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Cognitive Science Minor

About the Cognitive Science Minor

How does the mind work? How do our thoughts tell us about the world around us, and are these thoughts accurate? These questions have been asked for thousands of years, and it is against this background that the field of cognitive science emerged 35 years ago.

With twentieth century developments in mathematics, logic, computing, and artificial intelligence, theorists from a variety of scientific and theoretical fields began to develop an intriguing thesis: the mind is a kind of computer. Most simply, when new information comes in to the mind, that information is processed according to a set of rules and by drawing upon relevant information from stored memory, all to deliver some kind of output. This was the basis of early modern computing, and applying these concepts to the study of the mind has proved a fruitful and exciting research agenda.

Today's cognitive scientists don't all commit to the thesis that the mind is a computer, but they do all commit to the same pursuit as early human thinkers, namely, figuring out how the mind works. Cognitive science today is a richly interdisciplinary pursuit of knowledge, involving anthropologists, computer scientists, engineers, linguists, philosophers, psychologists, roboticists, and others. As a Cognitive Science minor, you will have the opportunity to engage in this exciting new field, taking a variety of courses from each of the contributing disciplines, and because this research is so young, you will have the rare opportunity to contribute to those developments.

Note: The requirements below supplement the University Baccalaureate Degree requirements. Refer to the General Catalog for this information. You can obtain a copy of the General Catalog at the University of Utah Bookstore.

Cognitive Science MINOR CHECKLIST  Cognitive Science Handout  Declare Cognitive Science Minor


Minimum of 18 credits of philosophy coursework that meets the following four requirements:


Eligible Courses

Required Courses

Complete the following foundations course:

PHIL 3440 (Foundations of Cognitive Science)

Complete all four of the following requirements:

Computer Science
(Take CS 1030 if you are a Computer Science Major. if you are a major in the social sciences take COMP 1010).

COMP 1010 (Programming for All Level 1)  - this class is intended for non-majors in Computer Science


CS 1030 (Foundations of Computer Science) - this class is intended for majors in Computer Science


LING 1200 (Introduction to the Study of Language)


PHIL 3400 (Mind, Language, and Reality)


PSY 2100 (Cognitive Psychology)

Elective Requirement

Take at least one course from the following recommended list:

ANTH 3134 (Language, Thought, & Culture: The Anthropology of the Human Mind)

Computer Science:
CS 4300 (Artificial Intelligence)
CS 5310 (Robotics)
CS 5650 (Visual Perception from a Computer Graphics and Visualization Perspective)

LING 3300 (Computers and Language)
LING 4020 (Introduction to Syntax)
LING 4160 (Language and Cognition)

PHIL 5350 (Topics in Philosophy of Science)
PHIL 5450 (Philosophy of Mind)

PSY 3140 (Cognitive Neuropsychology)
PSY 3150 (Sensation and Perception)
PSY 3415 (Social Cognition)
PSY 4130 (Cognition in the Wild)

This electives list in not exhaustive. Other course may be substituted, on approval from the Cognitive Science Advisor.

Grade Requirement

The Grade Requirement has three parts. First, only coursework taken for a letter grade will contribute to the above requirements; CR/NC coursework will not count. Second, no individual course receiving a grade lower than C- will count for any of the above requirements. Third, the overall grade-point average (GPA) for courses meeting the above requirements must be at least 2.0.

For information about declaring the cognitive science minor, please contact Natalia Washington or Connie Corbett.

Last Updated: 6/20/24