There are several things, but one is that it's a fully inter-disciplinary program. Students take courses in psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and (optionally) computer science, as well as courses specially developed for the cognitive science major that integrate these disciplines.
Sometimes, these requests take several weeks to process. You can check the timelines at the Change of Program page. If you need help enrolling in courses to satisfy the Cognitive Science degree requirements while your request is pending, please contact the Cognitive Science Program Coordinator.
You need 21 General Education credits. The remaining 45 credits are electives, though you can also use them to complete a minor in another subject, or even to complete a second major in another subject. If you intend to combine your Cognitive Science major with another major or minor, make sure not to “double-count” courses towards both sets of requirements. Please see the program Coordinator for further advice.
There are no extra fees for combining a Cognitive Science major with a minor.
Cognitive Science is an inter-disciplinary program, drawing on Psychology, Philosophy, Linguistics, Information Technology and Computer Science. It emphasizes different methodologies for studying the mind and cognitive processes, both theoretical and empirical. Check out the courses that can be taken to satisfy the degree requirements.
Another thing to consider is that Cognitive Science is a relatively small major (by York standards) with around 200 majors at any one time and around 50 incoming students every year.
Many credits are usually transferable, though those decisions are made by the Registrar's office, unless it's a course that they haven't seen before, in which case they would consult the relevant department or program. For more information, see the Future Students website and the Registrar's Office. Transfer students sometimes encounter difficulties enroling into courses with prerequisites when those prerequisites are fulfilled through transfer credits, in which case see the question below, “I am getting a notification that I have not met the prerequisites to enrol in a course for the major, even though I have. What can I do?”
It varies greatly. The second-year lecture courses can have up to 180 students, while the fourth-year courses often only contain 10-15.
The most common ones are, of course, Cognitive Science (there are some MA and PhD programs in North America), Neuroscience, Psychology, Philosophy, and Linguistics, and related fields. In addition to those programs, Cognitive Science graduates from York have gone on to a wide variety of graduate programs, including Speech Pathology, Education, Occupational Therapy, Conflict Resolution, and even Business Administration. But you should check with specific graduate programs to determine whether they accept applications from undergraduates majoring in Cognitive Science, and whether they require or recommend any specific undergraduate courses.
The Cognitive Science program can be pursued on a part-time basis. But please bear in mind that many courses are only offered at specific times, often during the day, or with a certain frequency, so students need to have a flexible schedule to complete the requirements.
Since the Cognitive Science program only offers a BA Specialized Honours, you need to maintain the GPA required to continue in an Honours program. To continue in an Honours program, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 5.00 (equivalent to C+). Students whose cumulative grade point average falls below 5.00 during the course of their studies may proceed in an Honours program, on warning, provided they meet the year level progression requirements described below.
Students who have completed less than 84 earned credits whose cumulative grade point average is below 5.00 may continue in Honours provided they meet the minimum year level progression requirements as follows:
- Year 1 0-23 earned credits Minimum cumulative grade point average 4.00
- Year 2 24-53 earned credits Minimum cumulative grade point average 4.25
- Year 3 54-83 earned credits Minimum cumulative grade point average 4.80
- Year 4 84 and above earned credits Minimum cumulative grade point average 5.00
This usually means that you did not maintain the GPA necessary to continue in an Honours program (see above). Since there is no non-Honours program in Cognitive Science, once this happens, students are automatically considered Philosophy majors. But if your GPA goes up again and you meet the minimum requirement (see above), you can apply to be re-admitted to the major.
Yes, you can pursue a Cognitive Science major with any other major or minor, whether in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, or in other faculties. The main thing to bear in mind is that you normally can’t “double-count” courses towards both majors or towards the major and a minor. In case some courses are required by both the Cognitive Science major and the other major or minor, you should work out a substitution with the Cognitive Science Program Coordinator.
Our graduates have gone on to a wide range of careers and professions. Here are some recent ones: Neuroscience, Education, Speech Pathology, Audiology, Conflict Resolution, Occupational Therapy, and Management.
Many Cognitive Science majors go on to specialize in speech pathology or audiology, so it's certainly one career path from Cognitive Science. But to make sure, you’d have to ask graduate programs in these areas whether they would consider applications from those with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and whether there are any courses they would recommend taking at the undergraduate level. (Luckily, Cognitive Science degree requirements are not too onerous so you have plenty of room to take courses outside the major degree requirements.)
PSYC (EECS, PHIL, etc.) allocates a number of reserved seats to COGS students for courses that are part of the COGS major. As a COGS student, you have an opportunity to enrol into those reserved seats. You must still fulfill the prerequisites for the course in which you are enroling (though see the next question about an exception for LING courses). While PSYC (EECS, PHIL, etc.) reserves a number of seats for COGS students, they may also reserve a number of other seats for students in other programs. This is to ensure that students in other programs that require the course also have an opportunity to enrol. Once the seats that are allocated to COGS majors are filled, COGS students will not be able to enrol into the remaining reserved seats. If a COGS peer drops out of the course, then a spot would become available again. Closer to the beginning of term, departments will sometimes lift restrictions, so that remaining seats become open to everybody. That being said, the enrolment system can sometimes malfunction. For example, it may happen that the system fails to recognize that you are a COGS major (for example, because you only recently changed your program). If you meet the prerequisites for a course and suspect that you are being prevented from enroling because of some error, you should contact the appropriate undergraduate office (e.g. email@example.com for PSYC courses; firstname.lastname@example.org for EECS courses) and inquire about your situation. If that does not resolve things, you should contact the Director of the Cognitive Science program, who will intervene on your behalf.
It may be that you have fulfilled the prerequisites for a course, yet this fact is not being recognized by the system and so you are prevented from enroling. This often happens when those prerequisites are satisfied through transfer credits. If you meet the prerequisites for a course and suspect that you are being prevented from enroling because of some error, you should contact the appropriate undergraduate office (e.g. email@example.com for PSYC courses; firstname.lastname@example.org for EECS courses) and explain your situation. That almost always resolves things. But if it doesn’t, you should contact the Director of the Cognitive Science program, who will intervene on your behalf.
Yes. The Department of Linguistics allows Cognitive Science students to substitute COGS/LING 2800 for LING 1000 for the purposes of satisfying prerequisites for their courses. It also waives some requirements for other courses; see the following table for details. In the event that the York enrollment system will not allow you to enroll even though you meet the requirements in this table, you should write the UPD of Linguistics (email@example.com) to ask for permission to be mounted (but this is just a formality).
- AP/LING 2120 3.0 Phonology 1: Analysis (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000. AP/LING 2110 is NOT necessary)
- AP/LING 2130 3.0 Morphology 1: Analysis (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000)
- AP/LING 2140 3.0 Syntax 1: Analysis (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000. AP/LING 2130 is NOT necessary)
- AP/LING 3120 3.0 Phonology 2: Theory (can be taken if AP/LING 2120 has been completed with a grade of C or above)
- AP/LING 3140 3.0 Syntax 2: Theory (can be taken if either AP/LING 2130 or AP/LING 2140 has been completed with a grade of C or above)
- AP/LING 3150 3.0 Semantics (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000)
- AP/LING 3210 3.0 First Language Acquisition (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000)
- AP/LING 3220 3.0 Psycholinguistics (can be taken with a grade of C or higher in either AP/LING 2800 or AP/LING 1000)
- AP/LING 4120 3.0 Advanced Phonology (can be taken with a grade of C+ or higher in 3120 and a grade of C+ or higher in one other 3000-level LING course)
- AP/LING 4140 3.0 Advanced Syntax (can be taken with a grade of C+ or higher in 3140 and a grade of C+ or higher in one other 3000-level LING course)
- AP/LING 4150 3.0 Topics in the Syntax-Semantics Interface (can be taken with a grade of C+ or higher in 3140 and a grade of C+ or higher in one other 3000-level LING course)
- AP/LING 4230 3.0 Language and the Brain (can be taken with a grade of C+ or higher in 3220 and a grade of C+ or higher in one other 3000-level LING course)
- AP/LING 4250 3.0 Evolution of Language (can be taken with a grade of C+ or higher in any two LING courses at the 3000-level)
We have had many students successfully take EECS and ITEC courses as part of their COGS major, but it does take some planning. For EECS, if you entered prior to 2022 you’ll notice that the first course that’s part of the major is EECS 1022. But this course has EECS 1012 as a prerequisite. And EECS 1012 itself has some high school or university math prerequisites. After you take EECS 1022, you’ll then need to take EECS 2030. After that, there’s a little more flexibility depending on your interests.
If you entered in Fall 2022 or later, our Group B Themes lay out the options for pursuing EECS and ITEC more clearly. Just keep in mind that some of the courses do have prerequisites (often high school or university math prerequisites).
One key piece of advice is to plan ahead since many higher-level courses have prerequisites. So, in order to take courses X and Y at the 4000 level, you first need to take certain other courses at the 3000 level; and in order to take those courses at the 3000 level, you first need to take these other courses at the 2000 level; and so on. (An example: suppose you want to take PSYC 4270. You first need to take PSYC 1010, PSYC 2030, PSYC 2021, and PSYC 3265.) What you choose to take to satisfy your 4000-level courses can thus influence which courses you'll need to take earlier. So you need to plan ahead and make sure that you have the prerequisites you need!