Cognitive science is a diverse field unifying three broad categories: the brain, behavior and computation. It's the study of how people, animals and computers think, act and learn. In order to understand the mind/brain, cognitive science brings together the methods and discoveries from neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy and computer science.
UCSD has been at the forefront of this exciting field. Our Department of Cognitive Science was the first of its kind in the world, and as part of an exceptional scientific community, it remains a dominant influence in the field it helped to create.
All Cognitive Science majors must complete lower-division courses in neurobiology, calculus, statistics, and computer programming. The B.A. requires completion of twelve upper-division courses and the B.S. requires fifteen. All majors first complete courses from core sequences in areas like Cognitive Phenomena, Cognitive Neuroscience, Computational Models and Cognitive Engineering. Elective courses fulfill the remaining requirements of each major.
To declare a Cognitive Science major, go to TritonLink and under “Tools” select “Major and Minor” then follow the screen instructions. The major code (BA or BS) is CG25.
The Department of Cognitive Science has instituted optional "areas of specialization" within the major of cognitive science for the BS degree, only. Students may still major in cognitive science, at either the BA or BS level, without a specialization. Students electing to major in Cognitive Science with a particular specialization would have to satisfy the existing requirements for a BS in Cognitive Science. The additional requirement for the specialization is that 4 of 6 of the electives must be from the list of courses approved for that area. In addition, a cognitive science 199 may be allowed for elective credit within the specialization if the research project was clearly in one of the specialization areas. The specialization will be listed on the transcript.
First, computers are used to model cognitive phenomena. For example, computers are used to model the activity of a brain, a perceptual process, individual decision making or the interaction of people in a group. Second, cognitive scientists study how people interact with computers and how computers can be designed to be easy to use.
Computer Science deals with solving problems through the use of a computer while Cognitive Science deals with the understanding how the brain works and how behavior is shaped by outside stimuli. To understand the brain, you need to simulate and analyze models of the brain with the help of computers. Cognitive Science encapsulates Computer Science but not the other way around.
Currently, the most frequent job placements for Cognitive Science graduates are in the computer industry in the areas of cognitive engineering (human factors), human-computer interface design, artificial intelligence, neural network applications, and software design and development. There is also a growing demand in the research industry, particularly in biotechnical and pharmaceutical companies, because students also take courses in biology and chemistry.
In addition to preparing students for careers in a variety of sciences, the major also provides an excellent background for many professional fields including medicine, clinical psychology, and design and information technology.
A Cognitive Science 199 is an independent study course for advanced students who wish to complete a one-quarter reading or research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Students should contact faculty whose research interests them to discuss possible projects. A list of 199 oportunities is posted here.
Go to TrintonLink and under “Tools” select “Major and Minor” then follow the screen instructions. To receive a minor from the Department of Cognitive Science, a student must complete a total of seven (four-unit) courses; five of which must be upper-division. Upper-division courses cannot overlap between major and minor requirements, and they cannot be used to satisfy requirements of more than one minor. You cannot major and minor in the same department.
You can pick up a double-major petition at your college advising office. You should consult with an academic adviser as well as the department advisers to be sure you fulfill requirements of the college and the major departments.