Individualized Major in Cognitive Science


The Individualized Major in Cognitive Science is being replaced with a Major in Cognitive Science resulting in some changes in the requirements for the degree. Unless you have already declared the Individualized Major, you will need to declare the new major.

To learn more about the requirements for the new major, please CLICK HERE.

To contact the Undergraduate Director, Dr. Mary Rigdon, email 

(for a printable PDF version of this page click here)

The Individualized Major in Cognitive Science is administered through the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS). It offers an opportunity for exceptional, creative, self-motivated students to explore innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of the foundational and computational workings of the mind. Satisfactory completion of the Individualized Major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The Individualized Major must consist of at least 36 credits, distributed as follows:

  1. One of the following courses: 185:201 (Cognitive Science: A Multi-disciplinary Intro) and/or 185:301 (Cognition and Decision Making) and/or 185:310 (The Concept of Concepts in Cognitive Science) and/or 185:320 (Research Methods in Cognitive Science) and/or 185:410 (Language and Cognition) and/or 185:411 (Advanced Topics in Cognitive Science I).
  2. Grades of C or better must be earned in all courses counted toward the major.
  3. At least one formal/analytic requirement. For courses that automatically satisfy the requirement, click here

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    • 01:198:107: Computing for Math and the Sciences (3)
    • 01:198:111: Introduction to Computer Science (4)
    • 01:198:112: Data structures (4)
    • 01:198:205: Introduction to Discrete Structures I (4)
    • 01:198:206: Introduction to Discrete Structures II (4)
    • 01:615:305: Syntax (3)
    • 01:615:315: Phonology (3)
    • 01:615:325: Semantics (3)
    • 01:615:411: Morphology (3)
    • 01:640:300: Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (3)
    • 01:640:338: Discrete and Probabilistic Models in Biology (3)
    • 01:640:339: Mathematical Models in the Social Sciences (3)
    • 01:640:361: Set Theory (3)
    • 01:640:428: Graph Theory (3)
    • 01:640:454: Combinatorics (3)
    • 01:640:461: Mathematical Logic (3)
    • 01:640:477: Mathematical Theory of Probability (3)
    • 01:640:478: Probability II (3)
    • 01:640:481: Mathematical Theory of Statistics (3)
    • 01:730:101: Logic, Reasoning, and Persuasion (3)
    • 01:730:201: Introduction to Logic (3)
    • 01:730:315: Applied Symbolic Logic (3)
    • 01:730:407: Intermediate Logic I (3)
    • 01:730:408: Intermediate Logic II (3)
    • 01:830:200: Quantitative Methods in Psychology (4)
    • 01:960:379: Basic Probability and Statistics (3)
    • 01:960:381: Theory of Probability (3)
    • 01:960:382: Theory of Statistics (3)
    • 01:960:401: Basic Statistics for Research (3)

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  4. A minimum of 3 credits of cognitive science research directed by the student’s primary faculty advisor, 185:495 Research in Cognitive Science. Students may also fulfill this requirement via Departmental Honors or College Honors courses.
    For a list of faculty who can supervise the required 185:495 research course, please check the following two webpages:
    Executive Council Faculty
    Affiliate Members
  5. Two thirds of the total credits must be from courses offered by the School of Arts and Sciences.
  6. Three fourths of the total credits must be at the 300-level or above.

Students should select from one of four possible tracks: Cognitive Neuroscience, Generalist, Language, and Vision. Each track has course recommendations for fulfilling the requirements of the Individualized Major.


Applying for the Individualized Major in Cognitive Science:

  1. Select from one of the 4 tracks (listed above).
  2. For a list of faculty members in the Center for Cognitive Science who can advise the required research course, please click here and here.
  3. Submit a written application no later than the first term of your junior year. (Part-time and transfer students may extend this deadline to completion of 75 credits.) 

The application can be downloaded at the following address:

Your application must include:

  1. 1-page Statement of Purpose and Learning Goals describing your academic objectives and clearly explaining why they cannot be accomplished within the current structure of majors, minors, and electives open to SAS students.
  2. Proposed listing of courses you intend to complete and the semester when you intend to take the courses. Include short lists of “elective courses” within the major from which you will choose a set number. For example, you can list three specific courses in Psychology and indicate that you will take a minimum of one course from that list for 3 credits.
  3. Signature of your primary faculty advisor who will direct your research course.
  4. The approval and signatures of the Undergraduate Director (2nd signature) and Director of the Center (3rd signature).
  5. The approval and signature of the SAS Dean for Educational Initiatives and the Core Curriculum (Susan Lawrence) or the Vice Dean for Undergraduate Education (Michael Beals). Their offices are located at 35 College Avenue.


Advising Centers:

Busch Campus
Busch Campus Center, Rm. 172

College Avenue Campus
Milledoler Hall, Rm. 103

Douglass Campus
College Hall, Rm. 104

Livingston Campus
Lucy Stone Hall, Rm. A-216