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Undergraduate Program

Concentration: Cognitive and Brain Sciences (CBS)

Cognitive and Brain Science is an inherently interdisciplinary area, drawing on psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy of mind, computer science, and biology. A Cognitive and Brain Science degree provides an excellent preparation for careers in the sciences, computer fields, health professions, law, and education.

Major Requirements:

NOTE: Below are the major requirements for students whose first semester on campus was 2014 or earlier. Beginning with the Class of 2019, the following changes have been approved for the CBS major: 1) PSY 1 is a required course, 2) students will only have to take 3 courses from 2 of the groups listed under III. below. Please note that current students are still urged to take PSY 1 before enrolling in PSY 9. Also note that students whose first semester on campus was 2014 or earlier may opt to use the new, revised requirements rather than the older requirements; students choosing to do so must email the director of the undergraduate program, Professor Sommers, with this information so that he can have the appropriate notations entered into their record via Dowling.

Students who score 4 or 5 on the Psychology AP test may skip PSY 1. Please note that the Psychology AP does not translate into a University credit (that is, it does not count toward the 34 credits needed to graduate). But a score of 5 completely substitutes for PSY 1 within the CBS major. CBS majors with an AP score of 4 place out of PSY 1 but must take an additional psychology elective in lieu of it for the major. Successful completion of Child Development 1 is treated the same way as an AP score of 4.

  1. Required courses
    • Psychology 09 - Introduction to Cognitive and Brain Sciences
    • Psychology 31 - Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
    • Psychology 32 - Experimental Psychology
    • Psychology 64 (cross listed as Philosophy 15/Linguistics 15) - Introduction to Linguistics
    • Computer Science 11 - Introduction to Computer Science (or AP credit)
    • Computer Science 15 - Data Structures*

      *Note that Comp Sci 14 will not be offered in the future. Those who have taken Computer Science 14 can still count it towards the above requirement, but going forward all new students should take Computer Science 15. The CBS steering committee also strongly recommends that CBS majors, especially those seeking a greater emphasis in the computation side of Cognitive Science, also takeĀ  Computer Science 61 or Math 61 as many (but not all) upper level Computer Science courses require both 15 and 61 as prerequisites.
       
  2. One from each of the following three groups:
    1. Psychology 11 - Developmental Psychology
      Psychology 25 - Physiological Psychology
      Psychology 26 - Animal Learning and Cognition
      Psychology 27 - Perception
      Psychology 28 - Cognitive Psychology
      Psychology 29 - Human Neuropsychology
      Psychology 103 - Brain & Behavior
      CSHD 51 - Intellectual Development of Young Children
       
    2. Computer Science 131 - Artificial Intelligence
      Computer Science 171 - Human Computer Interaction
      Computer Science 150CMCS - Computational Models in Cognitive Science
      Computer Science 150HRI - Human Robot Interaction
      Computer Science 150NLP - Natural Language Processing
       
    3. Philosophy 3 - Language and Mind
      Philosophy 33 or 103 - Logic
      Philosophy 191-02 - Foundations of Cognitive Science
      Psychology 150 - Semantics
      Psychology 151 - Syntactic Theory
      Psychology 155 - Phonological Theory
       
  3. A total of four courses taken from at least two of the following groups (only one of which may be independent study/directed research; also note that courses used to fulfill Part II. requirements above may not be double counted toward Part III. here as well):
    1. Psychology 80 - Psychology of Music
      Psychology 91/92 - Research in Psychology
      Psychology 103 - Brain and Behavior
      Psychology 112 - Biological Basis of Psychopathology
      Psychology 117 - Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
      Psychology 118 - Topics in Infancy
      Psychology 121 - Applying Cognition to Education
      Psychology 122 - Cognitive Aging
      Psychology 123 - Psychopharmacology
      Psychology 124 - Cognitive Neuroscience of Perception
      Psychology 126 - Origins of Cognition
      Psychology 127 - Behavioral Endocrinology
      Psychology 129 - Cognitive Neuroscience
      Psychology 131 - Neuropsychology of Cognition
      Psychology 139 - Social Cognition
      Psychology 140 - Mathematical Psychology
      Psychology 142 - Seminar in Affective Neuroscience
      Psychology 144 - Memory and Retention
      Psychology 145 - Mental Representation
      Psychology 146 - Comparative Cognition and Behavior
      Psychology 148 - Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning and Memory
      Psychology 154 - Psychosis
      Psychology 191/192 - Independent Research in Psychology
      Psychology 199 - Senior Honors Thesis
       
    2. Psychology 149 - Psychology of Language
      Psychology 150 - Semantics
      Psychology 151 - Syntactic Theory
      Psychology 152 - The Psychology of Bilingualism
      Psychology 153 - Biological Foundations of Language
      Psychology 155 - Phonological Theory (if not taken to fulfill II. C above)
      Psychology 180 - Music, Language, and the Brain
      CSHD 145 - Technological Tools for Thinking and Learning
      CSHD 152 - Development of Thought and Language
      CSHD 155 - The Young Child's Development of Language
      CSHD 156 - Developmental Neuroscience and Disorders of Development
      CSHD 177 - Bilingual Studies
      CSHD 195 - Developmental Disorders in Language and Reading
      CSHD 250 - Reading, Dyslexia, and the Brain
      Education 114 (cross-listed as Linguistics/German 114) - Linguistic Approaches to Second Language Acquisition
       
    3. Computer Science 86 - Object Oriented Programming for Graphical User Interfaces
      Computer Science 105 - Programming Languages
      Computer Science 131 - Artificial Intelligence
      Computer Science 135 - Machine Learning and Data Mining
      Computer Science 150CMCS - Computational Models in Cognitive Science
      Computer Science 150HRI - Human Robot Interaction
      Computer Science 150NLP - Natural Language Processing
      Computer Science 170 - Computation Theory
      Computer Science 171 - Human Computer Interaction
       
    4. Philosophy 38 - Rational Choice
      Philosophy 114 - Topics in Logic
      Philosophy 117 - Philosophy of Mind
      Philosophy 126 - Theories of Human Nature
      Philosophy/Psychology/Anthropology 132 - Cognition of Society and Culture
      Philosophy 133 - Philosophy of Language
      Philosophy 134 - Philosophy of Social Science
      Philosophy 170 - Computation Theory
      Philosophy 191-02 - Foundations of Cognitive Science
       
  4. Enrollment in Psychology 195
    Cognitive and Brain Science majors are encouraged to complete a senior research project which entails either (a) completing an honors thesis in Psychology, Child Study and Human Development, Computer Science, or Philosophy; (b) completing a year-long research experience with a faculty member in one of these departments or with a faculty member in the Neuroscience Department of the Medical School; or (c) completing a faculty-supervised review paper of the literature on a particular issue within one of these areas. Planning for such projects should begin by the end of junior year.

    Students are encouraged, after consultation with their advisor, to augment the Cognitive & Brain Science major by taking electives in Psychology, Anthropology (150), Biology (13, 14, 116, 134), and Math (11, 12, 13, 121). Students majoring in Cognitive & Brain Science usually receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

    Please note that CBS majors with an advisor from a department other than Psychology should follow that department's policies for completing the senior degree sheet paperwork. The second signature on that degree sheet will come from a representative of that department, not from Psychology.

Minor in Cognitive & Brain Science or Linguistics:

A minor in Cognitive & Brain Science is also available and administered by the Philosophy Department. View requirements on the Department of Philosophy website. For questions, please contact Jonathan Badiali or Professor Brian Epstein.

A minor in Linguistics is also available and administered by the Philosophy Department. View requirements on the Department of Philosophy website. For questions, please contact Jonathan Badiali or the Co-Directors of the minor, Professor Dilip Ninan and Professor Ariel Goldberg.


You can also contact any of the Advising Faculty affiliated with Psychology who teach CBS-related courses: