Cognitive Science at SFU

The Cognitive Science Program is an interdisciplinary academic unit that brings together faculty who are researching and teaching cognitive science related areas and subjects. Our associate member faculty span a wide variety of Departments, Schools and Faculties across campus.

We offer students the unusual opportunity to undertake a cognitive science degree at the undergraduate level. We encourage interested undergrads to participate in research and seek opportunities to work with our faculty and associate member faculty. Such mentor and collaboration relationships have produced highly skilled and well regarded grads, many of whom have already published by the end of their undergraduate degree.

Students who complete a major, honours or minor in Cognitive Science develop an approach to learning, that is robust and informed.  Students tailor their interdisciplinary program according to their interests by choosing concentrations from a range of elective courses.  The program suits self directed students and students interested in following and building on their curiosity in more than one area and detecting relationships between them.

Seeking an understanding of human nature and how the human mind works, students in the Cognitive Science Program, practice critical thinking, research and evaluative skills.  Subject areas of interest include language (both human and computer); sensation, perception and attention; the nature of consciousness; computer models for intelligent systems; patterns, rules and logic; cognitive psychology; philosophy of mind, memory....

Students find their experience completing their degree in Cognitive Science rich and rewarding.  The student society is an active group of undergrads where all cognitive science students, and students interested in mind and cognition can find community and camaraderie. And the Program Academic Advisor is readily available to support students and answer questions.

Why take a class in cognitive science?

If you’re interested in discovering what cognitive science is about, take COGS 100. This course is designated B-Hum / B-Sci / B-Soc, so it counts toward the university’s Breadth Requirements for undergraduates. Whether you are a cognitive science major, still deciding if cognitive science is for you, or in another program and just interested in thinking about how the human mind works - you will find this course informs the way you see the world.

COGS 100 is an introduction to exploring the mind, examining how major common themes from many fields contribute to our understanding of cognitive functions like memory, language, and vision. Computing science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology students will find that COGS 100 ties in many ideas from their areas of study; but students from all disciplines will find the material covered in this course appealing. This course has no prerequisites.

Students who wish to continue incorporating cognitive science into their degree can follow up with COGS 200, especially after taking a 200 level linguistics, philosophy, psychology or computing class, even if they are not declared as a cognitive science major.

See the Undergraduate Program page to find out what it takes to do a major, minor or honours in Cognitive Science.