Cognitive Studies

Study the nature of the mind & brain from the perspective of multiple disciplines

The emerging field of Cognitive Science unites researchers in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and sociology in the study of the human mind. The new Philosophy-Cognitive Studies major at the University of Cincinnati allows students to take a wide variety of courses in these disciplines. Students gain a strong foundation in Cognitive Science, while maintaining a focus on the "big" questions concerning cognition and mentality. PHIL/PSYC 1006, Introduction to Cognitive Studies, serves as the gateway course and is a great place to begin if you are interested in exploring this major.

Questions investigated within the Philosophy-Coginitive Studies major include:

  • What is consciousness, and how does experience arise from the brain?
  • Can a machine think, or have feelings?
  • Are minds and brains like complex computers, or is this a mistaken analogy?
  • What is “the self” and how does it relate to the brain?
  • What can we learn from mental illness and psychoactive drugs about the normal functioning of the human mind?
  • How can we scientifically study the “private” nature of our own minds?

Philosophy: Cognitive Studies (BA) Major Requirements

Revised 2021, Effective Fall 2021 

All courses must be completed with a grade of C or better to count toward major requirements.

Required Courses (7 total, 21 hours)

Introductory Courses (9 hours)
Take all there:
  • PHIL 1002: Intro to Philosophy: Mind and Will
  • PHIL 1006/PSYC1006: Introduction to Cognitive Studies
  • PHIL 1032: How Science Works

Statistics or Logic (3 hours)

Choose one:

  • PHIL 1011: Introduction to Logic
  • PSYC 2001C: Research Methods & Statistics in Psych I
  • STAT 1031: Introduction to Statistics
  • STAT 1034: Elementary Statistics I

Psychology Core (3 hours)

Choose one:

  • PSYC2020: Introduction to Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 2030: Sensation and Perception
  • PSYC 2070: Psychobiology

Cognitive Studies Core (6 hours)

Choose two:

  • PSYC 3025: Cognitive Science
  • PHIL 3030: Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 3040: Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 3042/PSYC 3042: Philosophy of Psychology
  • PHIL 3034: Philosophy of Neuroscience

Elective Courses (4 total, 12 hours)

Choose four:

  • NS 2XXX+: Any Neuroscience courses number 2000 or higher
  • PHIL 3XXX+: Any Philosophy courses numbered 3000 or higher
  • PSYC 3XXX+: Any Psychology courses number 3000 or higher
  • NS 2001: Fundamentals of Neuroscience I
  • NS 2002: Fundamentals of Neuroscience II
  • PHIL 2041: Minds and Machines
  • PHIL 3023: Science, Philosophy, and Society
  • PHIL 3030: Philosophy of Mind
  • PHIL 3034: Philosophy of Neuroscience
  • PHIL 3037: Philosophy of Mental Health and Disorder
  • PHIL 3040: Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 3042/PSYC 3042: Philosophy of Psychology
  • PHIL 3045: Philosophy and Cognitive Ethology
  • PHIL 4073: Cognitive Studies Research Assistantship
  • PSYC 2051: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSYC 3020: Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • PSYC 3024: Functional Neuroanatomy
  • PSYC 3025: Cognitive Science
  • PSYC 3041: Cognition in the Wild
  • PSYC 3062: Brains on Drugs

Senior Capstone Experience (3 hours) 

  • PHIL 5099: Senior Capstone Seminar


Additional Major Requirements 

Minor, Certificate, or Second Major 

Majors must complete a minor or certificate within A&S (excluding PHIL or PSYCH), or a double-major from any college. 

University Career Education (CE) Requirement: 

  • First year CE: PD 1170 Career Readiness for Liberal Arts (1 hour)
  • Mid-Collegiate CE: PD 2070 Professionalism and Purpose (3 hours)
  • Capstone CE: fulfilled via PHIL 5099 Senior Capstone Seminar (3 hours)

Notes and Policies

  • A minimum grade of C is required in any course counting toward major requirements.
  • Students who enrolled in the major prior to Fall 2021 may fulfill either the old or new requirements, and should seek individualized advising to find the shortest path to graduation.
  • Courses can only be used to fulfill one requirement within the major — no double-counting within the major.
  • Courses used for major requirements can be double-counted toward College, Gen-Ed, minor or certificate requirements.
  • Study abroad program available: Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science (, recommended for junior year. Fulfills at least 12 hours of elective credit for the major.