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Cognitive Science Minor

What is Cognitive Science?

Cog Sci Post card (front)Ever since we could ponder, humans have wondered about the mind. 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.

Requirements for Cognitive Science Minor in Philosophy

The Cognitive Science Minor in Philosophy calls for a minimum of 18 units of coursework that meets the following four requirements:

1. Required Courses

Complete the following foundations course:

  PHIL 3440 (Foundations of Cognitive Science)

Complete all four of the following requirements:

 Computer Science: 

COMP 1010 (Programming for All Level 1) (offered in fall only)  - 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 4160 (Language and Cognition)

PHIL 3400 (Mind, Language, and Reality)

PSY 3120 (Cognitive Psychology)

2. Elective Requirement 

Take at least one course from the following recommended list:

ANTH 4134 (Language, Thought, and Culture: The Anthropology of the Human Mind)
ANTH 4481 (Evolutionary Psychology)

 Computer Science:
CS 1000 (Engineering Computing)
CS 5300 (Artificial Intelligence)
CS 5310 (Robotics)
CS 5650 (Visual Perception from a Computer Graphics and Visualization Perspective)

LING 3190 (Language and Nature)
LING 4020 (Introduction to Syntax)

MGT 5850 (Bridges to Contemporary Cognitive Science)

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

PSY 3140 (Cognitive Neuropsychology)
PSY 3150 (Sensation and Perception)
PSY 3190 (Psychology of Language)
PSY 4125 (Cognitive Science Seminar)

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

3. 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 2.00.

4. Residence Requirement

Various of the above requirements may, in special cases, and with approval, be satisfied with transfer credit. Requirement 2 is an exception: in all cases, the Advanced Course Requirement must be satisfied by course work completed at the University of Utah.

For information about declaring the cognitive science minor, please contact Dustin Stokes or Connie Corbett.

Last Updated: 3/23/18