Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Cognitive Science Ph.D.

CLA Dean's Office
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesota, 205 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-626-3570; fax: 612-626-7253)
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 63
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
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. 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. It 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. The Ph.D. program trains cognitive scientists to conduct research integrating methodologies and content knowledge from a variety of approaches. In order to ensure an interdisciplinary approach, each student has two co-advisors from the cognitive science graduate faculty, each representing a different discipline from within the cognitive sciences.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must apply through the University's online application system. They must submit a completed application, scores from the GRE, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support should apply no later than December 1 of the preceding academic year. Entry is usually in fall semester but may be permitted in other semesters in exceptional cases.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
39 credits are required in the major.
0 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 39 credits, in addition to 24 thesis credits. Students are required to take two core courses with a CGSC designator, as well as 3 credits of independent study related to research. Responsible Conduct of Research training is required and is integrated into the two core courses taken by all students. Other course requirements are distributed among component disciplines and fields. Courses are intended to provide a foundation for the student's research program. Students are expected to conduct two research projects prior to taking their preliminary written exams. A report on the first-year research project should be concluded by the first term of the second year. A report on the second-year research project should be completed by the second term of the third year. The preliminary written exams will typically be (but are not necessarily) expansions of the first- and second-year research projects. The two Ph.D. written preliminary projects are expected to be of near publishable quality. As entry into the Ph.D. program assumes no previous graduate work, students who enter the program with an M.A. or other graduate coursework in a cognitive science-related discipline may apply credits from their previous graduate work towards the required 46 credits.
Introduction to Cognitive Science
CGSC 8000 - Seminar: Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences (3.0 cr)
or CGSC 8041 - Cognitive Neuroscience (4.0 cr)
or An appropriate substitute approved by the DGS.
Major Electives
Students must take at least 3 credits from each of the 5 disciplines listed below and take a total of at least 30 credits.
Cognitive Psychology
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PSY 5014 - Psychology of Human Learning and Memory (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5015 - Cognition, Computation, and Brain (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5062 - Cognitive Neuropsychology (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5064 - Brain and Emotion (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5137 - Introduction to Behavioral Genetics (3.0 cr)
· PSY 8010 - Advanced Topics in Learning (3.0 cr)
· PSY 8031 - Seminar: Visual Perception (2.0 cr)
· PSY 8036 - Topics in Computational Vision (3.0 cr)
· PSY 8055 - Seminar: Cognitive Neuroscience (3.0 cr)
· PSY 8056 - Seminar: Psychology of Language (3.0 cr)
· PSY 8201 - Social Cognition (3.0 cr)
· EPSY 8116 - Reading for Meaning: Cognitive Processes in the Comprehension of Texts (3.0 cr)
· EPSY 8117 - Writing Empirical Paper and Research/Grant Proposals in Education and Psychology (3.0 cr)
· CPSY 8301 - Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Processes (4.0 cr)
· EEB 5322 - Evolution and Animal Cognition (3.0 cr)
Computer Science
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSCI 5421 - Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5511 - Artificial Intelligence I (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5521 - Introduction to Machine Learning (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5525 - Machine Learning (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5561 - Computer Vision (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8115 - Human-Computer Interaction and User Interface Technology (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8211 - Advanced Computer Networks and Their Applications (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8442 - Computational Geometry and Applications (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8551 - Intelligent Agents (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 8725 - Databases for Bioinformatics (3.0 cr)
Linguistics
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
· LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I (3.0 cr)
· LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II (3.0 cr)
· LING 5205 - Semantics (3.0 cr)
· LING 5206 - Linguistic Pragmatics (3.0 cr)
· LING 5801 - Introduction to Computational Linguistics (3.0 cr)
· LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics (3.0 cr)
· LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax (3.0 cr)
· LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics (3.0 cr)
· LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition (3.0 cr)
Neuroscience
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· NSC 5202 - Theoretical Neuroscience: Systems and Information Processing (3.0 cr)
· NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (4.0 cr)
· NSC 5561 - Systems Neuroscience (4.0 cr)
· NSC 8217 - Systems and Computational Neuroscience (2.0 cr)
Philosophy
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· PHIL 4615 - Minds, Bodies, and Machines (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 8131 - Epistemology Survey (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 8180 - Seminar: Philosophy of Language (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 8182 - Formal Semantics of Natural Language (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 8620 - Seminar: Philosophy of the Biological Sciences (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 8670 - Seminar: Philosophy of Science (3.0 cr)
 
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Liberal Arts

View PDF Version:
Search.
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

College of Liberal Arts

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
 
CGSC 8000 - Seminar: Philosophy of the Cognitive Sciences
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00956 - CgSc 8000/Phil 8640
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Philosophical framework for analyzing cognitive sciences. Recent developments in metaphysics and epistemology. Nature of scientific theories, methodologies of cognitive sciences, relations among cognitive sciences, relation of cognitive science to epistemology and various philosophical problems. prereq: Grad cog sci minor or instr consent
CGSC 8041 - Cognitive Neuroscience
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01636 - CgSc 8041/NSC 8041
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Relations between brain activity and cognitive function in mammals. Working memory, attention, decision processing, executive function, categorization, planning, sequence processing. Behavioral/physiological perspectives. Disruption of cognitive function following brain damage. Extracellular recording of single neuron activity in nonhuman primates. Functional neuroimaging/magnetoencephalography in humans. prereq: instr consent
PSY 5014 - Psychology of Human Learning and Memory
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Human memory encoding/retrieval. How we adaptively use memory. Brain systems that support memory. Episodic/semantic memory. Working/short-term memory. Procedural memory. Repetition priming. Prospective remembering. Autobiographical memory. prereq: 3011 or 3051 or honors or grad student
PSY 5015 - Cognition, Computation, and Brain
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Human cognitive abilities (perception, memory, attention) from different perspectives (e.g., cognitive psychological approach, cognitive neuroscience approach). prereq: [Honors or grad] or [[jr or sr], [3011 or 3031 or 3051 or 3061]] or instr consent
PSY 5062 - Cognitive Neuropsychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Consequences of different types of brain damage on human perception/cognition. Neural mechanisms of normal perceptual/cognitive functions. Vision/attention disorders, split brain, language deficits, memory disorders, central planning deficits. Emphasizes function/phenomenology. Minimal amount of brain anatomy. prereq: Grad or [[jr or sr], [3011 or 3031 or 3051 or 3061]] or instr consent
PSY 5064 - Brain and Emotion
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Introduction to affective neuroscience. How brain promotes emotional/motivated behavior in animals/humans. Biological theories of emotion in historical/current theoretical contexts. Fundamental brain motivational systems, including fear, pleasure, attachment, stress, and regulation of motivated behavior. Implications for emotional development, vulnerability to psychiatric disorders. prereq: 3061 or 5061 or instr consent
PSY 5137 - Introduction to Behavioral Genetics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Genetic methods for studying human/animal behavior. Emphasizes nature/origin of individual differences in behavior. Twin and adoption methods. Cytogenetics, molecular genetics, linkage/association studies. prereq: 3001W or equiv or instr consent
PSY 8010 - Advanced Topics in Learning
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Contemporary topics in learning and behavior theory. prereq: 5012 or instr consent
PSY 8031 - Seminar: Visual Perception
Credits: 2.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Cognitive, psychological, neurophysiological determinants of visual perception. Current research. prereq: 5031 or instr consent
PSY 8036 - Topics in Computational Vision
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Recent research in visual psychophysics, visual neuroscience, and computer vision. prereq: 5031 or 5036 or equiv or instr consent
PSY 8055 - Seminar: Cognitive Neuroscience
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Recent advances in analysis of neural bases of cognitive functions. prereq: 5015 or instr consent
PSY 8056 - Seminar: Psychology of Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Selected topics in psycholinguistics. prereq: Grad psych major or instr consent
PSY 8201 - Social Cognition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Social psychological theory/research on social inference and reasoning processes. Psychology of prejudice/stereotyping. prereq: Psych PhD candidate
EPSY 8116 - Reading for Meaning: Cognitive Processes in the Comprehension of Texts
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Cognitive processes that take place during reading comprehension/implications of these processes for instruction/assessment.
EPSY 8117 - Writing Empirical Paper and Research/Grant Proposals in Education and Psychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Scientific writing skills. Focuses on logic/argumentation. Each student produces an empirical paper or research proposal. Breaks down the writing process into components: one component per week. Each week, students write a section of their paper/proposal and critique others'. prereq: instr consent
CPSY 8301 - Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Processes
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Perceptual, motor, cognitive, and language development, and biological bases of each. Conceptual framework of research issues. prereq: Doctoral student, instr consent
EEB 5322 - Evolution and Animal Cognition
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Animal cognitive abilities. Learning, perception, memory, navigation, and communication from evolutionary/comparative perspective. Cognitive abilities as adaptations that solve specific environmental problems. Empirical methods for assessing cognitive abilities. Emphasizes parsimonious interpretations of data. Controversial topics such as animal intelligence, animal language and whether non-human animals have a "theory of mind." prereq: Biol 3411 or Psy 3061 or instr consent
CSCI 5421 - Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Fundamental paradigms of algorithm and data structure design. Divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, greedy method, graph algorithms, amortization, priority queues and variants, search structures, disjoint-set structures. Theoretical underpinnings. Examples from various problem domains. prereq: 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5511 - Artificial Intelligence I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01666
Prerequisites: [2041 or #], grad student
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to AI. Problem solving, search, inference techniques. Logic/theorem proving. Knowledge representation, rules, frames, semantic networks. Planning/scheduling. Lisp programming language. prereq: [2041 or instr consent], grad student
CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theory, design, programming, and evaluation of interactive application interfaces. Human capabilities and limitations, interface design and engineering, prototyping and interface construction, interface evaluation, and topics such as data visualization and World Wide Web. Course is built around a group project. prereq: 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5521 - Introduction to Machine Learning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Problems of pattern recognition, feature selection, measurement techniques. Statistical decision theory, nonstatistical techniques. Automatic feature selection/data clustering. Syntactic pattern recognition. Mathematical pattern recognition/artificial intelligence. prereq: [[2031 or 2033], STAT 3021] or instr consent
CSCI 5525 - Machine Learning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Models of learning. Supervised algorithms such as perceptrons, logistic regression, and large margin methods (SVMs, boosting). Hypothesis evaluation. Learning theory. Online algorithms such as winnow and weighted majority. Unsupervised algorithms, dimensionality reduction, spectral methods. Graphical models. prereq: Grad student or instr consent
CSCI 5561 - Computer Vision
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Issues in perspective transformations, edge detection, image filtering, image segmentation, and feature tracking. Complex problems in shape recovery, stereo, active vision, autonomous navigation, shadows, and physics-based vision. Applications. prereq: 5511 or instr consent
CSCI 8115 - Human-Computer Interaction and User Interface Technology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Current research issues in human-computer interaction, user interface toolkits and frameworks, and related areas. Research techniques, model-based development, gesture-based interfaces, constraint-based programming, event processing models, innovative systems, HCI in multimedia systems. prereq: 5115 or instr consent
CSCI 8211 - Advanced Computer Networks and Their Applications
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Current research issues in traffic and resource management, quality-of-service provisioning for integrated services networks (such as next-generation Internet and ATM networks) and multimedia networking. prereq: 5211 or instr consent
CSCI 8442 - Computational Geometry and Applications
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Designing efficient algorithms and data structures for geometric problems. Models of computation, convex hulls, geometric duality, multidimensional search, Voronoi diagrams and Delauney triangulations, linear programming in fixed dimensions, lower bound techniques. Applications, advanced topics. prereq: 5421 or instr consent
CSCI 8551 - Intelligent Agents
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Theories of intelligent agents. Agent architectures; knowledge representation, communication, cooperation, and negotiation among multiple agents; planning and learning; issues in designing agents with a physical body; dealing with sensors and actuators; world modeling. prereq: 5511 or instr consent
CSCI 8725 - Databases for Bioinformatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
DBMS support for biological databases, data models. Searching integrated public domain databases. Queries/analyses, DBMS extensions, emerging applications. prereq: 4707 or 5707 or instr consent
LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00099 - Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy; language and cognition.
LING 5201 - Syntactic Theory I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01958
Typically offered: Every Fall
Concepts/issues in current syntactic theory. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 5202 - Syntactic Theory II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01961 - Ling 4202/Ling 5202
Prerequisites: 4201 or 5201
Typically offered: Every Spring
Modern syntactic theory. Syntactic phenomena in various languages. Syntactic argumentation, development of constraints on grammar formalisms. prereq: 4201 or 5201
LING 5205 - Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Analysis of sentence meaning. Semantic properties. Relations such as analyticity, entailment, quantification, and genericity. Philosophical background, formal techniques of semantic analysis, how sentence meaning depends on word meaning, syntax, and context. The role of semantics in grammatical theory. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or instr consent
LING 5206 - Linguistic Pragmatics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Analysis of linguistic phenomena in relation to beliefs and intentions of language users; speech act theory, conversational implicature, presupposition, information structure, relevance theory, discourse coherence. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or instr consent
LING 5801 - Introduction to Computational Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Methods/issues in computer understanding of natural language. Programming languages, their linguistic applications. Lab projects. prereq: [4201 or 5201] or programming experience or instr consent
LING 8200 - Topics in Syntax and Semantics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Syntax and semantics of natural language, with particular emphasis on the interface between the two. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8210 - Seminar in Syntax
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Current issues in syntactic theory. Topics vary. prereq: 5202, 5205 or instr consent
LING 8900 - Seminar: Topics in Linguistics
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Prerequisites: #
Typically offered: Every Spring
Topics vary. See Class Schedule. prereq: instr consent
LING 8921 - Seminar in Language and Cognition
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Language-related issues in cognitive science from a linguistic perspective. Serves as elective for cognitive science minor, but only for linguistics nonmajors. prereq: instr consent
NSC 5202 - Theoretical Neuroscience: Systems and Information Processing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: NSc 5202/Phsl 5202
Typically offered: Every Spring
Concepts of computational/theoretical neuroscience. Distributed representations and information theory. Methods for single-cell modeling, including compartmental/integrate-and-fire models. Learning rules, including supervised, unsupervised, and reinforcement learning models. Specific systems models from current theoretical neuroscience literature. Lecture/discussion. Readings from current scientific literature. prereq: [3101, 3102W] recommended
NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Lectures by team of faculty, problem sets in important physiological concepts, discussion of original research papers. prereq: NSc grad student or instr consent
NSC 5561 - Systems Neuroscience
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of organization of neural systems forming the basis for sensation/movement. Sensory-motor/neural-endocrine integration. Relationships between structure and function in nervous system. Team taught. Lecture, laboratory. prereq: NSc grad student or instr consent
NSC 8217 - Systems and Computational Neuroscience
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced seminar. prereq: 5561 or instr consent
PHIL 4615 - Minds, Bodies, and Machines
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Mind-body problem. Philosophical relevance of cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer simulation. prereq: one course in philosophy or instr consent
PHIL 8131 - Epistemology Survey
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Survey, against background of traditional issues, of contemporary developments in theory of knowledge.
PHIL 8180 - Seminar: Philosophy of Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Topics vary by offering. prereq: 4231 or instr consent
PHIL 8182 - Formal Semantics of Natural Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 8221/Phil 8182
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Truth-conditional model-theoretic semantics applied to treatment of opacity, intensionality, quantification, and related phenomena in natural language. prereq: Phil 5201 or instr consent
PHIL 8620 - Seminar: Philosophy of the Biological Sciences
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Topics vary by offering.
PHIL 8670 - Seminar: Philosophy of Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics vary by offering. prereq: instr consent