May 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cognitive Science BA

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“Cognitive science called to me because it took every academic interest and showed me a real-life application,” said one UB student. “It’s a means of not just studying people, but making a difference in those people’s lives.”

Think about how you understand the words you’re reading right now. Consider what makes you smart, what makes you creative, or how we decide what “intelligence” means in people and machines. 

If you want to explore these types of questions-and use the answers to make the world a better place-then cognitive science might be right for you.

Visit the Cognitive Science academic program page for more information about the academic experience, who you will learn from, opportunities outside of class and what you can do with this degree.

Visit the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary department page  for contact information, a brief overview of the department and the curricular options.

Admission Criteria

Current UB students seeking admission to the Cognitive Science BA will be added to the major upon request by completing the College of Arts and Sciences Major/Minor Change Request Form.

Course Requirements

Cognitive Science Core (6 credits)

Seven Advanced Courses (21-28 credits)

No more than four courses may come from a single department. No more than two courses may be used to fulfill requirements for another major or degree.  Many advanced courses have prerequisites, therefore students are advised to confirm eligibility. One course may be replaced with a 3-credit research activity (498) or independent study (499) administered by one of the participating departments below and approved by the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program.



*Continuation in the major will be contingent on completing PSY 342  with a minimum grade of B-

Total Credits Required for Major: 42-54

Additional Degree Requirements Include:

  • Additional coursework to fulfill UB Curriculum requirements
  • Elective courses as needed to complete the 120 credit hour total

Total Credits Required for Graduation: 120

Total Credit Hours Required represents the minimum credits needed to complete this program, and may vary based on a number of circumstances. This chart should not be used for financial aid purposes.

Academic Requirements

Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.000 in the major. All courses taken by a student that are included in the Cognitive Science curriculum will be used in calculation of the major GPA. For example, if a curriculum requires a student to select two courses from a particular section and the student completes three courses from that section, all three courses would be used to calculate a student’s major GPA.  

Each course taken may be counted only once and applied toward only one requirement (e.g., PHI 320 may be taken as a core courses or applied to the advanced course section, but not both). Many courses in the advanced course section have prerequisite requirements. For more information students should check individual course descriptions in the undergraduate catalog and/or speak with the Cognitive Science advisor. The Cognitive Science major may not be combined with any other major to form a joint major. Students pursuing a double major may use a maximum of two advanced (300- or 400-level) courses toward both majors. For example, a student completing a double major between Cognitive Science and Psychology may apply only two advanced level psychology courses toward completion of the Cognitive Science major.

Transfer Credit Policy

For students not continuously registered at UB or who are newly admitted transfer students, courses taken more than 10 years prior to the date of admission or readmission to the University may constitute no more than 20% of the coursework applied to the Cognitive Science major. Students who have more than 20% of course work over 10 years old will be required to complete additional courses in the major. At least 50 percent of coursework toward the major must be completed at UB.

Program Distinction

A student in this major is eligible for Program Distinction upon degree conferral if the criteria are met. Criteria are found under Academic Honors in the Policy and Procedure section of this Catalog. Program Distinction is noted on the official transcript.

Curricular Plan

A Curricular Plan provides a roadmap for completing this academic program and the UB Curriculum on time. Your actual plan may vary depending on point of entry to the university, course placement and/or waivers based on standardized test scores, earned alternative credit and/or college transfer credit.

First Year Fall

Total Credits: 15 or 16

First Year Spring

  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Core Course Credits: 3
  • Math and Quantitative Reasoning Credits: 3
  • Credits: 4  OR  Pathway Credits: 3

Total Credits: 16 or 17

Second Year Fall

  • Core Course Credits: 3
  • Core Course Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Pathway Credits: 3
  • Scientific Literacy 1 Credits: 3

Total Credits: 15

Second Year Spring

Total Credits: 14

Third Year Fall

Total Credits: 16

Third Year Spring

Total Credits: 16

Fourth Year Fall

Total Credits: 13

Fourth Year Spring

  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 3
  • Elective Credits: 2

Total Credits: 14

Total Credits Required: 120

Note: Some classes may count toward both a major and UB Curriculum requirement.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this concentration students will be able to:

  • Understand several social scientific approaches to cognitive science.
  • Identify how cognition changes through the life cycle.
  • Identify and use computational models of human cognition and perception processes.
  • Apply symbolic and connectionist methods and the theory of computation.
  • Understand cognition apart from physiological implementation. 
  • Identify and use abstract principles of thought.
  • Identify language phenomena at the elementary physiological level through its abstract characterization.
  • Understand how the brain implements thought, sensation, perception and consciousness .
  • Identify symbolic information systems across disciplines and manipulate traditional information processing approaches.


(HEGIS: 20.00 , CIP30.2501 Cognitive Science, General)


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