Cognitive Science

Overview of Cognitive Science Postsecondary Programs

Cognitive Science studies the mind and human and animal intelligences. The field that started being studied in the 1950s examines theories and assumptions put forward by philosophers and scientists such as Plato, Aristotle and J. B. Watson. More narrowly defined study fields and disciplines focused on during Cognitive Science college degree programs include psychology, philosophy, anthropology and linguistics. Logic, analogies, theories and symbolic images humans used to communicate, rationalize and explain events that happen are also explored in Cognitive Science programs. Classroom and distance learning programs are available at accredited postsecondary schools.

Cognitive Science Classes and Learned Skills

Because Cognitive Science college and university programs focus on the workings of the mind, you can work various jobs in the social and human sciences fields. For example, you can work as a psychologist, therapist, computer scientist or as a social worker. Skills you can gain when you major in Cognitive Science include critical thinking, reasoning, analysis and decision making skills. Research, problem solving, conflict resolution and concept formation are additional skills you can gain.

Core courses required to graduate from Cognitive Science programs vary by college. However, core courses you might be required to take include:

  • Introduction to Cognitive Sciences
  • Human Cognition
  • Introduction to Neuroscience
  • Perception and Mind
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Computation
  • Culture and Human Behavior
  • Sounds and Symbols
  • Chaotic Dynamics
  • Child Development
  • Human Memory and Learning
  • Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • Brain Damage and the Mind
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Making Visual Illusions
  • Animal Behavior
  • Human Sensory Processing
  • Language and the Brain

Levels of Education Available for Cognitive Science

Types of undergraduate credentials and degrees you can get in Cognitive Science include a Certificate in Cognitive Science and Natural Language, Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science and a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science and Natural Language. When it comes to graduate degrees, you can earn a Master of Science in Cognitive and Perceptual Sciences, Master of Science in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Doctorate in Cognitive Science or a Doctorate in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Expect to spend four to five years of full-time study getting Bachelor degrees. You can complete Certificate coursework in as little as six months, depending on the specific program you enroll in. It generally takes an additional two to three years, after you complete Bachelor degrees, to obtain Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Cognitive Science.

Outlook for Careers in Cognitive Science

If you use your Cognitive Science degrees to work as a psychologist jobs in your occupational field are expected to grow by 12 percent from 2008 through 2018 according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). You may have to return to school and complete a psychology degree before you can get licensed in the state you reside in. As of May 2008, the median annual salaries psychologists earned were $64,140. However, the top 10 percent of psychologists earned more than $106,840 a year.

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