Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of how the mind works.  Cognitive scientists investigate mental representations and processes and their realization in brains and artificial systems.  A hallmark of cognitive science is the use of methods from multiple disciplines to address questions about the nature of knowledge, thinking, and learning.

Lawrence offers a cognitive science minor, which students often complete alongside a major in one of the core disciplines of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, or computer science, or alongside an allied discipline such as anthropology, economics, political science, or music theory.  Students have the option of expanding the minor into a student-designed major by proposing additional courses and a Senior Experience for approval by the instruction committee (see "student-designed majors" in the catalog).

The cognitive science minor is composed of an introductory course and departmental courses organized into five groups: philosophical foundations, computation, neuroscience, cognitive processes, and language.  Students take six courses in at least three groups, and five of these courses must be outside the student’s major department.

Students who study cognitive science often go on to graduate study in the field or one of its related disciplines, or to applied work in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, or technology design.

Requirements for the minor in cognitive science

  1. COSC 105: Introduction to Cognitive Science
  2. Six additional courses from at least three of the following groups. Only one course may be in the student’s major department (exception: psychology majors may count up to three courses in Brain and Neuroscience).
    1. Philosophical Foundations
      • PHIL 300: Epistemology
      • PHIL 330: Science vs. Pseudoscience
      • PHIL 410: Philosophy of Mind
      • PHIL 400/LING 400: Philosophy of Language
    2. Formal Systems and Computation
      • PHIL 150: Symbolic Logic
      • At most one of the following:
        • CMSC 140: Introduction to Programming with Python
        • CMSC 150: Introduction to Computer Science
        • CMSC 205/STAT 205: Data-Scientific Programming
        • CMSC 210: Introduction to Scientific Programming
      • STAT 208/CMSC 208: Machine Learning
      • STAT 255: Statistics for Data Science
      • STAT 450: Bayesian Statistics
      • CMSC 470: Artificial Intelligence
      • CMSC 515: Theory of Computation
    3. Brain and Neuroscience
      • NESC 200: Introduction to Neuroscience
      • PSYC 343: Cognitive Neuroscience
      • PSYC 347: Hormones, Brain, and Behavior
      • PSYC 348: Biological Psychology
      • PSYC 365: Brain and Behavior
      • PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience
      • PSYC 580/BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience
    4. Cognitive Processes
      • EDST 180/PSYC 180: Psychology of Learning
      • ECON 225: Decision Theory
      • PSYC 260 or 265: Developmental Psychology
      • PSYC 322: Memory and Learning
      • PSYC 340 or 342: Cognitive Psychology
      • COSC 345/ANTH 345/PSYC 345: Distributed Cognition and the Extended Mind
      • PSYC 370: Perception
      • ECON 410: Advanced Game Theory and Applications
    5. Language
      • LING 150: Introduction to Linguistics
      • LING 335: Lexical Semantics
      • LING 340: Syntax
      • LING 355: Child Language Acquisition
      • LING 405/PHIL 405: How to Do Things With Words
      • LING 470: Cognitive Linguistics
      • COSC 545/LING 545/PSYC 545: Gesture Studies

COSC 300: Topics in Cognitive Science may be counted in a group above that corresponds to the specific topic, with approval from the director of cognitive science.