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Cognitive and Brain Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization

Program Rationale

The purpose of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Cognitive and Brain Sciences is to provide graduate students with interdisciplinary training in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience. The GIS will provide students working in disciplines related to Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience, including Biophysics, Computer Science and Engineering, Education, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Linguistics, Philosophy, Psychology, Speech and Hearing Sciences, and foreign languages, with the opportunity to broaden their theoretical and methodological training beyond the limits of their home discipline.


A Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization (GIS) involves two or more disciplines outside of the student’s home discipline. At least nine hours must be from outside the home graduate program, but may include cross-listed courses. Cross-listed courses that comprise the nine-hour minimum must be offered from outside the home department. The curriculum for the GIS in Cognitive and Brain Sciences includes a total of at least 11 credit hours earned through at least four different courses:

  1. Required introductory course (3 credits). Either Introduction to Cognitive Science or Cognitive Neuroscience can be taken to fulfill the introductory course requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to take the introductory course that they have less background in, and students with sufficient background in both areas may petition to replace the introductory course with a more advanced course.
  2. Required proseminar (2 credits). The Proseminar in Cognitive Science must be taken to fulfill this requirement. It may be repeated for credit once to fulfill the disciplinary breadth requirement of the GIS.
  3. Two elective courses (6 credits). The elective courses should be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and must be courses that are not cross-listed in the home department to ensure intellectual breadth. Elective courses may count towards both the primary degree and the GIS. The electives may either represent breadth (two courses from different disciplines) or depth (two courses from the same discipline) in Cognitive Science or Cognitive Neuroscience. Electives selected from different disciplines for breadth will typically be thematically related to provide a coherent curriculum. (Note that if the two elective courses are from the same discipline, at least one of the other GIS requirements must be met through completion of a course offered in a different discipline that is not the student’s home discipline.)



How to Apply

To apply for the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization, students should first discuss their proposed curriculum with their primary advisor. Students can then contact ASC-CCBSCurriculum@osu.edu to discuss and approve their GIS curriculum. Students should follow the instructions provided by the Graduate School here to apply for the GIS.


Sample Thematic Elective Course Pairings


ECE7866: Computer Vision
PSYCH 5606: High-Level Vision

Auditory Processing

MUSIC 8838.01: Topics in Music Cognition
SPHHRNG 6775: Anatomy and Physiology of the Auditory System

Language Technology

CSE 5525: Foundations of Speech and Language Processing
LING 5801: Computational Linguistics I


LING 5701: Psycholinguistics I
PSYCH 5615: Psychology of Language

Cognitive Modeling

CSE 5526: Introduction to Neural Networks
ECE 7868: Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning


PSYCH 7845: Cognitive Development
SPHHRNG 6725: Language Acquisition and Early Intervention in Language Delay

Philosophical Foundations

PHILOS 5800: Advanced Philosophy of Mind
PHILOS 5840: Advanced Philosophy of Cognitive Science


NEUROSC 7001: Foundations of Neuroscience 1
NEUROSC 7002: Foundations of Neuroscience 2

Human-computer Interaction

ISE5720: Human Systems Integration
ISE 5760: Cognitive Engineering Systems: Visualization and Human-Computer Interfaces


Please direct questions to ASC-CCBSCurriculum@osu.edu

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