Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences 

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Cognitive Sciences, students will be able to:

  1. Understand cognitive science as an interdisciplinary field and demonstrate the ability to synthesize key knowledge, theories, methods, research, and other elements from many related disciplines and bring these interdisciplinary elements to bear on problems or questions in the cognitive sciences. 
  2. Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge of the key issues, questions, and perspectives at stake in the multiple disciplines that contribute to the study of cognitive science. 
  3. Achieve a depth of knowledge in one core area of cognitive science – linguistics, neuroscience, psychology, or philosophy – and develop a knowledge base in that discipline, as well as an understanding of the theories, methods, and research approaches in that discipline. 
  4. Demonstrate the advanced critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate multiple theories or methods from a variety of related disciplines and choose which to apply to a particular problem or question in the cognitive sciences, as well as the advanced critical thinking ability necessary to evaluate the validity of research results that purport to address the same problem or question, but with different results. 
  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate original research or research by other scholars effectively and at a college level in written and oral formats. 

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences   

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Cognitive Sciences must complete: 

  • A minimum of 14 courses (42-45 credit hours depending on course selection) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 6 courses (18 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • The requirements for one area of specialization (see list below). The Cognitive Science major offers the following areas of specialization:

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor (or official certifier). Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Cognitive Sciences 42-45
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
Computer Science Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3-4
INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING COMPUTATION
ELEMENTS OF ALGORITHMS AND COMPUTATION
COMPUTATIONAL THINKING
INTRODUCTION TO GAME PROGRAMMING IN PYTHON
COMPUTER APPLICATIONS IN PSYCHOLOGY
Advanced Computing Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3-4
PRINCIPLES OF COMPUTING
ALGORITHMIC THINKING
INCOMPLETENESS, UNDECIDABILITY, AND COMPUTABILITY
COMPUTATIONAL MODELING OF COGNITIVE PROCESSES
Linguistics Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3
INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF LANGUAGE
LANGUAGE, THOUGHT, AND MIND
INTRODUCTION TO SEMANTICS
Neuroscience Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3
ADVANCED COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: ATTENTION AND PERCEPTION
ADVANCED COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: HIGHER MENTAL FUNCTIONS
CONCEPTS OF LEARNING AND MEMORY
INTRODUCTION TO COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: EXPLORING THE LIVING BRAIN
COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE LAB
FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE
FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE
NEUROLINGUISTICS
THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS
NEURAL COMPUTATION
FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN NEUROIMAGING
COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE AND NEURAL ENGINEERING
Philosophy Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3
PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE
MATHEMATICAL LOGIC
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Psychology Core Course
PSYC 203INTRODUCTION TO COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY3
Advanced Psychology Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3
MEMORY
PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE
PSYCHOLOGY OF PERCEPTION
REASONING, DECISION MAKING, PROBLEM SOLVING
Statistics Core Course
Select 1 from the following:3-4
ELEMENTARY APPLIED STATISTICS
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICS FOR BIOSCIENCES
PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS
STATISTICAL METHODS-PSYCHOLOGY
Area of Specialization 2
Select 1 from the following Areas of Specialization:9-12
Linguistics
Neuroscience
Philosophy
Psychology
Elective Requirements 3
Select 2-3 elective courses from the other Areas of Specialization or from the following additional electives:6-9
COGNITIVE STUDIES
PRINCIPLES OF COMPUTING 4
ALGORITHMIC THINKING 4
TOOLS AND MODELS FOR DATA SCIENCE
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
ALGORITHMIC ROBOTICS
STATISTICAL MACHINE LEARNING
SUPERVISED RESEARCH IN COGNITIVE SCIENCES
HONORS PROJECT
INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTICS
INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING DESIGN
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL MACHINE LEARNING
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Cognitive Sciences 42-45
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements15-18
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information

Areas of Specialization

Students must complete the requirements as listed for one of the following areas of specialization as offered by the Cognitive Sciences major.   

Area of Specialization: Linguistics

To fulfill the remaining Cognitive Sciences major requirements, students pursuing the Linguistics area of specialization must complete a total of 9-12 credit hours from the following:

Select 9-12 credit hours from the following:
LING 200 / ANTH 200INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF LANGUAGE3
LING 300 / ANTH 300LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS3
LING 301 / ANTH 301PHONETICS3
LING 304INTRODUCTION TO SYNTAX3
LING 306LANGUAGE, THOUGHT, AND MIND3
LING 309 / PSYC 309PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE3
LING 311 / ANTH 323INTRODUCTION TO PHONOLOGY3
LING 315 / PSYC 315INTRODUCTION TO SEMANTICS3
LING 320ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF HUMAN LANGUAGE3
LING 325 / PSYC 325LANGUAGE ACQUISITION3
LING 397SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE3
LING 404RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND LINGUISTIC THEORIES3
LING 405DISCOURSE3
LING 409SPECIAL TOPICS 13
LING 411 / ANTH 411 / NEUR 411NEUROLINGUISTICS3
LING 419MULTILINGUALISM3
LING 427ADVANCED PHONOLOGY3
Footnotes and Additional Information 

Area of Specialization: Neuroscience1

To fulfill the remaining Cognitive Sciences major requirements, students pursuing the Neuroscience area of specialization must complete a total of 9-12 credit hours from the following:

Select 9-12 credit hours from the following:
NEUR 362 / PSYC 362COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: EXPLORING THE LIVING BRAIN3
NEUR 380 / BIOC 380 / PSYC 380FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS3
NEUR 385 / BIOC 385FUNDAMENTALS OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR NEUROSCIENCE3
NEUR 411 / ANTH 411 / LING 411NEUROLINGUISTICS3
NEUR 415 / CAAM 415 / ELEC 488THEORETICAL NEUROSCIENCE: FROM CELLS TO LEARNING SYSTEMS3
NEUR 481 / BIOE 481 / ELEC 481COMPUTATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE AND NEURAL ENGINEERING3
NEUR 525NEUROSCIENCE AND LAW3
PSYC 375NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE AND MEMORY3
PSYC 432BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR3
Footnotes and Additional Information

Area of Specialization: Philosophy

To fulfill the remaining Cognitive Sciences major requirements, students pursuing the Philosophy area of specialization must complete a total of 9-12 credit hours from the following:

Select 9-12 credit hours from the following:
PHIL 103PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF COGNITIVE SCIENCE3
PHIL 303THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE3
PHIL 305MATHEMATICAL LOGIC3
PHIL 312PHILOSOPHY OF MIND3
PHIL 352PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY3
PHIL 353PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE3
PHIL 357INCOMPLETENESS, UNDECIDABILITY, AND COMPUTABILITY3
PHIL 358PHILOSOPHY OF NEUROSCIENCE3
PHIL 359ANIMAL MINDS3

Area of Specialization: Psychology

To fulfill the remaining Cognitive Sciences major requirements, students pursuing the Psychology area of specialization must complete a total of 9-12 credit hours from the following:

Select 9-12 credit hours from the following:
PSYC 308MEMORY3
PSYC 309 / LING 309PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE3
PSYC 321DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 325 / LING 325LANGUAGE ACQUISITION3
PSYC 340RESEARCH METHODS - PSYCHOLOGY4
PSYC 351PSYCHOLOGY OF PERCEPTION3
PSYC 362 / NEUR 362COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE: EXPLORING THE LIVING BRAIN3
PSYC 370INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN FACTORS AND ERGONOMICS3
PSYC 375NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE AND MEMORY3
PSYC 380 / NEUR 380 / BIOC 380FUNDAMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE SYSTEMS3
PSYC 409METHODS IN HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION3
PSYC 411HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY3
PSYC 430COMPUTATIONAL MODELING OF COGNITIVE PROCESSES3
PSYC 432BRAIN AND BEHAVIOR3
PSYC 441HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION3
PSYC 461REASONING, DECISION MAKING, PROBLEM SOLVING3
PSYC 480ADVANCED TOPICS 13
Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Cognitive Sciences should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • Request for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

For additional information, please see the Cognitive Sciences website: http://cogsci.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Cognitive Sciences 

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Honors Program in Cognitive Sciences  

Students with a 3.5 GPA in cognitive sciences and 3.3 overall GPA may apply for the cognitive sciences honors program. Students in the honors program are expected to conduct an independent research project of either one or two semesters under the guidance of a member of the cognitive sciences faculty. Students who wish to enter this program should consult with prospective advisors during their junior year and submit a proposal by the end of the semester preceding the initiation of the project. Typically, this means submitting a proposal by the end of the junior year and beginning the project during the fall of the senior year. Proposal will be reviewed by both the supervisor and the program director. Students who undertake a two-semester project will be allowed to continue into the second semester only if their advisor judges that sufficient progress has been made during the 1st semester. At the end of a project, honors students are expected to submit a final paper to both their advisor and the program director and make an oral presentation to faculty and students. For more details, please contact the program director.

Independent Research

Majors may undertake supervised independent research by enrolling in CSCI 390 or the honors program. Students who wish to take CSCI 390 must complete a CSCI 390 contract and have it approved by their supervisor and the program director prior to the end of the first week of classes. All students taking CSCI 390 also must write a substantive research paper, which is to be submitted to both their advisor and the program director at the end of the semester, and presented in the Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium as a poster. (Copies of the contract form and instructions are available on the “forms” section of the cognitive sciences website.)

For additional information, please see the Cognitive Sciences website: http://cogsci.rice.edu/.