B.A. in Cognitive Science

Major Code: CG25

The department offers both a B.A. and a B.S. degree. The B.S. requires completion of a slightly more rigorous course work. The B.S. degree may be taken optionally with a specified area of specialization. There is also an honors program for exceptional students in both degree programs.

So What's the Difference?

Getting a B.S., rather than a B.A., requires that you take more lower division classes and more specific major approved upper division classes. If you choose the B.S., you have the option of specializing in one of five areas: Clinical Aspects of Cognition, Design and Interaction, Language and Culture, Machine Learning and Neural Computation, and Neuroscience. If you choose to specialize, four of your six electives must be on the list of approved courses for that specialization. If you are particularly interested in one area of cognitive science, we strongly recommend that you specialize in that area since it is likely that the only difference in course work between a B.A. and a B.S. with a specialization is one or two more lower division classes.

Major Requirements

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Lower Division Requirements

(9 courses, 36 units)


  • Math 10A, 10B, 10C
  • OR Math 20A, 20B, 18

* Students intending to take Cogs 118A, B, C, or D are advised to take Math 20-A-B-C-E, 18, and 180A before their junior year.

Cognitive Science

  • Introduction: Cogs 1
  • Design: Cogs 10 or Dsgn 1
  • Methods: Cogs 13, 14A
  • Neuroscience: Cogs 17
  • Programming: Cogs 18 or Cse (7 or 8A or 11)

Upper Division Requirements

(12 courses, 48 units)

Core (choose any 6 courses)

  • Distributed Cognition: Cogs 100
  • Fundamental Cognitive Phenomena: Cogs 101A, 101B, 101C
  • Cognitive Neuroscience: Cogs 107A, 107B, 107C
  • Computation: Cogs 108

Electives (6 courses)

  • A total of 6 electives are required, where at least 3 of the 6 electives must be taken within the Cognitive Science department.
  • One course in the Cognitive Science 19X series may be used as an elective to satisfy the elective requirements but only with the approval of both the instructor who supervised the course and the undergraduate advisor.
  • Cogs 160 may only be used once for an elective.

Approved Electives (PDF)

Approved Specialization Electives (PDF)


Courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade (with the exception of 195, 198, and 199 which are only offered on a P/NP basis). A minimum grade of C- is required for all courses.