Cutting across the information and life sciences, cognitive science is a paradigmatic multi- and inter-disciplinary research program with enormous future societal benefits, especially as intelligent artificial agents are becoming part of our lives.
In recent years, Tufts has built up a world-renowned faculty in Cognitive Science, some of whom have been prominent since the beginnings of the field. The new joint Ph.D. program has particular interdisciplinary strength in the area of human language, including theoretical linguistics, psycho- and neurolinguistics, reading and dyslexia, and computational linguistics, and it offers considerable expertise as well in other traditional subareas of cognitive science including animal cognition, human memory, behavioral/cognitive/affective neuroscience, cognitive modeling, robotics, and human computer interaction.
The five core courses - philosophical foundations, computational approaches, neurological basis, cognitive functions, and human language - represent five foundational fields in cognitive science: philosophy, computer science, neuroscience, psychology and linguistics. In the following, we list the envisioned courses with a brief synopsis of the course content and a pointer to existing courses at Tufts that can be used as substitutes (e.g., they can be adapted and cross-listed). Note that the "COGS" course designation below does not currently exist, but will be added soon.
There may later be other substitutes for the above courses. The decisions about which course to count towards the core course in cognitive science will be made by the Cognitive Science Steering Committee.
The following table presents the summary information of the core courses required for the cognitive science program and the approximate frequency of their offerings. Note that there are no conflicts with the existing undergraduate program as the courses are either already existing graduate course in psychology (with faculty committed to teaching them) or they can count for both graduate and undergraduate program (as for the 100-level courses listed above).
|COGS 200 / PHIL 191||Philosophical Foundations of Cognitive Science||Dennett every other year|
|COGS 210 / COMP 150||Computational Models in Cognitive Science||Scheutz annually|
|COGS 220 / PSYCH 231||Brain and Cognition / Core Course in Biopsychology||DeBold, Kanarek every other year|
|COGS 230 / PSYCH 232||Cognition and Behavior / Core Course in Cognitive Psychology||Chechile, Thomas, Taylor every other year|
|PSY 251||Cognitive Science of Language||Kuperberg, Goldberg every other year|
In addition to the 5 core competency courses, all cognitive science students are also required to take at least 7 cognitive science elective courses. At least 4 of these electives must be an out-of-department course from the pool listed below.
Students can petition to count one 'methods' course as one of their CogSci electives. This methods course must enable the student to gain competency in a specific Cognitive Science Research Method (e.g. statistics, computer programming, experimental design) that allows them to carry out interdisciplinary research. In order to petition to have a methods course count towards your CogSci electives, please fill out this form. Please note: you must have the instructor's approval to take the course before submitting the petition
It is expected that over time additional courses (from the above and other departments) will be approved by the cognitive science Steering committee and added to the list.
Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100.
After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department.
Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.
Currently, three departments are associated with the joint cognitive science Ph.D. program: Child Study and Human Development, Computer Science, and Psychology. Students apply to and enroll in the joint cognitive science Ph.D. program through one of these departments either as a prospective graduate student or as a current graduate student after they have been accepted by one of the departments (e.g., after they have already started their Ph.D.).
There is no separate admissions process for the cognitive science Ph.D. program. Applicants simply indicate in their application to a home department that they would like to be admitted to the cognitive science Ph.D. program. The program director will work with faculty responsible for admission in the home department to determine the applicant's eligibility. The director proposes candidates to the Steering committee, who will vote on admissions. Note that this process will not conflict with the admissions process (or criteria) in the student's home department; only students that satisfy the admissions criteria of the home department can be considered for admission into the cognitive science Ph.D. program.
Current Tufts graduate students in one of the affiliated departments can send the program director an informal petition to be admitted to the cognitive science Ph.D. program. As with prospective graduate students, the director proposes eligible candidates who meet the prerequisites for the cognitive science program to the Steering Committee which then approves admissions.
To apply to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in cognitive science, please use Tufts Office of Graduate Admissions online application.
For students who show scholarly promise, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering offer scholarships, fellowships, and research or teaching assistantships to full-time students in doctoral programs. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also offers awards to full-time students in master’s programs. Certificate students are not eligible for these awards.