Rackham graduate students who wish to submit a course petition to the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science should read the following information and fill out the form below.
The Weinberg Institute Graduate Certificate Committee reviewing petitions will be using the guidelines below to help determine whether a course can count toward the cognitive science graduate certificate. Keep in mind the inclusion of certain words in a course description—such as decision, motivation, thinking, language philosophy, computation or belief—is not enough. Similarly, the dedication of just a subsection of a course to such topics is insufficient. Rather the graduate certificate committee reviewing such petitions will be looking for overall course content that elucidates phenomena at the “computational level of analysis," which involves:
1) Specifying the inner workings of mental faculties and capacities;
2) Specifying information processing systems;
3) Using formal models such as signal detection models, rational choice models, Bayesian models, etc. and/or
4) Modelling mental processes with computers.
Many courses examine mental phenomena at higher (social, behavioral) or lower (neurobiological) levels of analysis. They should NOT count as cognitive science. Examples include:
1) A course exclusively about interactions between socio-political groups (fits better as sociology)
2) A course that catalogs various behavioral "effects" (e.g., the endowment effect, fundamental attribution error) but says little about the psychological mechanisms that produce them (fits better as social psychology)
3) A course that examines mental disorders and evidence-based interventions (fits better as clinical psychology)
4) A course on neurobiology of drugs of abuse that doesn't focus on computational models of the implicated circuits (fits better as neuroscience)
Graduate Certificate Course Petition (if applicable to applicant)
Complete the Class Petition form below.