approaches to mind. More in-depth coursework allows students to deepen their understanding of the philosophical problems and analytical enigmas raised by language and other symbolic systems, artificial intelligence, inference and reasoning, and decision-making.

Required Track Courses

  1. One of:

    1. PSYCH 240: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    2. PSYCH 245: Cognitive Neuroscience

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

    2. PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  3. One of:

    1. PHIL 303: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

    2. PHIL 305: Introduction to Formal Philosophical Methods

 

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 426/PHIL 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 361: Ethics

  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality

  • PHIL 389: History of Philosophy: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

  • PHIL 413: Formal Philosophical Methods

  • PHIL 414: Mathematical Logic

  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 420: Philosophy of Science

  • PHIL 426/LING 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • PHIL 444: Groups and Choices

  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of Cognition

  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  • PHIL 485: Philosophy of Action

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 349/LING 347: Talking Minds

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

Constraints

Distribution. Students in the Cognitive Science major may count introductory courses in PSYCH, LING, PHIL, ECON, EECS toward their College Area Distribution requirement, although these introductory courses cannot simultaneously count as core courses in the major. COGSCI 200 will not count toward distribution for Cognitive Science majors.

Other Department Policies

Double Majoring. Cognitive Science majors may double major in BCN, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, or other fields. However, to ensure that these students have devoted significant, independent effort to each major, only three courses can be counted toward both majors.

Honors

The Honors plan within Cognitive Science is designed for students with strong academic records who wish to pursue a research project. Interested students will apply for the Honors plan in their junior year. The application will include a research proposal and must be signed by the faculty mentor. Applications will be reviewed by the Cognitive Science Executive Committee to ensure that, for qualified students, the mentor-mentee relation is established prior to the senior year and the project falls within cognitive science. Students in the Cognitive Science Honors plan will register for at least two terms of independent study (e.g., LING 495 and 496, PHIL 498 and 499, PSYCH 424 and 426), usually in the Fall and Winter terms of their senior year, with their faculty mentor in Linguistics, Philosophy, or Psychology. Honors students must complete an Honors thesis, which will be evaluated by two faculty, the faculty mentor and a second reader from a different department (which might include, for example, Biology, Computer Science, or Economics).

 

Cognitive Science major (Winter 2014-Summer 2016)

May be elected as an interdepartmental major, jointly administered by the Departments of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology, and supervised by the Cognitive Science Executive Committee

Effective Winter 2014

Prerequisites to the Major

  1. COGSCI 200: Introduction to Cognitive Science.

  2. Students may declare the Cognitive Science major after they have completed COGSCI 200.

  3. Each track has prerequisites for that track's core courses.

  4. Courses used to satisfy track elective requirements may have additional prerequisites.

Major Program

A minimum of 27 credits is required. The major is structured into four tracks, each representing a major area of research within contemporary cognitive science.

Each track consists of:

  1. Three required courses

  2. Five elective courses (chosen from a track-specific list)

  3. Senior capstone experience (chosen from courses identified each year by the Cognitive Science Executive Committee)

The combined set of students' required and elective courses must be selected from a minimum of three departments.

Decision and Cognition Track

The study of decision and choice is a lively area of contemporary cognitive science inquiry. The Decision and Cognition track provides students with sustained, cohesive instruction in a single, important content area: contemporary approaches to decision-making and choice. Students are presented with theoretical approaches to judgment and decision-making from psychology, emerging neurocircuit models of reward and reinforcement from neurobiology, algorithmic models of planning and action selection from computer science, formal approaches to rational choice (e.g., rational choice theory and game theory) from philosophy and political science, and cutting-edge approaches to understanding irrationality from behavioral economics. Critical thinking skills are honed as students learn about a well-defined content area from diverse perspectives and across multiple levels of analysis. The required courses in the Decision and Cognition track give students an introduction to historically influential approaches to decision-making drawn from three major fields. Students then have the opportunity to take coursework in a number of disciplines that approach decision-making from diverse but complementary theoretical perspectives.

Prerequisites for required courses

  1. One of:

    1. STATS 250: Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis

    2. MATH 425/STATS 425: Introduction to Probability

  2. ECON 401: Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (if select ECON 408/PHIL 408)

  3. One course in calculus (MATH 115, 116, 121, 156, 175, 176, 185, 186, 215, 295, or 296)

  4. One introductory course in Philosophy

Required Track Courses

  1. PHIL 361: Ethics

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

    2. ECON 408/PHIL 408:Philosophy and Economics

  3. PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • ECON 309: Experimental Economics

  • ECON 408/PHIL 408: Philosophy and Economics

  • ECON 490: Topics in Microeconomics: Economics and Psychology

  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 366: Introduction to Political Philosophy

  • PHIL 408/ECON 408: Philosophy and Economics

  • PHIL 429: Ethical Analysis

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • POLSCI 391: Modeling Political Processes

  • POLSCI 490: Game Theory and Formal Models

  • PSYCH 335: Introduction to Animal Behavior

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 433: Biopsychology of Motivation

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 476: Positive Psychology

Computation and Cognition Track

A foundational idea of cognitive science is that mental processes are computational, and computation remains central to (but not the exclusive domain of) the field. This track requires students to take coursework in psychology and computer programming. Subsequent depth courses emphasize — although not exclusively so —computational and formal methods including machine learning, computational linguistics, rational choice theory, and mathematical psychology.

Prerequisites for the required courses

  1. One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, 115, or 116

  2. EECS 203 Discrete Math

  3. EECS 280 Programming and Introductory Data Structures

Required Track Courses

  1. One of

    1. PSYCH 240 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    2. PSYCH 245 Cognitive Neuroscience

  2. EECS 281 Data Structures and Algorithms

  3. EECS492 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • EECS 445: Introduction to Machine Learning

  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • LING 313: Sound Patterns

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • LING 541/EECS 595/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality

  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of

  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 349/LING 347: Talking Minds

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

  • SI 561/EECS 595/LING 541: Natural Language Processing

Language and Cognition Track

Because human language is universal in the species and grounded in human cognition and biology, linguistic inquiry was an integral component of the cognitive science revolution. Contemporary approaches to language synthesize models and findings from multiple disciplines, and the proposed curriculum is correspondingly interdisciplinary. The Language and Cognition track gives students a solid theoretical introduction to language through required coursework in linguistics, and in the philosophy and psychology of language. Further coursework broadens the investigation of language to include topics in computational linguistics and computer science, formal methods, and language development and learning.

Prerequisites for the required courses

  1. One introductory course in Linguistics (LING 111, 209, or 210)

  2. Advisory: one of PHIL 296, 303, or 414

  3. Advisory: one of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115

Required Track Courses

  1. One of:

    1. LING 313: Sound Patterns,

    2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax,

    3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 345: Language and Mind

    2. PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

  3. LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • EECS 376: Foundations of Computer Science

  • EECS 492: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence

  • EECS 595/LING 541/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • LING 313: Sound Patterns

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 342: Perspectives on Bilingualism

  • LING 351/PSYCH 344: Second Language Acquisition

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 412: Speech Perception

  • LING 421: Morphology

  • LING 426/PHIL 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  • LING 440: Language Learnability

  • LING 441: Computational Linguistics I

  • LING 442: Computational Linguistics II

  • LING 446: Comparative

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • LING 541/EECS 595/SI 561: Natural Language Processing

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

  • PHIL 426/LING 426: Philosophy & Linguistic Theory

  • PHIL 414: Mathematical logic

  • PSYCH 344/LING 351: Second Language Acquisition

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • SI 561/EECS 595/LING 541: Natural Language Processing

Philosophy and Cognition Track

There is extensive interaction between contemporary philosophy, especially philosophy of mind and ethics, and cognitive science. Philosophers have long posed fundamental questions about the nature of mind, the relationship between the mental and physical, and the nature of human agency. Cognitive science provides a rich and ever expanding body of theory, models, and findings that are relevant to these timeless philosophical questions. The Philosophy and Cognition track requires coursework in core philosophical, formal and cognitive approaches to mind. More in-depth coursework allows students to deepen their understanding of the philosophical problems and analytical enigmas raised by language and other symbolic systems, artificial intelligence, inference and reasoning, and decision-making.

Prerequisites for the required courses

  1. One of PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115

  2. One introductory course in Philosophy

  3. Advisory: One of

    1. PHIL 345: Language and Mind

    2. PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality

Required Track Courses

  1. One of:

    1. PSYCH 240: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

    2. PSYCH 245: Cognitive Neuroscience

  2. One of:

    1. PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

    2. PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  3. One of:

    1. PHIL 303: Introduction to Symbolic Logic

    2. PHIL 305: Introduction to Formal Philosophical Methods

Electives. Five courses selected from:

  • LING 315: Introduction to Syntax

  • LING 316: Aspects of Meaning

  • LING 347/PSYCH 349: Talking Minds

  • LING 352/PSYCH 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • LING 447/PSYCH 445: Psychology of Language

  • PHIL 340: Minds and Machines

  • PHIL 345: Language and Mind

  • PHIL 361: Ethics

  • PHIL 383: Knowledge and Reality

  • PHIL 389: History of Philosophy: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

  • PHIL 409: Philosophy of Language

  • PHIL 413: Formal Philosophical Methods

  • PHIL 414: Mathematical Logic

  • PHIL 417: Logic and Artificial Intelligence

  • PHIL 420: Philosophy of Science

  • PHIL 450: Philosophy of Cognition

  • PHIL 443: Foundations of Rational Choice Theory

  • PHIL 482: Philosophy of Mind

  • PHIL 485: Philosophy of Action

  • PSYCH 345: Introduction to Human Neuropsychology

  • PSYCH 346: Learning and Memory

  • PSYCH 348: Psychology of Thinking

  • PSYCH 349/LING 347: Talking Minds

  • PSYCH 352/LING 352: Development of Language and Thought

  • PSYCH 355: Cognitive Development

  • PSYCH 445/LING 447: Psychology of Language

  • PSYCH 448: Mathematical Psychology

  • PSYCH 449: Decision Processes

Honors Plan

The Honors plan within Cognitive Science is designed for students with strong academic records who wish to pursue a research project. Interested students will apply for the Honors plan in their junior year. The application will include a research proposal and must be signed by the faculty mentor. Applications will be reviewed by the Cognitive Science Executive Committee to ensure that, for qualified students, the mentor-mentee relation is established prior to the senior year and the project falls within cognitive science. Students in the Cognitive Science Honors plan will register for at least two terms of independent study (e.g., LING 495 and 496, PHIL 498 and 499, PSYCH 424 and 426), usually in the Fall and Winter terms of their senior year, with their faculty mentor in Linguistics, Philosophy, or Psychology. Honors students must complete an Honors thesis, which will be evaluated by two faculty, the faculty mentor and a second reader from a different department (which might include, for example, Biology, Computer Science, or Economics).




Additional Information

Cognitive Science majors may choose to double major in BCN (Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience), Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology, or other fields. However, to ensure that these students have devoted significant, independent effort to each major, only three coursescan be counted towards both majors.

Students majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in an aligned discipline are subject to the LSA restriction that only one course may count towards both declarations.

To declare a major in Cognitive Science:

  1. Register and complete COGSCI 200 - Intro to Cognitive Science. COGSCI 200 is the pre-requisite course to the major.
  2. Make a General Advising appointment with the Academic Program Specialist to complete a Major Declaration form.