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 can be used to fulfill the methods course requirement, provided they are approved by your advisor. Follow the process described below (“getting electives approved”). If you want COGS 330, Cognition and Computation, to count as your methods course, also follow the process described below.


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: Students can use relevant courses taken in other departments to fulfill cognitive science elective requirements. Advisors monitor a student’s program, and can approve an elective if it is justifiable for that student’s plan. Courses that have been approved for previous students are listed below. Please note:

  • A course may have been approved as an elective in the past, but that does not mean it will be approved as an elective again. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Some courses below have additional prerequisites that may not count towards the major.

Getting electives approved: If you are seeking to have an elective approved, discuss with your advisor. If she or he approves, fill out the Academic Advisement Report Substitution Form. Send it to your advisor, who will add a digital signature and return it to you electronically for submission. (Can also be done on paper.)

  • 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

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.