Welcome to Carleton and your Bachelor of Cognitive Science degree program

Cognitive Science Students

First Year Course Selection Guide

Please read this degree guide prior to registering.

Your Degree Program (BCogSc General)

The Bachelor of Cognitive Science (General) – provides broad interdisciplinary training. It requires 15.0 credits and normally takes 3 years to complete*. You will take courses in Philosophy, Computational Methods, Psychology, Linguistics, and Neuroscience, as well as core courses in Cognitive Science.

*Time to completion varies, depending on course load

Your Degree Program (BCogSc Honours)

 The Bachelor of Cognitive Science (Honours) requires 20.0 credits and normally takes 4 years to complete.* The degree was designed for students who wish to study the mind by combining the methods and theories of five disciplines: psychology, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive neuroscience and computer science. The courses offered by the Institute of Cognitive Science provide integration across these areas. Students choose one of the five disciplines as an area of concentration and select one of three degree options (thesis, coursework, or project). Each concentration consists of 4.5 credits. Note also that 15.5 of the 20.0 credits required for the degree are specified by the Institute for Cognitive Science, while 4.5 credits are free credits (electives). Students in the coursework option will focus on interdisciplinary studies by taking advanced coursework in both concentration and non-concentration areas. Students in the project option will work with a small group of students undertaking a research project within the scope of the course topic. Students in the thesis option will complete a research project in their final year on a topic in Cognitive Science. For the thesis, they will work closely with a faculty supervisor.

*Time to completion varies, depending on course load

Concentration Areas

By your second or third year of study you will begin to develop your expertise in one of five areas of concentration:

  1. The Biological Foundations of Cognition
    This concentration studies how the brain achieves cognition. Your concentration course work will be in neuroscience and cognitive psychology.
  2. Cognition and Computation
    This concentration focuses on the use of computers to study cognition, and so your concentration courses will be in computer science.
  3. Cognition and Psychology
    This concentration focuses on empirical research into cognition. Your concentration courses will be in cognitive psychology.
  4. Language and Linguistics
    This concentration focuses on language and how it works in cognition. Your concentration courses will be in linguistics.
  5. Philosophical and Conceptual Issues
    This concentration is based in philosophy and focuses on the concepts used to study the mind and the brain. Your concentration courses will be in philosophy.

Adding a Minor

Students taking an Honours degree in Cognitive Science may wish to take a Minor. A Minor is a secondary concentration of courses that often complements the Major, and usually requires completion of 4.0 required credits in the Minor subject area (these courses are typically taken as electives). It is important to plan a Minor carefully. You can seek guidance from both the Cognitive Science Advisor and the Advisor from the department offering the Minor.

Co-op Opportunities

The co-op option in Cognitive Science enables you to apply your skills in a variety of settings. For example, you may find work in software interface design, improving websites, developing efficient procedures for querying databases, designing and analyzing surveys, or developing novel ways to visualize data. Co-op placements may occur in government, industry, or academic settings.

First-Year Seminar

Although most university students are in their third or fourth year of study before taking seminar courses, Bachelor of Cognitive Science students are given this opportunity in their first year.FYSM courses have a small enrollment, usually with no more than 30 students per seminar, allowing you to study a topic in-depth with an instructor who specializes in that particular area. Although the topic you choose does not have to be in your major discipline, the first-year seminar- FYSM 1607: Thinking and Knowing — satisfies part of the first-year requirements for the B.Cog.Sc. degree. If you do not choose to enroll in the first-year seminar, you should take CGSC 1001 and PHIL 1301 instead.

Please visit carleton.ca/first-year-seminars for a list of this year’s FYSM offerings.

NOTE: in accordance with university regulations, students are limited to 1.0 credit in First Year Seminars.

What to take in your First Year

The courses required in first year are the same for three Concentrations: Philosophical and Conceptual Issues, Language and Linguistics, and Cognition and Psychology. The Concentration in the Biological Foundations of Cognition and the Concentration in Cognition and Computation have slightly different requirements. See below for details.

Courses Required for the First Year for students in the Philosophical and Conceptual Issues, Language and Linguistics, and Cognition and Psychology Concentrations:

  • 0.5 credit CGSC 1005 [0.5] Computational Methods in Cognitive Science*
  • 1.0 credit PSYC 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology I and PSYC 1002 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology II
  • 0.5 credit LING 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Linguistics I
  • 1.0 credit from:
    • FYSM 1607 [1.0] Thinking and Knowing
    • CGSC 1001 [0.5] Mysteries of the Mind
    • PHIL 1301 [0.5] Mind, World and Knowledge
  • Select enough additional courses and electives for a course load of up to 5.0 credits.

Courses Required for the First Year for students in the Cognition and Computation Concentration:

  • 0.5 credit COMP 1005 [0.5] Introduction to Computer Science I
  • 0.5 credit COMP 1006 [0.5] Introduction to Computer Science II
  • 1.0 credit PSYC 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology I and PSYC 1002 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology II
  • 0.5 credit LING 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Linguistics I
  • 1.0 credit from:
    • FYSM 1607 [1.0] Thinking and Knowing
    • CGSC 1001 [0.5] Mysteries of the Mind
    •  PHIL 1301 [0.5] Mind, World and Knowledge
  • Select enough additional courses and electives for a course load of up to 5.0 credits.

Courses Required for the First Year for students in the Biological Foundations of Cognition Concentration:

  • 0.5 credit CGSC 1005 [0.5] Computational Methods in Cognitive Science*
  • 1..0 credit PSYC 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology I and PSYC 1002 [0.5] Introduction to Psychology II
  • 0.5 credit LING 1001 [0.5] Introduction to Linguistics I
  • 1.0 credit from:
    • FYSM 1607 [1.0] Thinking and Knowing
    • CGSC 1001 [0.5] Mysteries of the Mind
    • PHIL 1301 [0.5] Mind, World and Knowledge
  • 1.0 credit in NEUR 1202 [0.5] Neuroscience of Mental Health and Psychiatric Disease and NEUR 1203 [0.5] Neuroscience of Mental Health and Neurological Disease
  • Select enough additional courses and electives for a course load of up to 5.0 credits.

*Students who are not enrolled in the Concentration of Cognition and Computation can take CGSC 1005 in first or second year.

Your Degree, Your Future

Explore Your Degree, Your Future to identify the skills you can develop through your program, to see future possibilities and career paths of recent graduates, and to find out how to improve your employability by getting involved and gaining experience.