Cognitive Science Major & Focal Areas

Students should refer to the Academic Catalog that was published the year they entered Johns Hopkins to view degree requirements. The current Academic Catalog may be found here; the archives are found here.

Our cognitive science undergraduate program reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the field, allowing students to approach the study of the mind and brain from multiple perspectives. Students gain broad knowledge of the field as a whole, plus a greater depth of the understanding in two of the sub-disciplines within the field. Training emphasizes not only learning about the principal theories and evidence, but also development of the conceptual and practical skills needed for understanding and conducting theoretical and empirical work in the field.

The required courses for cognitive science majors are divided into five general areas, as described below. The program is structured so as to ensure some exposure to each of the five areas. In addition, it provides in-depth training in two of the areas, deemed focal areaschosen by the student. Majors in cognitive science thus acquire a broad perspective which will enable them to situate particular research disciplines within the overall study of the mind/brain.

Focal Areas

Students must take courses in all five focal areas; however, two focal areas must be chosen in which a greater selection of courses is required. The three focal areas not chosen may be referred to as ‘non focal’ areas for advising purposes. Courses offered by our department and other affiliated departments (e.g., Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Philosophy, Computer Science, Neuroscience, etc.) may be used to satisfy the requirements for these areas. Examples of courses that satisfy the requirements for each area can be found below.

  1. Cognitive Psychology/Neuropsychology [COGS-COGPSY]
  2. Linguistics [COGS-LING]
  3. Computational Approaches to Cognition [COGS-COMPCG]
  4. Neuroscience [COGS-NEURO]
  5. Philosophy of [COGS-PHLMND]

Focal Area Courses, Cataloged by Semester

Focal Area Course List

Sort by column or use the search tool. To filter a list of courses for a given focal area, search using a POS (program of study) term: COGS-COGPSY, COGS-LING, COGS-COMPCG, COGS-PHLMD, or COGS-NEURO. If you believe a course qualifies to be added to this list, contact the Cognitive Science DUS; provide a course description and syllabus. Note: Courses change over time and some are not offered every year.

* At most, majors may take only one of these computational courses.
** These courses qualify for the indicated focal area but do not automatically populate the degree audit. Contact the DUS or program coordinator to apply the the course to your degree requirements.
Course #Course TitleFocal Area POS Tags
AS.050.102Language and MindCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.105Introduction to Cognitive NeuropsychologyCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
Language and AdvertisingCOGS-LING
AS.050.109Minds, Brains, and ComputersCOGS-COMPCG
Nature, Nurture, CognitionCOGS-COGPSY
AS.050.121Theory of Mind and the Science of “Mindreading”COGS-COGPSY; COGS-PHLMND
AS.050.128Born to TalkCOGS-COGPSY
AS.050.202Introduction to Computational Cognitive ScienceCOGS-COMPCG
AS.050.203Cognitive NeuroscienceCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.206BilingualismCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.236NeurolinguisticsCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.240The World of LanguageCOGS-LING
AS.050.311Written Language: Normal Processing and DisordersCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.312Cognitive Neuroimaging Methods in High-level VisionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.315Cognitive Neuropsychology of Visual PerceptionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.317 Semantics ICOGS-LING
AS.050.319Visual CognitionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.320Syntax ICOGS-LING
AS.050.325Phonology ICOGS-LING
AS.050.326Foundations of Cognitive ScienceCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-PHLMND
AS.050.332Developmental Cognitive NeuroscienceCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.333PsycholinguisticsCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.335Introduction to Connectionist Modeling of CognitionCOGS-COMPCG
AS.050.339Cognitive DevelopmentCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.342Windows to the MindCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.344Written Language and the BrainCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.348First Language AcquisitionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.349Second Language AcquisitionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.358Language and ThoughtCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING
AS.050.360Computational PsycholinguisticsCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-LING; COGS-COMPCG
AS.050.365Cracking the code: Theory and modeling of information coding in neural activityCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-NEURO
AS.050.370 Mathematical Models of LanguageCOGS-LING; COGS-COMPCG
AS.050.371Bayesian InferenceCOGS-COMPCG
AS.050.372Foundations of Neural Network TheoryCOGS-COMPCG
AS.050.373Neural Network Modeling of Learning, Language and CognitionCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-NEURO
Probabilistic Models of the Visual CortexCOGS-COMPCG
AS.080.105Introduction to NeuroscienceCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.203Cognitive NeuroscienceCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.080.250Neuroscience LabCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.304Neuroscience Learning and MemoryCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.305Neuroscience: Cellular and Systems ICOGS-NEURO
AS.080.306Neuroscience: Cellular and Systems IICOGS-NEURO
AS.080.312The Making of a Cognitive MapCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.080.320The Auditory SystemCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.321Computational NeuroscienceCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-NEURO
AS.080.328Behavioral Neuroscience LabCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.345Great Discoveries in NeuroscienceCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.348Science of LearningCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.355Computational Principles of Biological VisionCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-NEURO
AS.080.357Developmental NeuroscienceCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.360Diseases and Disorders of the Nervous SystemCOGS-NEURO
AS.080.370The CerebellumCOGS-NEURO
AS.130.218 Language and SocietyCOGS-LING
AS.145.105Minds and Machines (FA19, SP20 only)COGS-PHLMND
AS.150.118Introduction to Formal LogicCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.129The Theory of KnowledgeCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.136Philosophy of ScienceCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.140Minds, Bodies, and PersonsCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.193Philosophy of Language Seminar: Proper Names and Definite DescriptionsCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.210Minds, Consciousness, and ComputersCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.216Minds & MachinesCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.223Formal Methods of Philosophy COGS-PHLMND
AS.150.245Philosophy of MindCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.254Philosophy of MemoryCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.330Decisions, Games & Social ChoiceCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.340Philosophy of PsychologyCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.411Modal PsychologyCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.427Aristotelian Philosophical PsychologyCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.429Topics in Logic: Ontology and Knowledge RepresentationCOGS-COMPCG
AS.150.432Philosophy of MemoryCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.436Philosophy of Psychology (SP09, SP11 only)COGS-PHLMND
AS.150.457Color and Color PerceptionCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.467Philosophic LogicCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.476Philosophy & Cognitive ScienceCOGS-PHLMND
AS.150.688 Philosophy of Psychology (instructor permission required)COGS-PHLMND
AS.200.101Introduction to PsychologyCOGS-COGPSY
AS.200.110Introduction to Cognitive PsychologyCOGS-COGPSY
AS.200.130Good VibrationsCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.200.132Introduction to Developmental PsychologyCOGS-COGPSY
AS.200.141Foundations of Brain, Behavior, & CognitionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.200.163Gamechangers: Conceptual Breakthroughs in NeuroscienceCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.211Sensation and PerceptionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.200.304Neuroscience of Decision MakingCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.311Sensory Representations in the Brain: Maps, Modules & Distributed CodingCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.313Models of Mind and BrainCOGS-COMPCG
AS.200.316Thought and PerceptionCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-PHLMND
AS.200.318Quantitative Methods for Brian SciencesCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.322Clinical NeuropsychologyCOGS-COGPSY
AS.200.324Choosing the 'champion' animal in neuroscience resaerchCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.329Real World Human Data: Analysis & VisualizationCOGS-COMPCG; COGS-NEURO
AS.200.330Human and Machine IntelligenceCOGS-COMCG
AS.200.335How Does the Brain Predict the Future?COGS-COGPSY
AS.200.336Foundations of MindCOGS-COGPSY; COGS-PHLMND
AS.200.361Tests and MeasurementsCOGS-COGPSY
AS.200.368Altered States of ConsciousnessCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.369Neuroscience of Motivation and RewardCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.370Functional Human NeuroanatomyCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.380Neurobiology of Human CognitionCOGS-NEURO
AS.200.385Mind, Brain, & Experience (prev. AS.050.363)COGS-COGPSY; COGS-NEURO
AS.200.386Animal CognitionCOGS-COGPSY
AS.211.311Introduction to Romance LinguisticsCOGS-LING
AS.250.205Introduction to ComputingCOGS-COMPCG
Topics in Music Cognition ICOGS-COGPSY
Topics in Music Cognition IICOGS-COGPSY
EN.500.112Gateway Computing: JAVACOGS-COMPCG*
EN.500.113Gateway Computing: PythonCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.500.114Gateway Computing: MatLabCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.500.200Computing for Engineers and ScientistsCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.520.315Introduction to Information Processing of Sensory SignalsCOGS-COMPCG
EN.520.412Machine Learning for Signal ProcessingCOGS-COMPCG
EN.520.414Image Processing and Analysis ICOGS-COMPCG
EN.520.415Image Processing and Analysis IICOGS-COMPCG
EN.520.433Medical Image AnalysisCOGS-COMPCG
EN.553.426Introduction to Stochastic ProcessesCOGS-COMPCG
EN.553.436Introduction to Data ScienceCOGS-COMPCG
EN.553.493Mathematical Image AnalysisCOGS-COMPCG
EN.580.200Introduction to Scientific ComputingCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.580.439Models of Physiological Processes in NeuronCOGS-NEURO
EN.601.107Introductory Programming in JavaCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.601.220Intermediate ProgrammingCOGS-COMPCG*
EN.601.226Data StructuresCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.229Computer System FundamentalsCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.231Automata and Computation TheoryCOGS-COMPCG
Parallel ProgrammingCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.365Knowledge Discovery from TextCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.426Principles of ProgrammingCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.433Introduction to AlgorithmsCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.461Computer VisionCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.463Algorithms for Sensor-Based RoboticsCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.464Artificial IntelligenceCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.465Natural Language ProcessingCOGS-LING; COGS-COMPCG
EN.601.467Introduction to Human Language TechnologyCOGS-LING; COGS-COMPCG
EN.601.468Machine TranslationCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.475Machine LearningCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.476Machine Learning: Data to ModelsCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.482Machine Learning: Deep LearningCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.490Introduction to Human-Computer InteractionCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.491Human-Robot InteractionCOGS-COMPCG
EN.601.783Vision as Bayesian Inference (instructor permission only)COGS-COMPCG