College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Cognitive Science

Department of Cognitive Science

Navigation + Search

Bachelor of Arts

In addition to meeting general education requirements, cognitive science majors must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours in cognitive science and approved related course work: 15 hours in the foundation component and 15 hours of elective course work. The foundation courses provide all students with a common basis for further study. They consist of:

COGS 101 Introduction to Cognitive Science 3
COGS 102 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience 3
COGS 201 Human Cognition in Evolution and Development 3
COGS 202 Human Cognition Viewed from a Cultural Perspective 3
One of the following quantitative methods courses: 3
ANTH 319
Introduction to Statistical Analysis in the Social Sciences
PSCL 282
Quantitative Methods in Psychology
STAT 201
Basic Statistics for Social and Life Sciences
Five elective courses (three must be at the 200 or 300 level) 15
Total Units 30


The Foundation Component

The Cognitive Science major provides all students with a common Foundation Component as a basis for the further study of cognition. These courses are all entry level and can be taken in any order. It is commonly the case that students take 101 & 201 simultaneously in the Fall and 102 & 202 simultaneously in the Spring, but this is not a required order. All majors must successfully complete all of the following Foundation courses:


  • COGS 101 Introduction to Cognitive Science I
  • COGS 201 Human Cognition in Evolution and Development


  • COGS 102 Introduction to Cognitive Science II
  • COGS 202 Human Cognition from a Cultural Perspective

Either Semester

  • PSCL 282 Quantitative Methods in Psychology 3 or equivalent, particularly ANTH 319, STAT 201, STAT 312



The Cognitive Science major is designed to encourage students to explore any aspect of human higher-order cognition. Students work with Cognitive Science advisors to design a program of study appropriately suited to their interests in cognition. Possibilities for emphasis include cognition in art, mathematics and science, music, theater and dance, politics, economics, law, and society; cognitive neuroscience; cognitive linguistics; cognitive semiotics; gesture; representation; aesthetics; computational approaches to cognition through simulation and modeling; cognitive syndromes; the cognitive science of evolution and development; distributed cognition and culture; cognitive aspects of media and technology; basic mental operations of narrative, conceptual integration, conceptual connection; and a host of other established or prospective fields in cognitive science.

Fifteen approved elective credit hours are required—typically five courses. At least three of these courses must be at the 200 or 300 level. Students should be forewarned that some of these courses have additional prerequisites that may not count towards the requirements of the major.

COGS courses are always approved as electives provided at least three of the five electives are at the 200 or 300 level. Standard COGS electives are listed below. For a full list, see

  • COGS 206 Theory of Cognitive Linguistics, I
  • COGS 307 Theory of Cognitive Linguistics, II
  • [Note: 206 and 307 are independent courses, not a sequence; one can be taken without the other; a student who wants to take both can take them in either order; they could be taken concurrently except that they are not offered concurrently.]

  • COGS 301 Special Topics in Cognitive Science
  • COGS 304 Conceptual Integration
  • COGS 311 Mind & Media
  • COGS 315 Mental Space Theory
  • COGS 316 Decision-Making
  • COGS 327 Gesture in Communication and Cognition
  • COGS 328 Cognition and Visual Aesthetic Experience
  • COGS 329 Cognitive Approaches to Theatre and Dance
  • COGS 399 Independent Study in Cognitive Science*

There are two COGS courses that fulfill SAGES requirements:

  • COGS 302 SAGES Departmental Seminar
  • COGS 397 SAGES Capstone

These courses are not required for the major, but for students who are under the SAGES GER, some SAGES departmental seminar and capstone are required for graduation. A situation could arise in which a student who double majors has fulfilled their SAGES requirements for a departmental seminar and a capstone in the other major. Such a student might petition to have either COGS 302 or COGS 397 count as electives toward fulfilling the COGS major requirements. See further discussion on this point below, under “Additional Requirements for SAGES.”

Nota Bene: That a course without a COGS designation has been approved as an elective for a previous student does not automatically mean that it will be approved as an elective for a subsequent student. Advisors monitor a student’s individual program for overall coherence. Some courses that have been approved for previous students are listed below:

  • ANTH 102 Being Human: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 103 Introduction to Human Evolution
  • ANTH 220 Language, Culture, and Communication
  • ANTH 367 Topics in Evolutionary Biology (cross-listed as BIOL/GEOL/PHIL 367)
  • ANTH 371 Culture, Behavior and Person
  • BIOL 225 Evolution (cross-listed as PHIL/GEOL/HSTY 225)
  • BIOL 302 Human Learning and the Brain
  • BIOL 358 Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 373 Introduction to Neurobiology
  • BIOL 374 Neurobiology of Behavior
  • BIOL 376 Neurobiology Laboratory
  • COSI 228 Introduction to Mass Communication
  • COSI 313 Language Development
  • COSI 305 / BIOL 379 Neuroscience of Communications Disorders
  • EBME 320 Fundamentals of Medical Imaging
  • EBME 461 Biomedical Image Processing and Analysis
  • EBME 308 Biomedical Signals & Systems (required for EBME 310)
  • EBME 309 Modeling of Biomedical Systems
  • EBME 359 Biomedical Computer Simulation Laboratory
  • EECS 313 digital signal processing
  • ENGL 301 Linguistic Analysis
  • ENGL 379 Topics in Language Studies
  • ENGR 131 Elementary Computer Programming
  • HIST 203 Natural Philosophy (cross-listed as PHIL 203)
  • PHIL 306 Mathematical Logic and Model Theory
  • PHIL 365 Philosophy of Mind
  • PSCL 352 Physiological Psychology
  • PSCL 353 Psychology of Learning
  • PSCL 355 Sensation and Perception
  • PSCL 357 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSCL 370 Human Intelligence
  • PSCL 375 Research Design and Analysis
  • RLGN 352/452 Language, Cognition, and Religion
  • STAT 312 Basic Statistics for Engineering & Science
  • STAT 313 Statistics for Experimenters
  • STAT 332 Statistics for Signal Processing


* While students may enroll in up to 6 credits of independent study in cognitive science, only 3 of these credits may count toward the elective component of the major.


Additional Requirements for SAGES

As part of the General Education Requirements for an undergraduate degree in the College of Arts & Sciences, students in SAGES must take a SAGES departmental seminar in some department and a SAGES capstone seminar in some department. COGS 302 is the Cognitive Science SAGES Departmental Seminar. COGS 397 is the Cognitive Science Capstone course. Credits earned in these courses count toward the General Education Requirement but do not additionally count toward the the requirements of the major, except potentially in rare cases where a student is permitted to inscribe for more than one departmental seminar in the University or more than one capstone seminar in the University. Such students should consult with the chair of the department and the director of SAGES to consider how the additional departmental seminar or capstone seminar would count toward requirements. See our website page on “courses” for further explanations of the Cognitive Science Departmental Seminar and the Cognitive Science Capstone course. Further information on General Education Requirements is available from the Office of Undergraduate Studies.


Special Clarification on COGS 302 for students following the 2006-2007 Student Handbook:

As Dean Julie Amon in the Office of Undergraduate Studies will confirm for you, you are not required to take COGS 302 in order to fulfill your major requirements, but you are certainly welcome to take the class to fulfill your Department Seminar requirement under the SAGES General Education Requirements. This clarification may be useful to those of you who are double majors, and have satisfied the SAGES Departmental Seminar in another major. Questions should be addressed to the chair of the department.


If you need approval for an elective, or for a course to count as satisfying one of the five foundation requirements, especially the quantitative reasoning requirement

Obtain your Cogsci advisor’s approval, download the Advisement Report Correction Form, complete it in Adobe Acrobat by typing in the text boxes and clicking the radio buttons and putting your digital signature in the right spot, and send it to your advisor as an attachment to email. Your advisor will add his or her digital signature and return it to you electronically for submission to the office of undergraduate studies. If you don’t know how to make a digital signature, just type in your name.