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.

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, five of which must be in departments other than the student's major.
    Courses must be from at least three of the following groups:
    1. Philosophical Foundations
      • PHIL 150: Symbolic Logic
      • PHIL 300: Epistemology
      • PHIL 305: Experimental Philosophy
      • PHIL 330: Science vs. Pseudoscience
      • PHIL 347: Valuing Art: The Philosophy and Psychology of Aesthetic Appreciation
      • PHIL 410: Philosophy of Mind
      • PHIL 420/LING 420: Topics in Logic
    2. Computation
      • CMSC 150: Introduction to Computer Science
      • CMSC 205/STAT 205: Data-Scientific Programming
      • CMSC 208/STAT 208: Machine Learning
      • CMSC 210: Introduction to Scientific Programming
      • STAT 255: Statistics for Data Science
      • STAT 450: Bayesian Statistics
      • CMSC 470: Artificial Intelligence
      • CMSC 515: Theory of Computation
    3. Neuroscience
      • NESC 200: Introduction to Neuroscience
      • PSYC 282: Neuroscience Research Techniques
      • PSYC 343: Cognitive Neuroscience w/ lab
      • PSYC 350: Psychopharmacology and Behavior
      • PSYC 365: Brain and Behavior
      • PSYC 420: Clinical and Affective Neuroscience
      • PSYC 580/BIOL 340: Topics in Neuroscience
    4. Cognitive Processes
      • PSYC 100: Principles of Psychology
      • EDST 180/PSYC 180: Psychology of Learning
      • ECON 225: Decision Theory
      • PSYC 260 or 265: Developmental Psychology
      • PSYC 290: Developmental Psychopathology
      • PSYC 340: 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 330/ANTH 330: Language and Culture
      • LING 335: Words, Words, Words: Introduction to Lexical Semantics
      • LING 340: Introduction to Syntax
      • LING 350: Introduction to Phonology
      • LING 355: Child Language Acquisition
      • LING 370/PSYC 375: Phonetics
      • LING 380: Introduction to Morphology
      • LING 400/PHIL 400: Philosophy of Language
      • LING 405/PHIL 405: How to Do Things With Words
      • LING 450/PSYC 540: Topics in the Psychology of Language
      • LING 470: Cognitive Linguistics
      • LING 531/ANTH 531: Semiotics
      • 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.