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School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Cognitive Science (B.S.)

Cognitive science is the study of complex information processing in humans and machines and includes the multidisciplinary study of biological and artificial systems. The field of cognitive science draws from diverse approaches to understanding these processes, including research from experimental psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Cognitive scientists believe that the design of artificially intelligent computer systems can benefit from a better understanding of human psychology and neuroscience. Likewise, our understanding of human thought and behavior can be informed by a better understanding of work in the area of artificial intelligence, computer science, and mathematical modeling. In addition to providing a sound preparation for graduate work in Cognitive Science and related areas, the Cognitive Science major is an ideal choice for students pursuing careers that combine interests in neuroscience, cognition, mathematics, and computer science. There are exciting career prospects in both industry and academics. For example, the Human Computer Interaction specialization area provides students with a unique set of skills in both software engineering and behavioral science research methods that can prepare students for careers involving the evaluation and design of user-friendly software interfaces. The Intelligent Systems specialization area provides students with a unique background in mathematical modeling, computer programming, psychology, and neuroscience which can prepare students for careers associated with the development and implementation of intelligent systems (e.g., web search engine design, speech recognition technology, computer vision, and computer games).

Students can complete Core Curriculum and Cognitive Science major requirements in a minimum of 78 semester credit hours, leaving 42 elective hours.

Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science
Degree Requirements (120 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

A. Communication (6 hours)

3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)

3 hours Communication Elective (CGS 3340 or PSY 3393)2

B. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)

6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and 2302)

6 hours American History

3 hours Social and Behavioral Science Elective (PSY 2301)2

C. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)

3 hours Fine Arts (ARTS 1301)

3 hours Humanities (HUMA 1301)

D. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)

6 hours Calculus (MATH 2417 and 2419)3

E. Science (9 hours)

6 hours Science (NSC 3361 and CGS 2301)2

3 hours Science Electives (including at least one course with a substantial laboratory component)

1 Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.

II. Major Requirements: 57 hours (39 hours beyond Core Curriculum)

Major Preparatory Courses: 27 hours

All of the following:

CGS 2301 Cognitive Science2 (also satisfies 3 hours part E of Core Curriculum)

CS 1337 Computer Science I

CS 2305 Discrete Mathematics for Computing I

MATH 2417 Calculus I 3 (also satisfies 3 hours part D of Core Curriculum)

MATH 2418 Linear Algebra

MATH 2419 Calculus II 3 (also satisfies 3 hours part D of Core Curriculum)

PSY 2301 Introduction to Psychology2 (also satisfies 3 hours part B of Core Curriculum)

PSY 2317 Statistics for Psychology

or CS/SE 3341 Probability and Statistics in Computer Science and Software Engineering

or EE 3341 Probability Theory and Statistics

or STAT 4351 Probability

Major Core Courses: 18 hours

All of the following:

CGS 3325 Historical Perspectives on Psychology: Mind and Machines Since 1600

CGS 3361 Cognitive Psychology

CGS 4312 Computational Models of Language Understanding

or CGS 3342 Cognitive and Neural Modeling Laboratory

or CS 4365 Artificial Intelligence

NSC 3361 Behavioral Neuroscience2 (also satisfies 3 hours part E of Core Curriculum)

PSY 3392 Research Design and Analysis

CGS 3340 Empirical Methods in Cognitive Science2

or PSY 3393 Experimental Projects in Psychology2 (also satisfies 3 hours part A of Core Curriculum)

Major Related Electives (12 hours)

Students majoring in Cognitive Science must complete 12 additional hours of elective Cognitive Science coursework associated with a particular specialization area. The specialization areas listed in the Specializations section serve as examples of possible concentrations. Other specialization areas are permissible with the approval of the Program Head of the Cognitive Science program.

2 A required Major course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirements

3 Six hours of Calculus are counted to fulfill the Mathematics Core Requirement.

III. Elective Requirements: 42 hours

Advanced Electives:

Six hours of upper-division courses which do not have a CGS prefix.

Free Electives (36 hours)

Students are encouraged to explore areas of concentration in Cognitive Science as well as explore interests outside the field. Be aware that at least 51 hours of upper division credit hours are required for graduation.

Specialization Areas

Human Computer Interaction

Students specializing in the Human Computer Interaction area obtain skills in designing behavioral and computer software engineering. This area provides excellent preparation for careers associated with the design, software implementation, and evaluation of user-friendly software interfaces. The Human Computer Interaction specialization area has a Behavioral Science Track and a User-Interface Development Track.

Behavioral Science Track
Students electing this option should take at least two of the following courses:
PSY 3362 Cognitive Development
PSY 4362 Perception
PSY 4364 Attention and Memory
PSY 4374 Judgment and Decision Making
And take at least two of the following courses:
CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I
CGS 4353 Human Computer Interactions II
CGS 4355 Human Computer Interactions Lab

User-Interface Track
Students electing this option should take:
CS 3333 Data Structures
CS 3354 Software Engineering
And take at least two of the following courses:
CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I
CGS 4353 Human Computer Interactions II
CGS 4355 Human Computer Interactions Lab

Intelligent Systems

Students specializing in the Intelligent Systems area obtain skills in computer programming, mathematical modeling, and intelligent system design and evaluation. This area provides excellent preparation for careers associated with the design, software implementation, and evaluation of intelligent systems. Intelligent systems arise in such diverse areas as the development of web-based intelligent search engines, speech recognition, robotics, pattern recognition, and computer vision. All students electing this option should take the following courses during their freshmen and sophomore years:
CS 2336 Computer Science II
CS 3305 Discrete Mathematics for Computing II
MATH 2418 Linear Algebra
MATH 2419 Calculus II

Students in the Intelligent Systems specialization area have the option of selecting either the Mathematical Modeling Track or the Computer Simulation Modeling Track.

Mathematical Modeling Track
CGS 4313 Neural Net Mathematics
CGS 4314 Intelligent Systems Analysis
CGS 4315 Intelligent Systems Design
MATH 2451 Multivariable Calculus with Applications
STAT 4351 Probability (or CS/EE/SE 3341)

Computer Simulation Modeling Track
All students in this track should take:
CS 3345 Data Structures and Introduction to Algorithmic Analysis
And three of the following courses:
CGS 3342 Cognitive and Neural Modeling Laboratory
CGS 4312 Computational Models of Language Understanding
CS 4365 Artificial Intelligence
CS 4391 Introduction to Computer Vision

Cognition and Neuroscience

The Cognition and Neuroscience specialization provides a multidisciplinary program for preparing students to pursue graduate work in the areas of cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Students electing this option should take at least two neuroscience courses from the following list:

CGS 4359 Cognitive Neuroscience
NSC 4352 Cellular Neuroscience
NSC 4353 Neuroscience Laboratory Methods
NSC 4354 Integrative Neuroscience
NSC 4355 Advanced Neuroscience Laboratory
NSC 4363 Neuropharmacology
NSC 4366 Neuroanatomy
NSC 4367 Developmental Neurobiology
NSC 4368 Computational Neuroscience
and at least two of the following psychology courses:
PSY 3362 Cognitive Development
PSY 4362 Perception
PSY 4364 Attention and Memory
PSY 4374 Judgment and Decision Making

Language and Speech

The Language and Speech specialization provides a multidisciplinary program for preparing students to pursue graduate work in areas such as language and communications disorders. Students electing this option should select at least four courses from the following list.

LIT 3330 Linguistics
SPAU 3303 Normal Language Development
SPAU 3304 Communication Sciences
SPAU 3343 Phonetics
SPAU 3344 Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing
SPAU 3345 Neural Basis of Communication

Additional Advanced Major Related CGS Electives

All School of Behavioral and Brain Science courses with a PSY (Psychology) or NSC (Neuroscience) prefix are approved CGS electives. In addition, advanced CGS students in good academic standing may request permission from the Cognitive Science Program Head to take graduate Applied Cognition and Neuroscience coursework (CAN prefix) to fulfill the CGS elective course requirements.

In addition, the following advanced electives are associated with all specialization areas. Approval from a Cognitive Science Faculty Advisor is required in order to take these electives.

CGS 4V90 Special Topics in Cognitive Science
CGS 4394 Internship in Cognitive Science
CGS 4397 Honors Thesis
CGS 4V98 Directed Research
CGS 4V99 Individual Study

Minor in Cognitive Science

Students who are not majoring in Cognitive Science may minor in Cognitive Science by completing 18 semester credit hours. At least 12 of the 18 semester credit hours required by the minor in Cognitive Science must be upper-division courses. In addition, 9 of the 18 semester credit hours required for the minor in Cognitive Science must have a Cognitive Science (CGS) prefix and be upper-division courses. No credit hours may be used to satisfy both major and minor requirements; however, free elective hours or major preparatory classes may be used to satisfy the minor. At least one-third of the hours for a minor must be taken at UT Dallas. The following two specialization areas provide examples of possible course sequences which satisfy the requirements of the minor in Cognitive Science.

Intelligent Systems Specialization Area in Mathematical Modeling. Students with an Electrical Engineering or Mathematics background who have taken linear algebra, multivariable calculus, and probability theory and are interested in careers associated with the design, software implementation, and testing of intelligent systems should take CGS 4313 Neural Net Mathematics, CGS 3342 Cognitive and Neural Modeling Laboratory, CGS 4314 Intelligent Systems Analysis, and CGS 4315 Intelligent Systems Design.

Human Computer Interactions Specialization Area in User-Interface Development. Students with a Computer Science background who have taken CS 3354 Software Engineering and who are interested in careers associated with the design, software implementation, and testing of user-friendly computer interfaces should take the course CGS 3361 Cognitive Psychology; take two of the following courses: CGS 4352 Human Computer Interactions I, CGS 4353 Human Computer Interactions II, and CGS 4355 Human Computer Interactions Lab; and one of the following courses:, CGS 4362 Perception, and CGS 4364 Attention and Memory, and PSY 4374 Judgment and Decision Making.

Fast Track Baccalaureate/Master's Degrees

UT Dallas undergraduate students with strong academic records who intend to pursue a master's degree in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at UTD may consider an accelerated undergraduate-graduate plan of study. When accepted into the program, students may take up to 12 hours of graduate courses that may be used to complete the bachelor's degree and also to satisfy requirements for the Master's degree. Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average and earn grades of B or better in the graduate courses taken. The Fast Track makes it possible for students to complete upper-division undergraduate education and graduate training in three years. To qualify for application, students must have completed at least 72 semester credit hours toward their bachelor degree, including at least 18 semester credit hours in major core courses at UTD. Apply to the Fast Track program through the Cognitive Science Program Office. Students should consult with a graduate advisor regarding admissions criteria and plans of study at the beginning of their junior year.