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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2022-23

Cognitive Science

Chair: D. Kraemer 

Professors D. Balkom (Computer Science), R. H. Granger (Psychology), J. V. Haxby (Psychology),  A. L. Roskies (Philosophy), L. Whaley (Classics, Linguistics); Associate Professor  D. Kraemer (Psychology and Education); Assistant Professor: J. Phillips (Cognitive Science) ; Research Associate Professor: M. Gobbini (Psychology), Lecturer: S. Wray (LING), Post-Doc: E. Nelson, M.C. Nizzi, A. Walton


To view Cognitive Science courses, click here.

Cognitive Science Program

Cognitive Science is the study of cognition from an interdisciplinary perspective and is largely informed by models of information processing. Contributing disciplines include cognitive psychology, computer science, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, as well as other fields, such as anthropology and sociology. Topics of focus include perception, memory, reasoning and language.

Dartmouth’s cognitive science program is issues-oriented and relies on methods drawn from a number of disciplines. Students pursuing a major should become familiar with the basic approaches to cognition of psychology, philosophy, computer science and linguistics. This breadth is complemented by the depth provided by the focus area, elective courses chosen under the guidance of an advisor, which allows students to gain specialized knowledge in a particular topical area of cognitive science.


Cognitive Science Major



          a) COGS 1: Introduction to Cognitive Science (to be taken before declaring the major, unless by special permission)
          b) One from ECON 10, GOV 10, MATH 10, PSYC 10, QSS 15, QSS 45, or SOCY 10, or equivalent course with statistics, data or quantitative analysis, with permission of the Chair.   

2. REQUIREMENTS: Eleven additional course, including:

        a) LING 1 Introductory Linguistics
        b) COSC 1 Introduction to Programming and Computation
        c) COGS 25/PHIL 25 Philosophy of Cognitive Science
        d) PSYC 28 Cognition
        e) PSYC 11 Laboratory in Psychological Science, or equivalent course with Laboratory component with permission of the Chair
        f) COGS 80 Major Seminar in Cognitive Science (ideally to be taken Junior year)
        g) One Culminating Experience: COGS 85 or COGS 86-87, or a second term of COGS 80
        h) Four courses in a Focus Area, examples include
  • Decision Making

  •       Language and Thought     
  • Learning and Development

  • Consciousness

  •       Cognitive Science of Design     
  • Social Interaction Networks

  • Intelligence

  •      Creativity/Aesthetics
  •      Moral Reasoning

Students may be allowed to design their own focus area, which must include a description of a coherent problem area and rationale for the course of study, and 4 relevant (and available) courses, with two alternates. Focus area proposals must be approved by the advisor and the chair of the Cognitive Science Program.

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Cognitive Science offers qualified students the opportunity to undertake independent research under the direction of a faculty member. Students who plan to undertake such a project must have a 3.33 grade average in all courses taken at the College and an average of 3.5 for courses within the major. It is important to consult with a prospective advisor as early as possible, preferably during the junior year.


Applications to the Honors Program may be submitted to the Chair either during the spring of the junior year or the fall of the senior year. The project itself normally lasts two terms. Students will take COGS 86 the first term and COGS 87 the second. The completed thesis is to be submitted during the winter or spring term, and an oral presentation will be given at a special seminar of students and faculty.