Directed Research

Course Objectives

The purpose of a Directed Readings or Directed Research course is to make it possible to work with a Cognitive Science faculty member on a research or a reading project of mutual interest. To qualify for a Directed Reading or Directed Research course, students must have taken all regular courses offered by the Cognitive Science that cover relevant background material. Directed Readings or Directed Research courses may not duplicate material covered in other Cognitive Science courses.

Some reasons for a student to take a Directed Readings or Directed Research course are:

  1. To continue a reading or research project begun in a 400 level seminar.
  2. To develop or assess potential research interests,
  3. To gain additional knowledge and practical experience in designing, conducting, analyzing, and documenting Cognitive Science research.

Circumstances where a Directed Readings or Directed Research course is not warranted:

  1. Student is unable to register for a regular course offering and therefore wishes to take the course under the guise of a Directed Readings and Research Course.
  2. Student has not successfully completed all regular courses that cover the relevant background material.

Course Requirements

The student must perform a sufficient amount of work to justify the credit hours in the course, which is normally a minimum of three hours per week for each credit hour. The student is also expected to meet with the instructor on a regular basis (i.e., weekly or biweekly meetings). In addition, the student is required to submit a substantial written report on material covered in the course (i.e., essay, literature review, annotated bibliography, research report).

Application Procedure 

Deadline: Day 5 of classes for the Directed Readings term
Students may not register themselves for a Directed Readings or Directed Research course.

  1. The student must complete a Directed Readings/Directed Research application form in consultation with the intended instructor 
  2. Email the application form and your advising transcript to the Cognitive Science Undergraduate Advisor ( before second week of classes. Download your advising transcript here.

The course proposal must specify all requirements for the course (reading list, assignments, basis on which the grade will be assigned). Before approving the course, the Cognitive Science Director will ensure that the course meets standards he or she believes are acceptable in the program. Students and faculty are advised to make their arrangements for the course well in advance.

The Cognitive Science Undergraduate Advisor will register the student in the course when both the instructor and the program director have approved the application. 

Faculty Obligations

Although students may become involved in data collection, coding, and data analyses of faculty members' research in the context of a Directed Readings and Research course, faculty must ensure that the courses are devoted to advancing students' knowledge. Students must not be used as unpaid research assistants.