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Cognitive Science B.A.

Geography & Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 32 to 39
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary attempt to understand the mind, especially the human mind (with the prospect of creating artificial minds as a hopeful next step). Understanding the mind and intelligence has long been a goal that seemed out of reach. The mind, consciousness, intelligence, and the related phenomena have been addressed by researchers in many areas including philosophy, psychology, linguistics, medicine, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. These disciplines have very different histories and at universities are often separated by distance and academic culture. However, in the past 30 years, there has been a convergence of these disciplines on a few research paradigms: computational models of perception and reasoning, connectionism, and embodied cognition. It is now possible to form a more complete understanding of minds by drawing on contributions from all these disciplines, and a great deal of progress has been made. This has led to the rise at many universities of interdisciplinary programs in Cognitive Science. The programs exploit the insights that come from a variety of disciplinary approaches to understanding a single phenomenon: cognition. More specifically, Cognitive Science aims to understand the nature and development of such capacities as consciousness, perception, information processing, language acquisition and processing, planning, reasoning, learning, representation and use of knowledge, and problem-solving, whether these capacities are realized in biological or artificial systems. The major looks to the theoretical foundations, the substantive empirical results, and the methodological tools of contributing disciplines (see Program Requirements). The hope is that by combining the methods and results of all these branches, we will be able to provide a global understanding of the mind, how it works, and why it works that way. Graduates of the program will be prepared for study in one of the many recently developed graduate Cognitive Science programs (including the Ph.D. offered at the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) as well as graduate study in related programs such as cognition, brain and behavior, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction. Those who choose to study the law, a path frequently chosen by Philosophy majors, will be well suited for legal practice concerned with the variety of legal complexities associated with the development of these new technologies.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. A second field of study (either a minor, another major or dual degree). 2. Study abroad is encouraged for all students and the department makes every effort to facilitate such experiences.
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
Core Requirements (7 cr)
PHIL 1025 - Introduction to Cognitive Science [NAT SCI] (3.0 cr)
COG 4900 - Cognitive Science Seminar (4.0 cr)
Required Electives (21 - 28 cr)
Students are advised to review course pre-requisites for upper division electives and plan accordingly. SEVEN courses across the listed subject areas with the following stipulations: FOUR courses maximum may come from any one listed subject area. Courses must draw from at least THREE different listed subjects’ areas.
Take 7 or more course(s) totaling 21 - 28 credit(s) from the following:
Cognitive Science
Two different topic courses may be applied.
Take 0 - 2 course(s) from the following:
· COG 3195 - Special Topics in Cognitive Science:(Various Titles to be Assigned) (3.0 cr)
· Communication Sciences and Disorders
Take 0 - 2 course(s) from the following:
· CSD 2230 - Introduction to Human Communication Disorders [LE CAT8, LECD CAT08, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
· CSD 4150 - Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology in Communication Sciences and Disorders (3.0 cr)
· Computer Science
Take 0 - 3 course(s) from the following:
· CS 5541 - Artificial Intelligence (4.0 cr)
· CS 5751 - Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Mining (4.0 cr)
· CS 5761 - Introduction to Natural Language Processing (4.0 cr)
· Linguistics
Take 0 - 4 course(s) from the following:
· LING 1811 - Introduction to Linguistics [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (3.0 cr)
· LING 3102 - Syntax (3.0 cr)
· LING 3103 - Semantics and Pragmatics (3.0 cr)
· LING 4103 - Morphology: Word Structures and Rules (3.0 cr)
· LING 4105 - Cognitive Linguistics (3.0 cr)
· Medicine
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· BMS 5101 - Principles of Neuroscience (4.0 cr)
· Philosophy
Take 0 - 4 course(s) from the following:
· PHIL 1018 - Logic [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 2011 - Philosophy of Language [LE CAT3, SOC SCI] (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 3570 - Philosophy of Psychology (4.0 cr)
· PHIL 3575 - Philosophy and Cognitive Science (3.0 cr)
· Psychology
Students interested in applying for any PSY 5xxx level course should review the course pre-requisites and submit an exception form to the department.
Take 0 - 4 course(s) from the following:
· PSY 2021 - Developmental Psychology [LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY] (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3061 - Physiological Psychology (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3121 - Abnormal Psychology (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3611 - Learning and Behavior (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3613 - Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Change (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3621 - Cognition (4.0 cr)
· PSY 3661 - Psychology of Language (3.0 cr)
· PSY 3697 - Sensation and Perception (4.0 cr)
· PSY 5130 - Evolutionary Psychology (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5131 - Mind-Body Connection (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5621 - Cognition and Emotion (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5631 - Biological Bases of Behavior (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing (3 cr)
WRIT 3140 - Advanced Writing: Human Services (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 3160 - Advanced Writing: Social Sciences (3.0 cr)
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02403 - EHS 1000/UST 1000
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD. Credit will not be granted if already received for EHS 1000.
PHIL 1025 - Introduction to Cognitive Science (NAT SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
The Cognitive Sciences investigate the mind from an interdisciplinary perspective using resources from such diverse disciplines as psychology, philosophy, computer science, and neuroscience. This class provides a general introduction to prominent theories/themes from Cognitive Sciences as well as a more detailed investigation of various select topics.
COG 4900 - Cognitive Science Seminar
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
A detailed examination of a topic from Cognitive Science that will be explored using the theories, resources, and methods of multiple disciplines from within Cognitive Science. Examples of possible topics include: language, perception, consciousness, artificial intelligence, and reasoning. pre-req: PHIL 1025
COG 3195 - Special Topics in Cognitive Science:(Various Titles to be Assigned)
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Selected topics that fall outside currently offered courses. Topic announced before course offered. pre-req: PHIL 1025
CSD 2230 - Introduction to Human Communication Disorders (LE CAT8, LECD CAT08, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Receptive and expressive human communication disorders. Importance of communication to human behavior; influence that communication disorders exert on broad spectrum of human activities. Professional roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
CSD 4150 - Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course covers the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the human brain as a foundation for understanding communication and swallowing disorders as well as their diagnosis and treatment. Students will learn about the anatomy of the brain, the basic physiology of nerve cells, the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and their specific contributions to human cognition, communication, and swallowing functions. prereq: 3103, 3150, 3160 or instructor consent; no grad credit
CS 5541 - Artificial Intelligence
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Principles and programming methods of artificial intelligence. Knowledge representation methods, state space search strategies, and use of logic for problem solving. Applications chosen from among expert systems, planning, natural language understanding, uncertainty reasoning, machine learning, and robotics. Lectures and labs will utilize suitable high-level languages (e.g., Python or Lisp). prereq: 2511, (2531 or 3512 or MATH 3355) or instructor consent, a grade of C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses
CS 5751 - Introduction to Machine Learning and Data Mining
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to primary approaches to machine learning and data mining. Methods selected from decision trees, neural networks, statistical learning, genetic algorithms, support vector machines, ensemble methods, and reinforcement learning. Theoretical concepts associated with learning, such as inductive bias and Occam's razor. prereq: 2511, 2531 or 3512 or MATH 3355, Stat 3611, (Math 3326 or 4326) or instructor consent; a grade of C- or better is required in all prerequisite courses
CS 5761 - Introduction to Natural Language Processing
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Techniques for creating computer programs that analyze, generate, and understand natural human language. Topics include syntactic analysis, semantic interpretation, and discourse processing. Applications selected from speech recognition, conversational agents, machine translation, and language generation. Substantial programming project required. prereq: CS 2511, (2531 or 3512 or MATH 3355) or instructor consent; a grade of C- or better is required in the prerequisite course
LING 1811 - Introduction to Linguistics (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Provides an introduction to a theoretical study of the nature of natural language, using examples primarily from present-day English. Students are expected to learn analytical skills to understand how human languages (and the human mind) work and how the sub-components (sounds, words, sentences and meaning) of natural languages are systematically organized.
LING 3102 - Syntax
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Deals with how sentences are structured. After discussing lexical categories (parts of speech) and phrasal structures from a scientific perspective, several different theories are introduced under the blanket name Generative Grammar. Based on Generative Grammar, students learn how to analyze English sentence structures to understand universal properties of natural language. prereq: 1811 or instructor consent
LING 3103 - Semantics and Pragmatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will provide an introduction to the study of what is said (semantics) and what is meant (pragmatics) in natural language. It will provide an introduction to set theory, first- and higher- order logic, and lexical semantics. It will also cover pragmatic topics such as presupposition, implicature, and speech act theory. Beyond these basic topics, the course will focus on specific sub-topics from time to time such as negation, reference, information structure, reported speech, genre, and so on. prereq: 1811
LING 4103 - Morphology: Word Structures and Rules
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01649 - Ling 4103/5103
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
An introductory survey course on linguistic morphology that examines key concepts used to describe and explain the internal structures of words, and also deals with the central word formation processes across the typologically different languages. This theoretical knowledge acquired is then applied to the analysis of word formation in various discourse domains in present-day English and non-Indo-European languages. prereq: 1811, no grad credit
LING 4105 - Cognitive Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
As a general introduction to theoretical linguistics - specifically the framework of cognitive linguistics - this course consists of three main parts. The first part provides an overview of some of the main aims, assumptions, and commitments of cognitive linguistics enterprise, and provides an indicative sketch of some of the descriptive analyses and theoretical positions that are representative of cognitive linguistics. Based on this theoretical background, the next two parts focus on the two best-developed research frameworks in cognitive linguistics: cognitive semantics (meaning), and the cognitive approach to grammar (structure). Students will also learn the difference between cognitive approaches to linguistics and the mainstream generative approach. pre-req: LING 1811; no grad credit
BMS 5101 - Principles of Neuroscience
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of Neuroscience is an introductory course to general neuroscience that will review the organization and function of the nervous system, from its cellular constituents to circuits and the emerging properties of the brain. The course will start with a description of cell types, ion channels, neurotransmitters and their receptors, and the generation of action potentials. Then, we will review the development of the nervous system and the generation of circuits. Next, we will review each of the senses and how this sensory input is transformed into how we perceive the world. The next section will focus on the motor system, including central motor neurons, relaxes, and motor control in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. The last section will be dedicated to complex functions of the brain, including consciousness, emotion, memory, hemostasis, circadian rhythms, and how genes control behavior. Throughout the course, we will review neurological and psychiatric disorders and discuss the genetic and cellular bases of this perturbation. The course will also include the review of techniques in modem neuroscience and journal club of the review of controversial topics in modern neuroscience. pre-req: PSY 3621, PSY 3061 or BIOL 3100, can be co-enrolled in PSY 3621 or PSY 3061
PHIL 1018 - Logic (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01433 - Phil 1018/1118
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to symbolic logic. Nature of language, species of arguments, informal versus formal arguments, techniques of translation, methods of sentential logic, and methods of predicate logic.
PHIL 2011 - Philosophy of Language (LE CAT3, SOC SCI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Introduction to theories of meaning and truth and the structure of language. Relation of language to thought and the world; semantics and syntax; speech acts and performative utterances; descriptions and reference; and structuralism and the possibility of objective knowledge. prereq: Course in logic or literary analysis or human communication or CS or math or instructor consent
PHIL 3570 - Philosophy of Psychology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Current philosophical issues surrounding psychology: behaviorism, dualism, mind/brain identity theories, computer models of cognition, and functionalism. prereq: 1001 or Psy 1003, 60 cr or instructor consent
PHIL 3575 - Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
This course will explore various topics at the intersection of Philosophy and Cognitive Science. In some cases, these topics may be about how various theories and ideas from Philosophy have influenced work in the Cognitive Science. For instance, certain ideas about the nature and limits of computation from Philosophical Logic lay down the theoretical foundations for treating the mind as a type of computer, while various influential Philosophical arguments against computational models of the mind continue to shape the discussion of topics such as consciousness and rationality. In other cases, topics explored in the class may be about how various theories and experimental results from Cognitive Science have influenced Philosophical theorizing. (For instance, certain experimental results from neuroscience have called into question that claim that we free will and recent evidence from both neuroimaging and developmental psychology have influenced Philosophical work being done on the nature of morality.) pre-req: 1025
PSY 2021 - Developmental Psychology (LE CAT6, LECD CAT06, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Major processes in human development, conception through lifespan; biological and cultural influences on physical-motor, cognitive, social, and emotional development; effects of diverse cultural traditions and values; social policy implications.
PSY 3061 - Physiological Psychology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Physiological basis of behavior, including central and peripheral nervous systems, sensory processes as they relate to perception, cognition, emotion, motivation, intelligence, and learning. prereq: 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 3121 - Abnormal Psychology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Mental disorders, including DSM-IV classification system, etiology, and treatment. prereq: 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 3611 - Learning and Behavior
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Study of basic learning and behavior processes including the evolution of behavior, pavlovian conditioning, instrumental learning, and elementary cognitive processes. prereq: 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 3613 - Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Change
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Overview of diverse topics and application of the principles of the science of behavior known as behavior analysis. The philosophical system known as behaviorism that underlies this area of study will be explored, as well as the application of behavioral principles to a number of areas of society, including interpersonal relationship, parenting, clinical applications and treatments for persons with intellectual and other disabilities, business and management, animal behavior, health, sustainability, and more. Students will learn techniques for utilizing the principles of behavior in their own lives, conducting functional behavior assessments, as well as the social benefits associated with the incorporation of behavioral principles into educational, rehabilitative, organizational, and other settings. prereq: 1003
PSY 3621 - Cognition
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
An overview of cognitive processes, using historical, philosophical, biological, and experimental perspectives. Course topics include attention, perception, knowledge representation memory, language, thinking, reasoning, and decision-making. prereq: 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 3661 - Psychology of Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Psychological processes underlying comprehension, production, and acquisition of language(s); cognitive, social, biological, and educational perspectives on language and their applications. prereq: 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 3697 - Sensation and Perception
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theories, methods, and findings in study of sensory and perceptual processes; psychophysics and psychophysiology of visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, cutaneous, kinesthetic, vestibular, and pain senses; analysis of perceptions of constancy, illusion, space, time, motion, and form. pre-req: PSY 1003 or instructor consent
PSY 5130 - Evolutionary Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Evolution and the theory of natural selection as it applies to behavioral processes, e.g., survival, mating strategies, parenting and family, cooperation and conflict. prereq: psychology graduate student or instructor consent
PSY 5131 - Mind-Body Connection
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Examination of interface between biological and psychological development associated with risks for substance abuse, depression, and conduct disorders; potential commonality of mechanisms. Topics may include communication between brain and endocrine systems, evolution of the brain, homosexuality, psychoneuroimmunology, and psychopharmacology.
PSY 5621 - Cognition and Emotion
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Students in this course will read and discuss scholarly reviews and journal articles on theories, research methodology, and topics central to the scientific study of human cognition, emotion, and their applications. There will be discussions on the models of cognitive (perception, memory, language, thinking, and reasoning) and emotional processes and their interrelatedness. Consideration will be given to how these contemporary models are developed and evaluated through empirical studies. Finally, how these theoretical models can be applied to educational, clinical, legal, and workplace settings will be examined. prereq: psychology graduate student or instructor consent
PSY 5631 - Biological Bases of Behavior
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Understanding how communication within the body (neuronal, endocrinological, immunological) affects behavior and psychological processes and how these systems interact to influence these processes. Examining how perturbations within these systems lead to mental illness and/or problematic behaviors. How psychoactive drugs affect these systems, with respect to clinical treatment and abuse. The neurological mechanisms of reward and drug dependence (withdrawal, cravings) will be investigated. prereq: psychology grad student or instructor consent
WRIT 3140 - Advanced Writing: Human Services
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study and practice of writing tasks in education as well as other fields related to the human service professions. Designed to prepare students to master their use of Edited Standard Written English while producing professional documents, including a major research project with an oral presentation. Assignments focus on audience, purpose, and the process of writing as they relate to the workplace. pre-req: 1) WRIT 1120 or MNTC completed 2) minimum 60 credits earned
WRIT 3150 - Advanced Writing: Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study and practice of writing tasks in science, including oral presentations. Exploration of rhetorical situations in professional practice, including research methods, document design, editing, effective collaboration, and ethical issues in the production of professional documents, such as instructions, lab reports, proposals, short and long reports, and career documents. prereq: 1) WRIT 1120 or MNTC completed 2) minimum 60 credits earned
WRIT 3160 - Advanced Writing: Social Sciences
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study and practice of writing for those whose professional interests are in sociology, anthropology, geography, criminology, psychology, women's studies, history, political science, and similar fields. Assignments center on producing documents encountered in the workplace, such as career documents, proposals, research projects, oral presentations, observational studies, and position papers. pre-req: 1) WRIT 1120 or MNTC completed 2) minimum 60 credits earned