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gundelJeanette Gundel
Director of Graduate Studies
Cognitive Science

Graduate Programs in Cognitive Science

Ph. D. in Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is broadly concerned with integrating contemporary approaches to the study of mind/brain, and with the systems and processes underlying the acquisition and use of knowledge. Given the inherently interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science, our Ph.D. program is structured to allow students the flexibility to pursue a wide variety of research topics and to integrate methodologies and perspectives from different disciplines.

The coherence of the program lies in its intellectual focus on cognition. This program spans cellular, behavioral and psychological levels of scientific analysis in the study of cognition in a single unified graduate program. The program integrates the diverse content, methods, and perspectives of a number of different disciplines (e.g. anthropology, biology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology) which are concerned with or in some sense inform our understanding of cognition, but all of which as individual disciplines involve concerns that are not specifically cognitive.

Admission to the minor program is contingent upon enrollment in good standing within a recognized graduate degree-granting program of the University of Minnesota and requires permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in Cognitive Sciences. In order to enroll in the minor program, please submit an "Intent to Enroll" form to the Director of Graduate Studies. Students are encouraged to submit an Intent to Enroll form by the end of fall semester the year before initiating coursework. Later submissions are considered as space permits. If you have any questions about the program or the application procedure, please ask!

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Minor Degree in Cognitive Science

An interdisciplinary minor in cognitive science was established by the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota in 1989. The impetus for this minor program was the recognition of the need for a formal organizational structure to facilitate graduate academic activities in this rapidly advancing domain. The formal minor is administered through the Graduate School and is available at both the Master's and Doctoral levels. It provides integrated courses that emphasize theory and methods in cognitive science. This program works to enhance the interactions among graduate students and faculty involved in cognitive science.

Curriculum and Requirements

Cognitive science is a field of inquiry at the interface of cognitive psychology, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, and philosophy. Cognitive science is concerned with the acquisition, representation, and use of knowledge by humans and machines. The curriculum provides students with a broad foundation in psychological, philosophical, and computational approaches to the study of cognition. The minor in cognitive science is available to master's (M.A. and M.S.) and doctoral students.

Courses required for both Master's Minor and Doctoral Minor

  • CgSc 8000 Philosophy of Cognitive Science or appropriate substitute approved by the DGS (e.g. IDSc 8711 Cognitive Science, Psy 5015 Cognition, Computation, and Brain, CogSci 8040 Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • CgSc 8410 Perspectives in Learning Perception and Cognition

Required additional elective credits:

  • The master's minor requires 3 credits of additional relevant elective courses.
  • The doctoral minor requires 9 credits of additional relevant elective courses.

Required total graduate credits:

  • The master's minor requires a minimum of 8 graduate credit
  • the doctoral minor requires a minimum of 14 graduate credits.

Substitutions for required courses are permitted only with prior permission from the Director of Graduate Studies for Cognitive Science. Elected courses must be taught by faculty in the minor program or approved in advance by the Director of Graduate Studies for Cognitive Science. Courses in the student's major department do not count toward the minor.

Completion Requirements and Standards

Students must maintain academic standards in accordance with Graduate School requirements. No more than one course in which a grade of 'C' was obtained may be used for credits in the minor program. No course in which a grade of 'D' or 'F' was obtained is acceptable for the minor.


Updated August 16, 2013