Cognitive Science Studies

The Institute of Cognitive Science offers academic programs for both graduate and undergraduate students. Cognitive science is the study of human knowledge, of which one aspect is the study of how knowledge is acquired, stored, and represented in the mind, including the mind’s underlying biological mechanisms. Another aspect of cognitive science concerns how knowledge is understood, remembered, communicated, and used in the performance of activities, including the acquisition and application of skills and information. This latter aspect provides the practical applications of cognitive science, and thereby ensures a demand for graduates in both academic and industrial markets. Training for graduates in cognitive science prepares students admirably for many of the fields that are targeted as the major growth fields of the 21st century: telecommunications, information processing, medical analysis, data retrieval, education, and multimedia services

The undergraduate program includes courses in the six core departments, with basic courses and two of four possible advanced skill sequences of courses. For more information on undergraduate study, visit www.colorado.edu/ics/undergraduate-program.

Graduate Degree Program(s)

Graduate Study in Cognitive Sciences

CU graduate students can apply to a certificate program or a combined PhD in conjunction with their home department PhD program. The combined PhD program allows for interdisciplinary study that adds cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience to the PhD program in the student’s home department. There are currently two graduate certificate programs: one has a general science focus, the other focuses on human language technology. Undergraduates may also apply for a certificate program. The Cognitive Science Academic Certificate Programs are interdisciplinary programs for majors in the Departments of Psychology; Philosophy; Linguistics; Education; Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; Computer Science; and Environmental Design.

For more information, either visit ICS.colorado.edu or call Donna Caccamise at 303-735-3602.

Doctoral Degree in Cognitive Science

The cognitive science academic program includes a combined PhD degree between cognitive science and a core discipline, as well as a combined PhD plan of study tailored for students interested in cognitive neuroscience. In addition, there are two certificates at the graduate level of study. The first of these is a certificate in general issues in cognitive science that can be tailored to the individual student’s area of interest. The cognitive science curriculum for this certificate is designed to provide broad as well as in-depth training in the cognitive sciences. The second graduate certificate is in Human Language Technology (HLT) and is specifically designed to provide interested graduate students with a rich and broad background in computational tools for human language processing. These programs are administered by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) of the University of Colorado Boulder. Graduate students in cognitive science are admitted to graduate programs in participating departments that have cognitive science faculty and must meet the requirements for admission and degree completion in their home department.

Students wishing to attain a degree or certificate in cognitive science must formally apply to the director of Academic Programs of ICS. To be admitted they must be a student affiliate of ICS, which requires being a graduate student in good standing in a member department, and they must be sponsored by an ICS faculty member. Students who enter the Graduate School without a master’s degree may be admitted to the program upon completion of their first year of study; students with a master’s degree may be admitted during their first year.

The degree and certificate programs in cognitive science require students to demonstrate acceptable performance in interdisciplinary course work and courses outside their home department. The courses must be offered by the departments of computer science; education; linguistics; philosophy; psychology; speech/language/hearing sciences; architecture, planning, and design; or another department in which there is an ICS faculty member. Details about requirements for the degree and certificate programs can be obtained through the Director of Academic Programs for ICS, or by contacting the ICS main office.

For further information contact the University of Colorado Boulder, Institute of Cognitive Science, 344 UCB, Boulder CO 80309-0344; 303-492-5063; cogsci@colorado.edu.

Certificate Program

These certificate programs are administered by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) of the University of Colorado Boulder. Graduate students in cognitive science are admitted to graduate programs in participating departments that have cognitive science faculty and must meet the requirements for admission and degree completion in their home department.

Graduate Certificate in Cognitive Science

Tailored to the individual student’s area of interest, the cognitive science curriculum for this certificate is designed to provide broad as well as in-depth training in the cognitive sciences.

Graduate Certificate in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP)

Designed to complement the MA or PhD curriculum required by a student’s home department, this graduate certificate encourages students to build interdisciplinary expertise across departments in the study of language and society. CLASP students acquire a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the sociocultural analysis of language. Students can earn the certificate by successfully completing 12 hours of graduate-level coursework: three hours of approved core courses on the subject of language and society; six hours of approved elective courses; and three hours of coursework in either social theory or research methods relevant to the student’s academic goals. More information on the application process and program requirements can be found on the CLASP program website at www.colorado.edu/clasp.

Graduate Certificate in Human Language Technology (HLT)

The growth of the World Wide Web and the vast improvements in computing power of the last decade have led to a greater need for education and research in human language technology. This interdisciplinary field includes key technological and scientific areas such as automatic speech recognition and synthesis, natural language understanding and generation conversational agents, augmentative and alternative communication, audio and text-based information retrieval, and grammar and spelling aids. The curriculum for the certificate includes five core courses, consisting of a computer programming foundation course plus four courses in human language technologies (e.g., natural language processing, morphology and syntax, speech processing, and recognition). At least two of the language technologies courses must be outside the student’s home department. Students are required to major in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, linguistics, or speech, language, and hearing sciences. The program is available to master’s or PhD students at CU-Boulder, including students in concurrent bachelor’s/master’s programs. For further information see www.colorado.edu/linguistics/programs/grad, or Institute of Cognitive Science at ics.colorado.edu.