Computer and Cognitive Science, BAS

The BAS in Computer and Cognitive Science through the School of Engineering and Applied Science combines the application of theoretical insights from Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology to the formal study of intelligence, perception, reasoning, and other properties of mind, and their application in the service of Information Technology. The degree combines a form grounding in relevant aspects of Computer Science, from programming to algorithms to artificial intelligence, with a concentration in specific courses from the contingent disciplines. The non-computer science courses have been selected for formal rigor and scientific relevance. The degree prepares students for a wide variety of careers in a number of distinct academic, industrial, and professional arenas relating to psychology, philosophy and linguistics. In particular, these careers pertain to the impact of knowledge and information technology on the professions, including those in Media and Communications, Software Development, and Education (among many others), in which a broad background in computer science must be combined with a deep understanding of the human mind. The BAS in Computer and Cognitive Science is intended to address the need for properly trained computer scientists who have sufficient understanding of these other disciplines to be able to solve the many open problems in applications, research, and development that must be addressed if we are to realize the full potential of information processing technologies in these domains. Employment opportunities for students going through such a program are excellent at major information technology companies, software houses, and research labs, as well as in the standard career structures in the areas identified above.

Computer and Cognitive Science (ASCC) Major Requirements

40 course units are required. Read more about the Undergraduate Student Handbook.

CIS 110Introduction to Computer Programming1
CIS 120Programming Languages and Techniques I1
CIS 121Programming Languages and Technigues II1
CIS 140Introduction to Cognitive Science1
CIS 240Introduction to Computer Systems1
CIS 320Introduction to Algorithms1
CIS 421Artificial Integlligence1
CIS Elective 12
EAS 499Senior Capstone Project1
MATH 104Calculus, Part I1
MATH 114Calculus, Part II1
CIS 160Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science1
CIS 262Automata, Computability, and Complexity1
Math Elective2
Natural Science
PHYS 140Principles of Physics I (without laboratory)1
PHYS 141Principles of Physics II (without laboratory)1
Natural Science 22
Select 8 course units8
Social Sciences and Humanities 3
EAS 203Engineering Ethics1
Select 2 Social Science courses2
Select 2 Humanities courses2
Select 2 Social Science or Humanities or Technology in Business & Society courses2
Free Elective
Select 3 course units of free electives3
Total Course Units40

A CIS elective is a CIS or NETS engineering course. The SEAS handbook defines all CIS and NETS classes numbered 1xx-5xx as engineering courses, with the following exceptions that cannot be used: CIS 100 Information Technology and Its Impact on Society, CIS 101 Introduction to Computer Science: Principles of information and Computation, CIS 106 Visualizing the Past., CIS 125 Technology and Policy, CIS 160 Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science, CIS 261 Discrete Probability, Stochastic Processes, and Statistical Inference, CIS 262 Automata, Computability, and Complexity. ESE 350 Embedded Systems/Microcontroller Laboratory can also be used to satisfy the CIS elective requirement. Please note: Students may count at most 1 course unit of 1xx credit as a CIS Elective.


Science labs are not required. Labs taken can be used as Natural Science credit.


The Social Science & Humanities Depth, Writing & Ethics Requirement can be satisfied with the 7 total course units.


Department approval is required.

  • Option 1: Any approved minor, or sequence of approved courses. Remaining must be Math, Natural Science or Engineering. (Minors are strongly encouraged.)
  • Option 2: Any 8 course units from Math, Natural Science, Engineering, or from the following specified tech electives:
    LING 106Introduction to Formal Linguistics1
    PHIL 231Epistemology1
    PHIL 244Introduction to Philosophy of Mind1
    PHIL 444Wittgenstein1
    OIDD 220Introduction to Operations Management1
    OIDD 321Introduction to Management Science1
    OIDD 325Computer Simulation Models1

For ASCC Majors, Nat Sci may also include the following Cog Sci Courses:

LING 230Sound Structure of Language1
LING 250Introduction to Syntax1
LING 255Formal Semantics and Cognitive Science1
LING 520Phonetics I1
LING 530Phonology I1
LING 531Phonology II1
LING 550Syntax I1
LING 551Syntax II1
LING 603Topics in Phonology1
LING 630Seminar in Morphology1
PHIL 426Philosophy of Psychology1
PSYC 109Introduction to Brain and Behavior1
PSYC 111Perception1
PSYC 151Language and Thought1

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2017 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.