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image: Psychology Logo
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Cognitive and Cognitive Neuroscience Requirements

Revised August 2010

I. Basic Requirements

1.   Content Course Requirement: Complete 6 (8-week) CNN topic courses (to count as 3 content courses), 2 out-of-home-area content courses within Psychology, and 2 additional content courses, determined at the discretion of the major advisor and the student.

By end of year 2: Complete 6 (8-week) topic courses among those offered as Psychology 733.

By end of Year 3: Complete 2 out-of-home-area courses (within Psychology but out of Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences) and 2 additional content courses. The additional content courses may be chosen from within the department or from other departments that contribute to the Language, Memory, and Cognition and Perceptual Systems enterprise, e.g., linguistics, computer science, communication disorders, philosophy, neurosciences, and electrical engineering. In consultation with the major professor, students must file a petition to the Graduate Committee requesting approval of the proposed courses if the courses are not listed in “Guidelines.” A syllabus of the proposed course and justification of why the course should be counted must be submitted as part of the petition. (Note: Courses outside the department which are intended to satisfy this requirement may also be counted toward the outside-the-department minor.)

2.     Methodology Course Requirement: By end of year 1, complete 610. By end of year 3, complete second and third methodology courses from among those on the approved list (see below).

3.     Each student is required to enroll in the Proseminar in Experimental Psychology (701, 1 credit) each semester.

4.     First Year Project: same as department requirements (see Guidelines).

5.     Certification for the Preliminary Examination: same as department requirements (see Guidelines).

6.     Students are required to sit for prelims by the end of the third year or formally petition the area group for an extension on this deadline. The prelim examination seeks to evaluate the student's oral and written mastery of at least two content areas within Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences. Students choose a committee of three faculty members, consisting of two members of the Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences area group and one outside-the-area member. The student's major advisor serves as chair of the prelim committee. Students will work together with their committee to determine the format; a reading list (and outline, if applicable) must be agreed upon by the student and committee in advance of the exam. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the members of their committee on a regular basis prior to the anticipated date of the exam.

Written requirements for the prelim exam must satisfy both depth and breadth components. For the depth components students may write a review paper (suitable for publication) or a grant proposal, followed by an oral defense. For the breadth component, students can chose from two options:

1.     Demonstrate mastery of introductory-level content in cognitive psychology. This is usually accomplished through an oral examination, but could also take the form of a take-home exam. Students will work together with their prelim committee to determine the appropriate format.


2.     Demonstrate expertise in an area outside of their primary research area/focus. This can be accomplished with one of the following formats: (a) a review paper; (b) an oral exam; (c) a written exam consisting of two four-hour sessions, followed by an oral defense. The written exam should be designed such that 1 hour of each session is devoted to planning, thinking, organizing; while 3 hours are devoted to writing.

Oral defenses for any component should occur no more than two weeks after the written portions are submitted. The intent of the oral defense is to allow the student to expand on the issues addressed in the written format (i.e., exam and/or papers) in an informal setting that is similar to professional evaluations. Faculty will "grade" the written exam PRIOR TO THE ORAL DEFENSE and communicate any areas of concern to the student's advisor. The advisor will communicate these concerns to the student at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. The faculty members will meet in private immediately after an oral exam or oral defense to decide upon the final evaluation. Grades for the prelim exam are Pass/Fail.

II. Methodology Courses That May Be Taken By CNN Students as Second and Third Methodology Courses

  • Computer Science:
    Any graduate-level course numbered 302 or higher, except 332, 550, 638, and 699.
  • Educational Psychology:
    EDP 711 Structural equation modeling
    EDP 711 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
    EDP 773 Factor anaysis
    EDP 861 Statistical analysis & design in education research
    EDP 862 Multivariate analysis
    EDP 870 Test theory I (formerly 770)
  • Genetics:
    GEN 610 Quantitative genetics
    GEN 620 Populations and quantitative genetics
    GEN 629 Population genetics
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering: Any graduate-level course numbered 401 or higher. Samples are shown below.
    ECE 401 Electro-acoustical engineering
    ECE 407 Audio system analysis
    ECE 430 Random signal analysis
    ECE 431 Digital signal processing
    ECE 531 Speech signal processing
    ECE 532 Theory and application of pattern recognition
    ECE 533 Image processing
  • Industrial Engineering:
    IE 433 Introduction to optimization methods
    IE 525 Linear programming methods
    IE 526 Advanced linear programming
    IE 611 Systems modeling
    IE 612 Computer methods in systems analysis
    IE 623 Deterministic modeling techniques
    IE 624 Stochastic modeling techniques
  • Mathematics:
    Any graduate-level course numbered 309 or higher. Samples are shown below.
    MAT 415 Mathematics for dynamic modeling
    MAT 443 Applied linear algebra
  • Neurophysiology:
    NUE 461 Mathematical and computer modeling of physiological systems
  • Philosophy:
    PHI 511 Symbolic logic
  • Psychology:
    PSYCH 615 Quantitative methods in psychology
    PSYCH 710 Design and analysis of psychological experiments
    PSYCH 711 Applied mutlivariate analysis
    PSYCH 711 Applied structural equation modeling
    PSYCH 916 Mathematical Models of Psychological Processes
  • Statistics:
    Any graduate-level course numbered 313 or higher.

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