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.



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."

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.

Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

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

Program-specific curriculum:

11 to 14 credits in introductory natural science courses, including 8 credits in biological sciences and 3 or 6 credits in mathematics.
BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
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:
CSCI 1012Introduction to Programming with Python 1
DATS 1001Data Science for All
PUBH 3201Introduction to Bioinformatics
STAT 1127Statistics for the Biological Sciences 2
Three gateway courses (9 to 10 credits) that introduce core concepts selected from the following:
ANAT 2160Human Functional Neuroanatomy
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
SLHS 2106 Neural Substrates of Speech, Language, and Hearing
SLHS 2131Language Acquisition and Development
SLHS 2135Language: Structure, Meaning, and Use
Six intermediate content courses (18 credits), which must include two courses from each of the following three groups:
Cellular/molecular/systems neuroscience
ANTH 3413Evolution of the Human Brain
BISC 2220Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
PSYC 3199Current Topics in Psychology 3
Cognitive neuroscience
PSYC 3118Neuropsychology
PSYC 3121Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124Visual Perception
SLHS 3133Autism
SLHS 3116Brain and Language
Cognitive science
PHIL 3121Symbolic Logic
PHIL 3153Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence
PSYC 3119Cognitive Science in the District
PSYC 3180Seminar in Cognitive Science
SLHS 3117Hearing and Perception
SLHS 3132Literacy
SLHS 4201Social Communication Development
One research/laboratory experience (3 to 4 credits). 4
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 courses (12-16 credits) selected from the following:
ANTH 3401Human Functional Anatomy
ANTH 3402Human Evolutionary Anatomy
ANTH 3412Hominin Evolution
or ANTH 3412W Hominin Evolution
ANTH 3491Topics in Biological Anthropology 5
ANTH 3501Anthropology of Development
ANTH 3601Language, Culture, and Cognition
ANTH 3603Psycholinguistics
ANTH 3691Special Topics in Linguistic Anthropology 5
ANTH 3995Undergraduate Research 5
BISC 3165Biochemistry I
BISC 3166Biochemistry II
BISC 3209Molecular Biology
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
BISC 4132Advanced Cellular-Molecular Biology
or BISC 4132W Advanced Cellular-Molecular Biology WID
BISC 4171Undergraduate Research 5
or BISC 4171W Undergraduate Research
BISC 4172Independent Study 5
or BISC 4172W Biological Science Independent Study
CHEM 2151
CHEM 2153
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 2152
CHEM 2154
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 4195Undergraduate Research 5
PHIL 3121Symbolic Logic
PHIL 3151Philosophy of Science
or PHIL 3151W Philosophy and Science
PHIL 3152Theory of Knowledge
PHIL 3153Mind, Brain, and Artificial Intelligence
PHIL 3251Philosophy of Biology
PHIL 4196Topics in Theory of Knowledge 5
PHIL 4199Readings and Research 5
or PHIL 4199W Readings and Research
PSYC 3116Brain and Language
PSYC 3118Neuropsychology
PSYC 3119Cognitive Science in the District
PSYC 3120Neuroscience of Consciousness
PSYC 3121Memory and Cognition
PSYC 3122Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 3124Visual Perception
PSYC 3180Seminar in Cognitive Science
PSYC 3198Current Research Issues 5
PSYC 3199Current Topics in Psychology 5
PSYC 3591Supervised Research Internship 5
PSYC 4106WResearch Lab in Sensation and Perception
PSYC 4107WResearch Lab in Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 4591Independent Research 5
PSYC 4997Honors Seminar
PUBH 3201Introduction to Bioinformatics
SLHS 3117Hearing and Perception
SLHS 3132Literacy
SLHS 3133Autism
SLHS 4196Independent Study 5
SLHS 4201Social Communication Development
SLHS 4221Language and Communication in Aging
STAT 3119Analysis of Variance

1CSCI 1012 is recommended but not required to fulfill this requirement.

2If a student wishes to take a Statistics course to fulfill this requirement, STAT 1127 is recommended but an equivalent STAT course may be substituted.

3PSYC 3199 must be taken when offered as Introduction to Psychopharmacology to satisfy this requirement.

4This requirement may also be fulfilled by taking any of the independent research/reading courses offered by the associated departments. Such courses are listed in the advanced content section with the footnote number 5. All courses so noted may be taken multiple times and each enrollment may be applied to either the advanced content or the research experience requirement.

5These courses may have GPA requirements and permission of the instructor. Please contact the relevant departments for more information. Each must be taken for a total of at least 3 credits to count towards the requirement.