Structure of the Minor
The goal of the Cognitive Science graduate minor is to provide students with guidance in setting up and carrying out an integrated program of interdisciplinary study in conjunction with their major field. A sound program must give students more than a superficial exposure to the goals and methodologies of other disciplines. Obviously, it would be difficult for any one individual to acquire substantial expertise in all areas. A program in Cognitive Science must therefore be based upon sound training in one discipline, coupled with an informed appreciation of relevant ideas and tools selected from other disciplines.
The graduate minor in Cognitive Science is open to all students who have elected a major field within which the minor can be appropriately included. Interested students should inform themselves regarding the program’s general offerings and consult with their committee chair about the selection of their committee. A minor member should be chosen from the faculty in the graduate field of Cognitive Science. The minor member representing Cognitive Science should be a member of a field other than the student’s major field, to avoid duplication that would make the task of interdisciplinary integration more difficult. Students then consult with all the members of their special committee to set up a program that develops the Cognitive Science minor field, in conjunction with a strong core of study in their major field.
It is expected that each student will take several courses in appropriate disciplines outside the major field, and become involved in research with a strong cross-disciplinary component. While a student’s thesis research may normally be focused in one discipline, it is expected that it will reflect the concerns or perspectives of another discipline, either in a thoroughly integrated fashion or by the inclusion of appropriate chapters or sections.
The program will soon, once again, have its own Proseminar in Cognitive Science, a one-semester graduate course providing an introduction to the various approaches represented by fields reflecting Cognitive Science at Cornell. Students considering the minor and wishing to gain further information about appropriate faculty members and courses in the various disciplines are encouraged to contact the Director of Graduate Studies for Cognitive Science, Morten Christiansen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The field of Cognitive Science cosponsors a variety of colloquia with the Departments of Psychology, Philosophy, Linguistics, Computer Science, and Neurobiology and Behavior. Students in the minor are encouraged to attend these events and to avail themselves of the opportunity to meet with the speakers for informal discussion during their visits. To receive notices regarding guest speakers and other events, be sure your address is on file with Julie Simmons-Lynch, program manager (607-255-6431, email@example.com, 233 Uris Hall).
Plans are in development for an annual graduate research forum to be held in the fall of each year, at which selected papers are presented by graduate students in the Cognitive Science minor, reporting their interdisciplinary research.