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Independent Study

The Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science offers a number of undergraduate-level independent study courses. Independent study provides students an opportunity to explore their educational interests while working one-on-one with a faculty member.

Pursuing an Independent Study

1. Find a research mentor or faculty sponsor

If you need support finding a research mentor/faculty sponsor, you may find the links below helpful:

  • Research Laboratories: On this website you will see a list of Cognitive Science related labs. 
  • Faculty Research Interests: This website will allow you to search for faculty who are doing research with your topic of interest. If a list of faculty appears after your search, check their research and teaching interests description on their profile. Contact the faculty if you want to know more about their research project or want to ask for opportunities to work in their lab.
  • Tips for Getting Involved in Research

2. Submit an Independent Study Application

If you would like to receive credit for your independent study, please fill out the Independent Study Request Form once you have decided on your project with your research mentor/faculty sponsor. 

Course Options:
Please note, Cognitive Science majors may take a minimum of three credits of Independent Study (COGSCI 497 or 498) to fulfill one elective requirement or six credits (COGSCI 497 and either 498 or 499) to fulfill two elective requirements. A maximum of two elective requirements may be fulfilled using independent study.

  • COGSCI 497: Directed Research in Cognition Science
    Allows students to work closely with a faculty member to study a topic of interest beyond the classroom setting (i.e., research lab, readings, collects & analyzes data). Final Product: paper, poster, presentation, computational model, etc.
  • COGSCI 498: Independent Study for Cognitive Science
    Allows students to work closely with a faculty member to study a topic of interest beyond the classroom setting. Final Product: comprehensive research paper
  • COGSCI 499: Senior Honors Research for Cognitive Science
    The Cognitive Science Honors provide majors with the in-depth research experience of writing an honors thesis under the close supervision of a faculty member. For more details about Cognitive Science Honors Thesis, please visit this page.

3. Receive an override and register for the course

Once your independent study application has been approved, you will receive a permission to register for the course.

4. Submit your final product

All students who pursue a Cognitive Science Independent Study are required to submit their final product upon successful completion of their independent study. Please submit to