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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2018-19

Cognitive Science

Chair: Adina Roskies (Philosophy)

Professors R. H. Granger (Psychology), J. V. Haxby (Psychology),  A. L. Roskies (Philosophy), L. Whaley (Classics, Linguistics); Associate Professors D. Balkom (Computer Science) Assistant Professor: D. Kraemer (Education)


To view Cognitive Science courses, click here.

Cognitive Science

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

Prior to the Class of 2020:

The prerequisites for the cognitive science major are: (a) PSYC 28 and (b) PSYC 10 or SOCY 10 or equivalent.

1.   LING 1

2.   COSC 1

3.   PHIL 26 (Philosophy and Computers) or  35 (Philosophy of Mind)

4.   PSYC 11 (Laboratory in Psychological Science) or PSYCH 60 (Principles of Human Brain Mapping with FMRI) or approved equivalent

5.   One course that satisfies the requirement for a culminating activity, which may be met in one of three ways:

a.  completing a senior Honors thesis (COGS 86,87)

b.  taking an advanced seminar in cognitive science (COGS 80); or a relevant advanced seminar in Linguistics (LING 80), Philosophy (PHIL 80), or PBS or Education. Courses must be approved by the steering committee.

c.   carrying out a one or two term independent study project (COGS 85).

Electives: Five additional courses selected from those listed below. At least two of the four areas must be represented:

1.   PSYC 21, PSYC 25, PSYC 26, PSYC 40, PSYC 51, PSYC 52, PSYC 60, PSYC 64, PSYC 65, and relevant seminars in PSYC

2.   PHIL 6, PHIL 26, PHIL 27, PHIL 34, PHIL 35 and relevant seminars in Philosophy

3.   COSC 10 , COSC 31,COSC 39, COSC 59 , COSC 76  and COSC 79

4.   LING 10, LING 20-26 and relevant seminars in Linguistics

Cognitive Science MAJOR for Class Years 2020 and Later:


          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
  • Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

  • Cognitive Engineering

  • Computational Modeling

  • Consciousness

  • Language Acquisition and Development

  • Learning and Education

  • Neuroeconomics

  • Perception, Representation and Knowledge

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.