Major in Brain and Cognitive Science

undergraduates walking up stairs of Psychology Building

The Brain and Cognitive Science major introduces students to a simple question:  How do intelligent systems work?  Our world provides two examples of complex intelligent systems - human beings (and possibly some other animals) and intelligent computer systems.  Brain and Cognitive Science majors investigate the brain and behavior of intelligent biological systems (e.g. people) from the perspective that the brain is a kind of computer. 

Consequently, students must learn about how brains and computers work, and how these can explain what we know about mental functions including perception, learning, memory, and language. 

Brain and Cognitive Science majors make use of discoveries from a number of different disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and anthropology, and has applications to the development of technology in education, health, language sciences, and design.

The Brain and Cognitive Science major provides fundamental training in psychology, neuroscience, and computation, and it allows a great deal of flexibility with regard to more advanced courses. The major requires training in statistics, a laboratory course, and the capstone course. Students should contact our Undergraduate Advising Office for help in creating a plan of study and research that best meets their goals and interests.

The BSLAS in Brain and Cognitive Science is a flexible, interdisciplinary program for students who plan to pursue technical or professional careers in areas such as intelligent information processing, artificial intelligence, telecommunications or robotics. The major allows students to combine the study of psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, linguistics, and related fields to gain novel but integrated perspectives on information and intelligence, both biological and artificial.

The major is structured to first introduce students to the field of brain and cognitive science, where they will receive an introduction to some of the many disciplines that the major includes. Students can then select from a variety of options for intermediate and upper level courses in a number of departments. The major culminates with a capstone seminar for seniors. Along the way, students will gain a knowledge of statistics, programming, and laboratory skills, all of which are highly relevant to current industry, business, and scholarship.

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