Cognitive Science, B.S.

A truly interdisciplinary approach to cognitive science education – at the intersection of psychology, computer science, and philosophy – with  important links to neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, mathematics, biology, and education. 

Two students, a male and a female, working with perception technology
1 of 10 Rensselaer has one of fewer than 10 Cognitive Science Departments in the U.S.
1 of 50 Rensselaer's undergraduate degree program in cognitive science is one of approximately 50 in the U.S.
7 Associated Research Labs Cognitive science students have access to research facilities such as the Rensselaer Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning Lab and the Perception and Action Lab.

Program Overview

Discover a broad, interdisciplinary, and fast-growing field.

In addition to having a strong computational emphasis, the B.S. in Cognitive Science at Rensselaer combines psychology and philosophy with disciplines such as neuroscience and linguistics to equip students with the reasoning, communication, and analytical skills needed to succeed in a diverse field.

The B.S. in Cognitive Science at Rensselaer studies cognitive phenomena such as reasoning, decision-making, memory, learning, language, perception, and action. The field of cognitive science is used to understand the human mind, one of the most complex entities in the known universe, as well as animal and artificial minds.

With applications such as the creation of intelligent machines or the design of speech recognition systems, cognitive science has the potential to transform lives.

Academic Considerations for Acceptance

The B.S. in Cognitive Science is designed for curious and motivated students who have excellent critical thinking, verbal communication, and written communication skills. Students should have strong math and science skills, along with an interest in empirical research and data analysis.

Program Outcomes

Students who graduate from this program will have:

  • Conceptual foundations and reasoning skills — The ability to critically evaluate conceptual foundations of cognitive science from philosophy, psychology, computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology, through careful logical reasoning and argumentation, and to clearly communicate these ideas and arguments in written or oral form.
  • Experimental design and evaluation skills — The ability to design and run experimental studies and evaluate empirical findings through statistical methods to test theories regarding mind, brain, and behavior.
  • Formal modeling skills — The ability to use logic, mathematics, programming languages, cognitive architectures, and other formal methods to produce and research mathematical and computational models of human cognition and artificial intelligence.

After Graduation

A degree in cognitive science prepares students for:

  • Careers in the information industry, human-factors engineering, artificial intelligence, human-performance testing, and education.
  • Graduate studies in cognitive science, computer science, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, information technology, economics, linguistics, anthropology, education, and law. 

“RPI’s cognitive science program is wonderful: It’s innovative, well organized, comprehensive, challenging, and interesting. The professors are extremely passionate about their areas of study and always go above and beyond to maintain environments conducive for their students to best learn."

— Olivia Fryt ’16

Top Employers:

  • Amazon
  • Google 



The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Russell Sage Laboratory (SAGE) 5304, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180
(518) 276-6575


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