Associate Professor Austin Baldwin, Director
The minor in cognitive science is an interdisciplinary minor focused on the study of the mind and the nature of cognition and intelligence, from the perspectives of psychology and philosophy, and potentially (depending upon which courses students elect to take) other disciplines including computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, or mathematics. Topics include the nature of cognition, consciousness, perception, memory, emotion, language acquisition, reasoning, decision-making and behavior, using tools from neuroscience, computer modelling, neural networks, artificial intelligence, and formal logic.
No more than two courses can be double-counted towards this minor and another minor or major.
Requirements for the Minor (15 Credit Hours)
The cognitive science minor requires five courses (15 credit hours) from the lists below. Students take one introductory course, one theoretical foundation course, one empirical foundation course, one interdisciplinary bridge course, and one elective course. These courses must be distributed as follows:
Introductory Course (3 Credit Hours)
These lower-level courses provide good preparation for further study in cognitive science. At most, one course from this list may count towards the minor.
Theoretical Foundation Course (3 Credit Hours)
These courses introduce students to central theoretical and philosophical issues at the heart of cognitive science, including issues involving bringing together explanations at different levels and/or from different academic disciplines. This theoretical background can serve as a springboard for further specialization and helps to provide scaffolding to draw together other courses in this interdisciplinary minor. Students must choose at least one course from this list:
Empirical Foundation Course (3 Credit Hours)
The following courses introduce students to important empirical approaches in cognitive science, including some central empirical findings and research. Through such courses, students should develop a sophisticated understanding of how empirical research in cognitive science is carried out. Students must choose at least one course from this list:
Interdisciplinary Bridge Course (3 Credit Hours)
The following courses each illustrate how issues in cognitive science can be beneficially approached by work drawing from multiple disciplines within cognitive science. This rich interdisciplinary work is highly characteristic of and essential to cognitive science. Many of these courses have prerequisites not directly included in this minor, so may be ideal only for students who have relevant preparation or are willing to take extra prerequisites. Students must choose at least one course from this list.
Note: Some courses are listed as both foundations and interdisciplinary, but no student can count a single course as both. All students must take three separate courses to meet these three requirements.
Elective Course (3 Credit Hours)
These courses each contribute in important ways to cognitive science, but are specialized or advanced in ways that kept them from fitting earlier in the encouraged progression for the minor. Depending on whether students opt to count an introductory course towards the minor, one to two courses will remain. For the remaining course(s), students must choose an elective course from any of the non-introductory lists, including this list of other electives.