Cognitive Science, M.S.

Immerse yourself in a deeply interdisciplinary program with research in computational cognitive modeling, artificial intelligence, extreme expertise, human and machine reasoning, computational linguistics, perception and action, theoretical neuroscience, cognitive robotics, cognitive engineering, and advanced synthetic characters. 

Program Overview

The Cognitive Science Department offers a Master of Science degree in Cognitive Science. The degree is open only to two groups of students. The first group is those who are already admitted to Rensselaer in a doctoral program. This includes students in the Cognitive Science doctoral program as well as students in other doctoral programs (e.g., Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems, Computer Science, and so on). Rensselaer doctoral students who desire a Master's in Cognitive Science should contact the department directly. Other students able to obtain a Master's in Cognitive Science are those who are accepted into the five-year co-terminal program that combines a suitable undergraduate degree with the Cognitive Science master's degree.

Qualified students, in consultation with an academic adviser, may apply to the five-year co-terminal program to complete requirements for the Bachelor of Science in a relevant field and the Master of Science in Cognitive Science. An additional 30 credit hours are required beyond the B.S. degree. Students must apply to the program by January 30 of their junior year. This is a research-oriented Cognitive Science program that allows students to focus on one of the department's research areas. Prior to applying, it is expected that students will have taken introductory courses in cognitive psychology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science, as well as been involved in one of the several research labs sponsored by department faculty.

Program Outcomes

The successful student in the Master of Science in Cognitive Science program will:

  • Cultivate a mentor-mentee relationship with a faculty member in that faculty member’s area of expertise.
  • Demonstrate mastery of the research literature most relevant to the topic.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the methodological approaches most appropriate to the topic as well as the threats to the reliability and validity of these approaches.
  • Conduct some combination of problem analysis, data collection, data analysis, and/or modeling (as appropriate to the question of interest) under the guidance of the faculty adviser.
  • Produce a written Master's Thesis following the form and format expected by other researchers in the area of interest (in consultation with the faculty adviser).


Our graduate students are innovative, interdisciplinary and making impactful contributions to the field of cognitive science. Take a look at our current graduate student profiles to read about the variety of research interests our students pursue. 


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


Back to top