Jul 23, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Cognitive Science (BA)

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Director: Toben Mintz, PhD

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary major that focuses on the mind and cognition from a variety of perspectives and approaches. The core and electives sample from courses in psychology, philosophy, linguistics, human and evolutionary biology, and computer science.

Cognitive Science Major with Honors 

The cognitive science major with honors requires the student to complete the requirements for the major with a GPA of 3.5 or above and to complete in addition CGSC 498  Honors Thesis with a grade of B or better. Intent to complete the cognitive science major with honors should be registered with the undergraduate adviser no later than the second semester of the junior year. 

The major consists of four fixed core courses, plus two tiers of flexible core courses. Tier 1 generally consists of more introductory courses, and Tier 2 consists of more advanced courses. Students must take two courses from Tier 1 and three courses from Tier 2. We provide suggested tracks through these tiers that allow students to concentrate on one or two subspecialities in this broad interdisciplinary field. Students may choose to focus on one of these tracks, or they may opt to tailor an interdisciplinary curriculum that provides in-depth exploration of a combination of areas. Electives allow students to take courses related to the core areas, but may cover a more specialized or applied area of study.

Students are encouraged to refer to the suggested tracks below, and to consult with their academic adviser.

Units: 16

Flexible Core Requirements (5 Courses)

Units: 20

*Prerequisite required.

Electives (3 Courses)

Units: 10-12

*Prerequisite required

Total units: 46–48

Note: A course that is listed in multiple categories can only be applied once. Students must choose a minimum of 16 upper-division units from the flexible core and electives lists.

Suggested Tracks

The suggested tracks are organized by broad areas of emphasis within cognitive science, and more specific areas of interest within the broader domains. These tracks are suggestions only; they are not listed on the transcript, and they do not have to be officially declared. Some tracks and emphases include a single course under Tier 1 courses, providing the opportunity to select a second course that is best suited to particular areas of interest. Students work with their academic adviser to tailor an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines several areas.

Cognitive Science with an Emphasis in Psychology

Cognitive Science with ann Emphasis in Language

Cognitive Science with an Emphasis in Philosophy

Cognitive Science with an Emphasis in Computer Science

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