Cognitive Science, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Programs

The Cognitive Science major is designed to provide a broad interdisciplinary approach to the study of mind that includes courses from different departments and attracts students with a variety of interests. It emphasizes a multifaceted approach to the study of the mind integrating concepts and techniques from psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neurology, philosophy and other relevant fields.

For students interested in the liberal arts the Cognitive Science major can be pursued as a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) program. Alternatively, it can be pursued as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program for students with a stronger interest in the mathematical, neurological and computational foundations of the discipline. The main objective of both programs is to give the student a broad grounding in the integrated sciences of the mind and to connect approaches from different fields. Students must complete a number of core courses for the degree, as well as a number of specialty courses on such wide-ranging topics as logic for artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, animal cognition and the psychology of music.

Career Pathways

A degree in Cognitive Science provides broad intellectual foundations useful for careers in a variety of areas, including teaching, business, social work/counseling and the information technology industry. Undergraduate education in cognitive science also prepares the student for graduate study in appropriate subfields of psychology, linguistics, philosophy and informatics. It is also suitable training for pre-medicine, pre-law, and pre-management students.

Major Advisors

Staff advisors are located in Young Hall. To contact a major advisor, email, schedule an academic advising appointment, or join Drop-In Advising (no appointment needed). 

The major requirements below are in addition to meeting University Degree Requirements & College Degree Requirements; unless otherwise noted. The minimum number of units required for the Cognitive Science Bachelor of Arts is 72.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Cognitive Science
CGS 001/PHI 010Introduction to Cognitive Science4
LIN 001Introduction to Linguistics4
or LIN 001Y Introduction to Linguistics
PHI 012Introduction to Symbolic Logic4
PHI 013GMinds, Brains, & Computers with Discussion4
PSC 001General Psychology4
or PSC 001V General Psychology
or PSC 001Y General Psychology
STA 013Elementary Statistics4
or STA 013Y Elementary Statistics
or STA 100 Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences
Research Methods
PSC 041Research Methods in Psychology (recommended to take Statistics before Research Methods)4
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal28
Depth Subject Matter
Important: Each course may only be used to satisfy one Cognitive Science major requirement; the same course cannot be used for multiple groups.
PSC 100Introduction to Cognitive Psychology4
or PSC 100Y Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
PHI 112Intermediate Symbolic Logic4
Group A: Cognitive Science Topical Courses4
Group B: Computation
Choose one from Group B:4
Computational Linguistics
Logic, Probability, & Artificial Intelligence
Computational Social Science
Simulating Communication Processes
Concentration Areas: 16 units from your choice of two groups from Groups B-F16
CGS Electives: 12 additional units from Groups B-G12
Group C: Neuroscience
Neuroeconomics/Reinforcement Learning & Decision Making
Physiological Psychology
Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biological Foundations of the Mind
Advanced Cognitive Neuroscience
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Group D: Linguistics
Linguistic Analysis I: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology
Linguistic Analysis II: Morphology, Syntax, Semantics
Introduction to Syntactic Theory
Introduction to Psycholinguistics
Language Development
Group E: Philosophy
Philosophy on Mind
The Evolution of Mind
Knowledge & the A Priori
Formal Epistemology
Group F: Psychology
Introduction to Biological Psychology
Human Learning & Memory
Language & Cognition
Psychology of Music
Neurobiology of Learning & Memory
Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Cognitive Development
Cognitive Development
Group G: Breadth Electives 2
Communication Theories
Communication Theories
Language Use in Conversation
Educational Psychology: General
Language Development
Adulthood & Aging
Technology Use, Health, & Aging
Cognitive Neuropsychology in Adulthood & Aging
Languages of the World
Language Universals & Typology
Theory of Knowledge
Intermediate Symbolic Logic
Theory of Action
Philosophy of Language: Theory of Reference
Philosophy of Language: Truth & Meaning
Philosophy of Language: Semantics & Pragmatics
Developmental Psychobiology
Comparative Neuroanatomy
Social & Personality Development
Social & Personality Development
Developmental Disorders
Social Cognition
Applied Statistical Methods: Analysis of Variance
Applied Statistical Methods: Regression Analysis
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal44
Total Units72

For a list of approved CGS Topical Courses, please see the major worksheet.


These breadth electives allow students to expand their methodological/analytical toolkit and/or see how their core cognitive science classes intersect with broader interdisciplinary topics.