General Description of the Certificate Program
The Center for Cognitive Science does not grant degrees. However, students earning degrees in participating departments can earn a Certificate in Cognitive Science by successfully completing the Certificate requirements in addition to those necessary for their graduate degree.
Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary area of scholarship concerned with understanding the nature and development of such intelligent capacities as perception, language, reasoning, planning, problem-solving, and related skills, whether these capacities are instantiated in biological or artificial systems. Members of the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS) may have joint appointments with such participating academic departments as Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Computer Science, and others as the program develops. RuCCS also has working relationships with a number of other graduate programs (such as Biomedical Engineering, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Information, Communication, and Library Studies) and with other research centers on campus.
The goal of the Cognitive Science Certificate program is to provide a structured way for students enrolled in various graduate programs to study and carry out research in Cognitive Science with guidance from relevant faculty advisors, and to bring interested students from different departments together in a graduate student community integrated into the general university research community.
This list of courses is not meant to be exhaustive. Proposals for adding additional courses in various departments, such as (but not limited to) the School of Information, Communication and Library Studies, the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, the department of Mathematics, and the departments of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, will also be considered by the certificate committee for credit towards the Certificate in Cognitive Science.
Admission to the Certificate Program and the selection of courses and required research project is subject to the approval of the Cognitive Science Certificate Committee (CSCC). Admission is based on academic performance and interests, and requires the approval of the graduate program of the department in which the student is enrolled. The CSCC is drawn from the RuCCS faculty, augmented where appropriate in order to provide representation from participating departments.
To receive the Certificate in Cognitive Science the student must successfully complete the requirements for a postgraduate degree in the department in which the student is registered, and must also meet the following additional requirements (note that these requirements may in some cases be met without taking additional courses beyond those allowed as electives in the student's program):
- Successful completion of the ProSeminar in Cognitive Science (16:185:500). This is a multidisciplinary graduate survey seminar taught by various Cognitive Science faculty. Its purpose is to promote commonality among students' backgrounds and also to allow students to learn about one another's research interests. ( This course is only offered in the Fall semester )
- Completion of a research project under the direction of a participating faculty member, normally outside the program in which the student is registered. Project proposals must be approved by the Certificate Committee. (Course number 16:185:699)
- A minimum of 9 additional credits from the courses listed below. A minimum of 6 of the 9 credits must be taken from outside the graduate department in which the student is registered. Courses offered by Cognitive Science (program number 185) are considered to be outside of the student's home graduate department. Exceptions and substitutions may be made, including courses from other departments and graduate programs, subject to the approval of the Certificate Committee. This course list will also be updated periodically as appropriate.
- 16:185:500. Proseminar in Cognitive Science.
- This seminar introduces graduate students to the core areas of Cognitive Science. This is a multidisciplinary graduate survey seminar taught by various Cognitive Science faculty. Its purpose is to promote commonality among students' backgrounds and also to allow students to learn about one another's research interests.
- 16:185:600,601,602,603,604. Seminar in Cognitive Science I, II, III, IV, V.
- These are seminars that will be run from time to time by Participating Faculty as well as by qualified visiting scholars at the Center.
- 16:185:699. Independent Studies in Cognitive Science.
- A supervised independent-study credit. At the discretion of the Certificate Committee it may be taken to meet the research project requirement for the Certificate in Cognitive Science.
1.) Biomedical Engineering (16:125)
- 513 Visual Research and Instrumentation
- 516 Visual Pattern Recognition
- 520 Neuroelectric Systems
- 525 Biological Control Systems
- 526 Brain Dynamics
- 530 Nonlinear Dynamics, Chaos, and Fractals
- 532 Cyto-Mechanics
- 610 Advanced Topics in Computers in Biomedical Engineering
- 615 Advanced Topics in Brain Research
- 615 Advanced Topics in Brain Research (Human and Computer Vision)
- 620 Neural Networks and Neurocomputing
2.) Cognitive Science (16:185)
- 600 Seminar in Cognitive Science I
- 601 Seminar in Cognitive Science II
- 602 Seminar in Cognitive Science III
- 603 Seminar in Cognitive Science IV
- 604 Seminar in Cognitive Science V
3.) Computer Science (16:198)
- 452 Formal Languages and Automata
- 509 Foundations of Computer Science
- 503 Computational think
- 504 Computational model
- 513 Data Structures and Algorithms
- 520 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- 530 Knowledge-Based Design
- 531 Artificial Intelligence Software
- 532 Foundations of Knowledge Representation
- 533 Natural Language Processing
- 535 Pattern Recognition
- 536 Machine Learning
- 587 Expert Systems
- 598 Topics in Problem Solving Methods
- 671 Seminar: Computer Vision
4.) Linguistics (16:615)
- 510 Syntax I
- 511 Syntax II
- 514 Topics in Syntactic Theory
- 520 Phonology I
- 521 Phonology II
- 524 Topics in Phonological Theory
- 530 Semantics I
- 531 Semantics II
- 534 Topics in Semantic Theory I, II
5.) Philosophy (16:730)
- 510 Mathematical Logic
- 513 Logic and Natural Language
- 570 Seminar in Philosophy of Language
- 575 Seminar in Philosophy of Mind
- 579 Topics in Logic
- 664 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Social Science
- 670 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Language
- 675 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Mind
- 676 Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Psychology
- 678 Advanced Topics in Decision Theory
6.) Perceptual Science (16:714)
- 521 Integrative Methods in Perceptual Science I
- 522 Integrative Methods in Perceptual Science II
7.) Psychology (16:830)
- 513 Neurolinguistics
- 514 Sensation and Perception
- 515 Computational Vision
- 534 Psychology of Decision Making
- 546 Memory and Attention
- 547 Computational Models of Cognition
- 550 Language Development
- 552 Perceptual Development
- 554 Development of Cognitive Processes
- 555 Nervous System and Behavior
- 602 Psycholinguistics
- 611 Seminar in Perception
- 637/638 Seminar in Cognition
Additional Qualifying Courses The list of courses above is not meant to be exhaustive. Proposals for adding additional courses in various departments, such as (but not limited to) the School of Information, Communication and Library Studies, the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology, the department of Mathematics, and the departments of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, will also be considered by the certificate committee for credit towards the Certificate in Cognitive Science.
If you have an interest in Cognitive Science you should at some stage -- preferably on (or even before) your arrival at a Rutgers as a graduate student -- let the director of the Certificate Program know of your interest by submitting your registration information. You will then be classified as a Cognitive Science Student and placed on our mailing list for announcements of Cognitive Science events (such as lectures and special courses). You will also be expected to participate actively in a Graduate Student Speaker series and to give talks on your ideas or your work-in-progress. You would also be expected to attend our colloquia, visiting speakers' talks and non-credit mini-courses of interest to you. Failure to take an active part in the activities of the Center will result in your being deleted from our list of active Cognitive Science Students.
Students in good standing in their departments may also petition the director of the Certificate Program for admission as official candidates for the Certificate in Cognitive Science. This will normally occur after students have completed the required Cognitive Science ProSeminar (16:185:500). Such official Certificate Candidates will be assigned a faculty advisor who will advise them with regard to courses and research requirements for the Certificate. If you are one of these students you would be eligible to compete for the limited supply of Cognitive Science Graduate Fellowships. The expectation is that if you maintain a satisfactory standing as a Certificate Candidate, as determined by the the Cognitive Science Certificate Committee, and meet all the formal requirements, you would be granted a Certificate in Cognitive Science at the time that you receive your graduate degree. This Certificate, along with your transcript and the endorsement of the program, will identify you as having attained special training in the interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science.
Under special circumstances students may be admitted as Candidates for the Certificate program, and be eligible for a Cognitive science Fellowship, at the time they are first admitted to a graduate program at Rutgers. Such students will have an exceptional record and a demonstrated commitment to the interdisciplinary study of Cognitive Science. Also under special circumstances students may petition the Certificate Committee for equivalent-credit for courses taken elsewhere or for independent research work.
One of the requirements for obtaining a Certificate in Cognitive Science is to complete an independent research project that will provide breadth of experience outside of the methodologies typically used in the student's home discipline.
The expectation is that in the second year of their candidacy for the Certificate (i.e. the academic year following their Proseminar credit) students will register in course 16:185:699 -- Independent Studies in Cognitive Science. This entails finding a supervisor from among the faculty associated with the Center but outside the department in which the student is registered. Together they would work out a proposal for a project -- which may involve library research, theoretical work, programming or running experiments. Once a brief written proposal is approved by the supervisor and the Director of the program, the student would carry out the research project according to a mutually agreed schedule. Although it is not easy to specify the scope of the project and report, it will be a larger piece of work than a course paper but less that a MA or MSc thesis. A journal article would be an appropriate model to aim for.
Normally the project is expected to be started in the second year and to take less than a calendar year to complete. In order to allow a project of some depth, it is recommended that the research be on a topic with which the student is already familiar -- for example, an area of research related to the student's dissertation work -- but approached from the perspective of a allied discipline.