Cognitive Science Major

Cognitive Science Major Requirements

The undergraduate degree program in cognitive science is a program offering a course of study leading to the bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. Fifteen courses (75 credits) are required. Because some courses have additional prerequisites, students should read the descriptions of courses carefully, noting the prerequisites for courses of interest to them.

Major Admission Requirements

Students may petition to declare the cognitive science major once they have completed the lower-division requirements. For students to be admitted to the major, they must have a 2.80 or higher cumulative grade-point average (GPA) in the lower-division requirements and receive a C or better in each of the courses. Transfer students may substitute equivalent courses from other institutions. Students not meeting the grade requirements in the lower-division courses may take any of the listed alternatives as substitutions; the department will use the highest grade to compute GPA.

Lower-Division Requirements:

PSYC 2, Introduction to Psychological Statistics (or AMS 5 or AMS 7/L) 

PSYC 20, Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Calculus (one of AMS 11A, MATH 11A, 19A or 20A)

Computer Programming (one of CMPE 13/L, CMPS 5C, 5J, 5P, 12A)

Upper-Division Requirements:

PSYC 100, Research Methods in Psychology (7 credits)

Core Courses — students must complete three of the following:

PSYC 120 or 121, Perception

PSYC 123, Behavioral Neuroscience

PSYC 125, Psychology of Language

PSYC 129, Human Learning and Memory

Cognitive Psychology Electives - students must complete three additional upper-division Psychology courses from the following list. One of the core courses that is not used to satisfy the core courses requirement may be used to satisfy this requirement:

Any of PSYC 120-139 (i.e., the "Cognitive Series")

PSYC 104, Development in Infancy

PSYC 105, Children's Thinking

PSYC 119E, World of Babies

PSYC 119F, Language Development

PSYC 119P, Children and Technology

PSYC 181, Psychological Data Analysis

PSYC 194B, Advanced Cognitive Research

PSYC 195A, Senior Thesis

PSYC 204-252, graduate cognitive courses, by petition

Interdisciplinary Electives — students must complete four interdisciplinary electives from lists of courses pre-approved by the Psychology Department. The electives fall into four groups: Evolution; Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction; Linguistics; Philosophy. Three of the four electives must be selected from the same group. Students are responsible for planning their course of study to complete any necessary prerequisites for electives they wish to take. Possible sequences of interdisciplinary courses, including prerequisites, are given below.

Group 1: Evolution

Group 2: Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction

Group 3: Linguistics

Group 4: Philosophy

See the 2nd page of the worksheet for current list of approved interdisciplinary electives.

Senior Comprehensive Requirement

UCSC requires that every student satisfy a senior exit/comprehensive requirement prior to graduation. Cognitive Science students will satisfy this requirement by receiving a passing grade in either a cognitive seminar (PSYC 139A-G, PSYC 119E, F, P), or research experience (PSYC 194B, Advanced Cognitive Research, or PSYC 195, Senior Thesis).

Students who elect to use PSYC 194B or PSYC 195 to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement, will still need to complete a senior seminar to satisfy the DC requirement

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Cognitive Science Major Worksheet

The Cognitive Science Major Worksheet may be found here.

Cognitive Science Major Sample Academic Plans

Take a look at these sample academic plans - one for those who came to UCSC as Frosh and one for transfer students. 

Sample Cognitive Science Major Frosh Plan

Sample Cognitive Science Major Transfer Plan

Create your own academic plan with this blank form.

LETTER GRADE NOTE: Courses graded C-, D or F may NOT be used to satisfy major/minor requirements.