Requirements for the major and minor can be found in the general bulletin. In addition to satisfying general education requirements (GER), students take five foundation courses and five electives. The cognitive science major has some unusual features, so read on.

Foundation Courses

COGS 101 Introduction to Cognitive Science (typically taught in Fall) 3
COGS 102 Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (typically taught in Spring) 3
COGS 201 Human Cognition in Evolution and Development (typically taught in Fall) 3
COGS 202 Cognition and Culture (typically taught in Spring) 3
A methods course, such as one of the following 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

Unusual features:

Foundation courses are all entry level and can be taken in any order. That’s right, you can start with any course, any semester.

Other courses, such as COGS 330, Cognition and Computation, can be used to fulfill the methods course requirement. Follow the process described below for getting non-cogs electives approved.

What counts as a COGS elective?

Fifteen approved elective credit hours are required—typically five courses. At least three of these courses must be at the 200 or 300 level. Unusual feature: There is no list of courses that can be used to fulfill elective requirements. Students design different foci for their major by choosing a set of electives that focus on the study of advanced higher-order human cognition as part of a unified COGS degree. This process happens over time, but as you make choices, use these decision rules to determine whether a course will count.

  • If 100 level COGS course -> Counts only if you are a MINOR, and have already taken COGS 101 and one other 100 level COGS course.
  • If 200/300 level COGS course -> Yes, it counts. This includes COGS 397, the capstone course, which can be used to fulfill both an elective requirement and the SAGES capstone requirement.
  • If cross-listed with 200/300 level COGS course, and you registered with the other heading -> Yes, it counts. (Example: You took BIOL 302. It’s cross-listed as COGS 322, so it’s a COGS elective.) Cross-listings are presented in the CWRU Bulletin for each year under the courses for the Department of Cognitive Science. For example, the cross-listings for 2019-2020 are listed in the Bulletin for that year here. Click on “Courses” to see all the COGS courses and how they are cross-listed.
  • If no COGS heading -> Only if you can make the case that it is part of a unified COGS degree. You must provide written justification answering this question: “In combination with your other electives for the major, how does this course contribute to your transdisciplinary study of the human mind?” It might help to focus on human higher-order cognition, for which there is no robust animal model. Justification process:
    • Have informal conversations with your advisor about the set of courses you plan to use to fulfill your elective requirements. This is a chance to reflect on what you are doing with your undergraduate career, and how your education in Cognitive Science might serve the rest of your life.
    • As you get towards the end of your time at CWRU, decide on the list of courses you will use to complete the COGS major. For any courses that don’t have a COGS heading, you will need to do two things:
      • Use this google form to submit your response to the justification question. (“In combination with your other electives for the major, how does this course contribute to your transdisciplinary study of the human mind?” ). Fill out an Academic Advisement Report. Under “Other Changes,” write “Please count X, Y, Z, . . . as COGS electives for this student.” (Replace the variables X, Y, Z etc with the designations of the courses you want to count, e.g PSCL357). Sign electronically, send to your advisor, tell them you have filled out the google form with your proposed justification for  the courses. If they accept your justification, they will sign and return the Academic Advisement Report to  you for you to submit to the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Cognitive Science and SAGES Requirements

Students subject to the SAGES GER are required to take a SAGES departmental seminar and capstone in order to graduate. How does that work for COGS majors? COGS doesn’t require students to take these courses in the department of cognitive science, but they can choose to do so. Some COGS courses can be used to fulfill the departmental seminar requirement. See the general bulletin for more details on specific courses.

The capstone requirement can be fulfilled by signing up for a COGS faculty member’s section of COGS 397. Before you do this, you must discuss a proposed topic with the faculty member (usually by email), get her or his agreement to supervise the capstone, and then use SIS to request permission to enroll. Capstones work a bit like independent studies, and the details are decided by supervisor and student. Review this presentation about capstones in Cognitive Science, as it answers many common questions: CogsciCapstone.pdf

Double majors/ secondary majors: Some majors/minors do require you to take a departmental seminar and/or capstone in a specific department. If you have more than one major/minor, discuss with your other advisor to make sure you are aware of all the requirements.