BS in Cognitive Neuroscience


A group of students from professor Mitroff's Dean Seminar

In Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Stephen Mitroff’s Science in the District seminar, first-year students visit D.C. institutions including the Transportation Security Administration and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.

In the innovative Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience 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. High-achieving students often assist in undergraduate research, external internships and honors seminars in special topics.

In the classroom, neuroscience students learn the fundamental theories, methods and results involved in neurobiology, cognitive neuroscience and the study of complex behavior.


Cognitive Neuroscience in Action

Doctor Rachel Brem showing a group of students image of brain cancer

Can Cognitive Science Help Detect Cancer?

How do the cognitive sciences save women’s lives? Watch this short video to learn more about breast cancer detection and how cognitive science helps inform how radiologists can best perform their jobs.

A happy-looking stroke patient on a wheel chair

Can Cognitive Science Help with Stroke Recovery?

How do the cognitive sciences help with brain injury? Watch the short overview video of some of the work done in the National Rehabilitation Hospital.

Stephen Mitroff sitting in an office being interviewed for a video

Can Cognitive Science Improve Airport Security?

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience Stephen Mitroff’s undergraduate course called Science in the District focuses on how cognitive psychology research plays a role in many real-world professions. Recently, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences (FABBS) joined Mitroff and his students on several trips around Washington, D.C., and has produced a series of short videos that highlight how cognitive science can be used to benefit society. Watch the first video, which focuses on aviation security.

Minor in Mind-Brain Studies

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Neuroscience may also choose to pursue a minor in mind-brain studies. This minor combines philosophy and psychology core courses with a choice of more than 20 elective classes, including Psycholinguistics, Theory of Knowledge and Speech and Language Disorders. 

Learn More About the Minor


Paul scotti headshot

Paul Scotti

BA ’17

"My passion for cognitive neuroscience is a result of the quality of my instructors … and being able to conduct my own research as an undergraduate."

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Undergraduate Programs.

Program-specific curriculum:

The following introductory natural science courses (11-14 credits): two, two-course pairs in biology (BISC 1115/BISC 1125 and BISC 1116/BISC 1126 for 8 credits) and one course or one two-course pair in mathematics (MATH 1231 for 3 credits or MATH 1220/MATH 1221 for 6 credits):
BISC 1115
BISC 1125
Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
and Introduction to Cells and Molecules Laboratory
BISC 1116
BISC 1126
Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
and Introduction to Organisms Laboratory
MATH 1220
MATH 1221
Calculus with Precalculus I
and Calculus with Precalculus II
or MATH 1231 Single-Variable Calculus I
Two courses in analytical methods (6 credits), selected from the following:
STAT 1127Statistics for the Biological Sciences 1
BISC 2584Introduction to Bioinformatics
CSCI 1012Introduction to Programming with Python
Three gateway courses (9 credits) that introduce core concepts, selected from the following:
ANAT 2160Human Functional Neuroanatomy 2
or SPHR 2106 Neural Substrates of Speech, Language, and Hearing
ANTH 1005The Biological Bases of Human Behavior
BISC 2320Neural Circuits and Behavior
PHIL 1153The Meaning of Mind
PHIL 2045Introduction to Logic
PSYC 2014Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 2015Biological Psychology
Six intermediate content courses (12 credits), which must include two courses from each of the following groups:
Cellular/Molecular/Systems Neuroscience
ANTH 3413Evolution of the Human Brain
BISC 2220Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3118Neuropsychology
PSYC 3121Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124Visual Perception
SPHR 2133Autism
SPHR 3116Brain and Language
Cognitive Science
PHIL 3121Symbolic Logic
PHIL 3153Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence
SPHR 2131Language Acquisition and Development
SPHR 2135Language: Structure, Meaning, and Use
One research/laboratory experience (3-4 credits)
This may be one semester of guided or independent research in ANTH, BISC, CHEM, PHIL, PSYC, or SPHR, or one of the following options: 3
BISC 2452
BISC 2453
Animal Behavior
and Animal Behavior Lab
PSYC 4106WResearch Lab in Sensation and Perception
PSYC 4107WResearch Lab in Cognitive Neuroscience
Four advanced content electives (12 credits), selected from the following:
ANTH 3413Evolution of the Human Brain
ANTH 3491Topics in Biological Anthropology 4
ANTH 3601Language, Culture, and Cognition
ANTH 3603Psycholinguistics
ANTH 3691Special Topics in Linguistic Anthropology 4
BISC 2220Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 2452
BISC 2453
Animal Behavior
and Animal Behavior Lab
BISC 3165Biochemistry I
BISC 3166Biochemistry II
BISC 3209Molecular Biology
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
CHEM 2151
CHEM 2153
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 2152
CHEM 2154
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
PHIL 3151Philosophy of Science
PHIL 3153Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence
PHIL 4196Topics in Theory of Knowledge 4
PSYC 3118Neuropsychology
PSYC 3121Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124Visual Perception
PSYC 3180Seminar in Cognitive Science 4
PSYC 3198Current Research Issues 4
PSYC 3199Current Topics in Psychology 4
PSYC 4997Honors Seminar
SPHR 2133Autism
SPHR 2135Language: Structure, Meaning, and Use
SPHR 3116Brain and Language

1STAT 1127 is recommended, but an equivalent course may be substituted.

2ANAT 2160 is recommended, but SPHR 2106 may be substituted.

3 For SPHR, available only to students with a minimum 3.5 GPA in major courses and/or the permission of the instructor.

4 When the topic is relevant and with permission of the Program Director.