BA in Cognitive Neuroscience

Interdisciplinary major housed in the Department of Psychology

See Also: BS in Neuroscience

To see Dr. Dwight Kravitz's brief overview of the Cognitive Neuroscience major, click here.
The BA in Cognitive Neuroscience integrates the fundamental theories, methods and findings of neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and the study of complex behavior. In this interdisciplinary program, students gain fluency in cognitive neuroscience, develop their analytical thinking and refine their ability to present compelling scientific arguments in both written and oral form. Students with sufficient interest and skill will be assisted in participating in undergraduate research and external internships.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, students will:

  • Have a fluent knowledge of the basic terminology and concepts underlying the study of complex behavior, neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience.
  • Be able to critically evaluate and apply the core experimental methods and analyses used in the study of complex behavior, neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience.
  • Access, understand and apply the primary neuroscientific literature with attention to both major open theoretical questions and recent empirical findings.
  • Formulate in both written and oral form a complex and persuasive cognitive neuroscientific idea based on rational argument and prior evidence.


Total number of credits required: 60 - 65

Four introductory natural science courses, two in biology (8 credits) and two more in mathematics (6 credits):

BISC 1115 + 1125 Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules (plus lab: BISC 1125)
BISC 1116 + 1126 Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms (plus lab: BISC 1126)
MATH 1120 & 1121 Calculus with Precalculus I & II
or MATH 1231             Single-Variable Calculus I                   

Two courses in analytical methods (6 credits) from the following:

STAT 1127* Statistics for the Biological Sciences 
BISC 2584 Introduction to Bioinformatics
CSCI 1012       Introduction to Programming in Python               

*Or equivalent

Three gateway courses (9-10 credits) that introduce the core concepts, from the following:

ANAT 2160 Human Functional Neuroanatomy (Recommended)
  or SPHR 2106 Anatomy and Physiology for Speech and Hearing II
ANTH 1005 The Biological Basis of Behavior
BISC 2320 Neural Circuits and Behavior
PHIL 1153 Meaning of Mind
PHIL 2045  Introduction to Logic
PSYC 2014 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 2015 Biological Psychology

Six intermediate breadth courses (18 credits), which must include 2 courses from each of the following groups:

Cellular/Molecular/Systems Neuroscience

ANTH 3413 Evolution of the Human Brain
BISC 2220 Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 3320        Human Neurobiology                                               

Cognitive Neuroscience

PSYC 3118        Neuropsychology
PSYC 3121 Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122 Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124 Visual Perception
SPHR 2133 Autism
SPHR 3116 Brain and Language                                                  

Cognitive Science

PHIL 3121         Symbolic Logic                                                         
PHIL 3153 Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence
SPHR 2131 Language Acquisition and Development
SPHR 2135 Language: Structure, Meaning, and Use

One course of research laboratory experience (3-4 credits):

BISC 2452 + 2453         Animal Behavior (Plus lab: BISC 2453)                                                           
PSYC 4106W Research Lab in Sensation and Perception
PSYC 4107W Research Lab in Cognitive Neuroscience

1 Semester of Guided or Independent Research in ANTH, BISC, CHEM, PHIL, PSYC, or SPHR*

* Only available to students with a 3.5 in major GPA or higher and/or the permission of the instructor.

Four advanced content electives (12 credits), chosen from the following:

ANTH 3413                      

ANTH 3491

ANTH 3601 

ANTH 3603

ANTH 3691*

BISC 2220

BISC 2452

BISC 3165

BISC 3166

BISC 3209

BISC 3320

CHEM 2151

CHEM 2152

PHIL 3152

PHIL 3153

PHIL 4196*

PSYC 3118

PSYC 3121

PSYC 3122

PSYC 3124

PSYC 3180*

PSYC 3198*

PSYC 3199*

PSYC 4997*

SPHR 2133

SPHR 2135

SPHR 3116 

Evolution of the Human Brain   

Topics in Biological Anthropology

Language, Culture, and Cognition


Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (when applicable and with Director permission)

Developmental Neurobiology

Animal Behavior (taken with associated lab 2453)

Biochemistry I

Biochemistry II

Molecular Biology

Human Neurobiology

Organic Chemistry I (plus lab: CHEM 2153)

Organic Chemistry II (plus lab: CHEM 2154)

Theory of Knowledge

Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence

Topics in Theory of Knowledge


Memory and Cognition

Cognitive Neuroscience

Visual Perception

Seminar in Cognitive Science (when applicable and with Director permission)

Current Research Issues (when applicable and with Director permission)

Current Topics in Psychology (when applicable and with Director permission)

Honors Seminar (when applicable and with Director permission)


Language: Structure, Meaning, & Use

Brain and Language

* When applicable and with director permission