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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Relevant Courses

Page address: http://cset.mnsu.edu/cogsci/RelevantCourses/courses.html

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary inquiry concerned with understanding the nature and development of such intelligent capacities as perception, language, reasoning, learning and problem-solving, whether these capacities are realized in biological or artificial systems. Such inquiry is by its very nature interdisciplinary, integrating methodological, theoretical and practical foci of Biology, Computer Science, Philosophy and Psychology into a single course of study.

Click on a concentration below to display the courses for that concentration. You can also click on a course to view its description.


  • Prerequisites to the Major
      Required General Education
    • BIOL 105 General Biology I (4)

      Study of biological processes at the suborganismal level including cell chemistry, metabolism, reproduction, genetics, and complex tissue physiology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design. Fall, Spring WI, GE-3

    • MATH 121 Calculus I (4)

      Limits, continuity, the derivative and applications, transcendental functions, L’Hopital’s Rule, and development of the Riemann integral. Prerequisite: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, MATH 115 or both MATH 112 and MATH 113 with “C” (2.0) or better. Fall, Spring, Summer GE-4

    • Choose 5 Credits
    • CHEM 111 Chemistry of Life Process Part II (Organic & Biochemistry) (5)

      This course is an introduction to organic chemistry and biological chemistry. The laboratory will reinforce lecture. Prerequisite: CHEM 106 or high school chemistry Fall, Spring GE-2, GE-3

    • CHEM 201 General Chemistry I (5)

      Introduction to the basic principles of chemistry including atomic and molecular structure, bonding, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics and states of matter. Laboratory will reinforce lecture concepts. Prerequisite: “C” (2.0) or higher in MATH 112 or the equivalent; high school chemistry or “C” (2.0) or higher in CHEM 104. Fall, Spring GE-2, GE-3

    • Prerequisites to the Major
    • CS 110 Computer Science I (4)

      Students will learn programming skills in object-oriented C++. Students will design algorithms and learn how to write, compile, run and debug programs that include selection and repetition structures, functions, and arrays. Study skills and professional development will be addressed. Prerequisite: MATH 112 (College Algebra) Fall, Spring

    • PSYC 206 The Human Mind (4)

      This course introduces a multidisciplinary approach to the scientific study of cognition. Contributions from the fields of biology, computer science, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology are emphasized. Topics include the mind-body problem, perception, memory, linguistics, problem solving, artificial intelligence, and robotics. This course is a prerequisite for the cognitive science major. For the psychology major, it serves as unrestricted elective credit; it does not satisfy the cognitive restricted elective requirement. On Demand: Fall, Spring GE-5

    • Choose 3-4 Credits
    • HLTH 475 Biostatistics (3)

      Introduction to statistical analysis as applied to the health sciences. Examines concepts and methods of statistical procedures applied to health problems and issues. Prerequisite: MATH 110, STAT 154, Or any other mathematics course higher than MATH 110. Fall, Spring

    • PSYC 201 Statistics for Psychology (4)

      1.) Learn the importance of statistics for understanding human behavior. 2.) Apply basic statistical concepts to questions about human behavior. 3.) Conduct basic statistical tests and make inferences about human behavior. 4.) Prepare students in the psychology major to take PSYC 211-Research Methods and Design. Prerequisite: MATH 112 or STAT 154 Fall, Spring

    • STAT 154 Elementary Statistics (4)

      An introduction to statistical concepts and methods that is applicable to all disciplines. Topics include descriptive measures of data, probability and probability distributions, statistical inference, tests of hypotheses, confidence intervals, correlation, linear regression, and analysis of variance. The use of statistical software will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Satisfy Placement Table in this section, or MATH 098 with grade of P. Fall, Spring, Summer GE-4

    • STAT 354 Concepts of Probability & Statistics (3)

      A calculus based introduction to probability and statistics. Topics include probability, random variables, probability distributions (discrete and continuous), joint probability distributions (discrete and continuous), statistical inference (both estimation and hypothesis testing), confidence intervals for distribution of parameters and their functions, sample size determinations, analysis of variance, regression, and correlation. This course meets the needs of the practitioner and the person who plans further study in statistics. Same as MATH 354. Prerequisite: MATH 122 with C or better or consent Fall, Spring, Summer

    • Major Common Core
    • BIOL 220 Human Anatomy (4)

      Systems approach to the structure of the human body. The course is designed for students majoring in biology or health related programs. Lab included. Fall, Spring

    • BIOL 324 Neurobiology (3)

      Basic anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. The course is designed for students majoring in biology, psychology or health related programs. Prerequisite: BIOL 220 Fall

    • BIOL 330 Principles of Human Physiology (4)

      Principles of functions of human cells, organs, and systems with an emphasis on organ/system interactions. This course is designed for students majoring in biology, chemistry, or related sciences, and medically-related areas. Includes a laboratory with a research and medical emphasis. Prerequisite: BIOL 220, CHEM 104 or CHEM 106 or CHEM 111 or CHEM 201 Fall, Spring, Summer

    • CS 111 Computer Science II (4)

      Continues the exploration of introductory Computer Science begun in CS 110. Focus is on developing basic knowledge of algorithms, programming skills and problem solving techniques. Topics include recursion, sorting, linked lists, stacks and queues. Prerequisite: CS 110 or EE 107. MATH 113 or MATH 115 or MATH 121 Fall, Spring

    • CS 230 Introduction to Intelligent Systems (4)

      Fundamentals of data mining and knowledge discovery. Methods include decision tree algorithms, association rule generators, neural networks, and web-based mining. Rule-based systems and intelligent agents are introduced. Students learn how to apply data-mining tools to real-world problems. Prerequisite: CS 110 Fall

    • PHIL 101W Philosophical Problem: The Mind-Body Problem (3)

      This course considers historical and contemporary analyses of the mind in relation to the body and the connection of the mind-body problem to other issues concerning both religion and science. Fall, Spring WI, GE-6

    • PHIL 475 Philosophical Issues in Cognitive Science (3)

      This course examines the conceptual and philosophical complexities of efforts to understand the mind in science. Topics include the differences and similarities between humans and other animals, the nature of psychological explanation, and reductive strategies for explaining consciousness, intentionality and language. Fall

    • PSYC 211W Research Methods and Design (4)

      An introduction to the major components of research methodology in psychology. This is a writing intensive course and involves the processing, interpretation, and exposition of behavioral data. Prerequisite: Must have a minimum total cumulative GPA of 2.70 or instructor permission to enroll; PSYC 201 Fall, Spring WI

    • PSYC 321 Brain and Behavior (4)

      This course will introduce students to the relationship between the structure and function of the nervous system to the underlying biological processes of behavior. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 Fall, Spring

    • PSYC 325 Introduction to Cognitive Psychology (4)

      Explores the scientific study of human cognition and provides students with broad coverage of the mental processes used to acquire, process, and retain knowledge. Students will examine basic concepts and research findings in topics of human cognition such as perception, attention, memory, reading, and problem solving. Concepts in Cognitive Psychology will be related to everyday behaviors and experiences. Prerequisite: either Psy 101 OR Psy 206, not both On Demand: Fall, Spring

    • Major Restricted Electives

      In addition to the common core courses, students will select one of the four core areas as their discipline of emphasis and complete 3-4 specialized courses in that area.

      Computer Science Electives(choose 3-4 Credits)
    • CS 430 Artificial Intelligence (3)

      Basic introductory concepts and a history of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are covered. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge representation and reasoning strategies used for AI problem solving. Solutions are found using the LISP programming language. Prerequisite: CS 230 or CS 305 Alt-Fall

    • IT 482 Human Computer Interaction (4)

      Provides an introduction to software quality assurance with focus on software testing processes, methods, techniques and tools. Topics include formal verification and validation techniques; black box and white box testing; integration, regression, performance, stress, and acceptance testing of software. Prerequisite: CS 300, CS 380 and MATH 354 Variable

    • Philosophy Electives(choose 6 Credits)
    • PHIL 311 Symbolic Logic (3)

      Study of the elements of first order symbolic logic, i.e., the propositional calculus and the predicate calculus, and its applications to ordinary language and mathematics. Spring GE-2, GE-4

    • PHIL 410 Philosophy of Language (3)

      Theories of meaning, speech acts and semantics, relation of language to the world. Variable

    • PHIL 474 Philosophy of the Mind (3)

      The nature of consciousness, mind and body relations, freedom of action. Variable

    • PHIL 476 Philosophy of Perception (3)

      PHIL 476 (3) Philosophy of Perception Cognitive and epistemic issues surrounding sensory perception, including the nature of perception, its immediate objects, and its ability to deliver knowledge of the world. Variable

    • PHIL 477 Animal Minds (3)

      Philosophical issues concerning the mental lives of non-human animals, with emphasis on consciousness, rationality, language, and implications for non-human animal ethics.

    • PHIL 480 Philosophy of Science (3)

      Nature of explanations, causality, theoretical entities, and selected problems. Variable

    • PHIL 481 Philosophy of Biology (3)

      The course examines conceptual and philosophical issues in biology, the nature and scope of biological explanation and conflicts between evolutionary and religious explanations for the origin of life.

  • Biology Emphasis

    The biology concentration allows students to acquire a thorough background of human anatomy and physiology, along with providing a biomechanical framework of the respective bodily functions. In learning about the systems of the human body, students are given a physical reference to other concepts being taught in the program. This will help in the understanding of physical manifestations of psychological problems for instance, or in creating the electrical circuits for prosthetic limbs. The biology concentration course load will allow students to explore a deeper understanding of the human body and brain at a molecular level, along with more advanced laboratory procedures. The connection between the body and mind is a pivotal link to accomplishing the many goals in the field of Cognitive Science today. For example, using fMRI technology to map neuron pathways in the human brain, or the ability to restore hearing by way of cochlear implants. These successes are made possible because of the cohesiveness between many different branches of science. Biologists, Programmers, Electrical Engineers, Neurologists, and Psychologists are few of the many different groups of individuals who had to take part in creating the positive leaps of science given in the example above.


    • BIOL 106 General Biology II (4)

      Study of biological processes at the organismal level including a survey of life forms (viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals), their evolution, and ecology. Laboratory and discussion sessions stress problem solving and experimental design. Prerequisite: BIOL 105 (Fall, Spring)

    • BIOL 211 Genetics (4)

      Introduction to genetic analysis. Topics covered include those both classical and modern genetics: population genetics, molecular genetics, genetic manipulation of organisms and selection. Central to this course will be the primacy of the trait as the object of genetics and the development/refinement of the concept of the gene. Lab included. Pre: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and MATH 112 (Fall, Spring, Summer)

    • Choose 3-4 Credits
    • BIOL 320 Cell Biology (4)

      An examination of eukaryotic cellular structure, organization and physiology. Lab included. Prerequisite: BIOL 105 and BIOL 106, BIOL 211 Fall and Spring, Summer (On Demand)

    • BIOL 424 Developmental Biology (3)

      An exploration of behavioral strategy, communication, learning, and social systems of animals, with emphases placed on the causes, evolution, ecological implications, and function of behavior at the individual and population level. Lab included. Pre: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 215 (Spring)

    • BIOL 435 Histology (4)

      Study of types, arrangements and special adaptations of human tissues. Lab included. Prerequisite: BIOL 220 Spring

    • BIOL 436 Animal Behavior (4)

      An exploration of behavioral strategy, communication, learning, and social systems of animals, with emphases placed on the causes, evolution, ecological implications, and function of behavior at the individual and population level. Lab included. Pre: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 215 (Spring)

    • BIOL 438 General Endocrinology (3)

      This course provides the basis for understanding hormones and the mechanisms of their actions in both the normal and pathological states. Sample topics to be included are diabetes, osteoporosis, hormones of reproduction and current social and medical issues related to the course. Pre: BIOL 100 or BIOL 105 (Spring)

    • BIOL 460 Introduction to Toxicology (3)

      A lecture course covering basic principles of toxicity evaluations in living organisms, mechanisms of responses to chemicals or physical agents within an overview of practical medical, environmental and science policy implications. Presentations of comparisons of specific organ and tissue reactions to toxins and a variety of species follow these introductory concepts. Pre: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and 1 year of General Chemistry (ALT-Fall)

    • BIOL 466 Principles of Pharmacology (3)

      A lecture course that examines mechanisms of drug action, physiological responses and adverse reactions from sensitivities or allergies through overdose. Pre: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, and 1 year of General Chemistry (ALT-Spring)

    • BIOL 479 Molecular Biology (4)

      This course will cover both eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular biology including: DNA and RNA structure, transcription, regulation of gene expression, RNA processing, protein synthesis, DNA replication, mutagenesis and repair, recombination, and insertion elements. A number of important techniques used in recombinant DNA technology will be discussed and practiced. Prerequisite: BIOL 105, BIOL 106, BIOL 211 Spring

  • Computer Science Emphasis
    • CS 305 Algorithmic Structures (4)

      Study of the core algorithm design and analysis techniques of computer science and the data structures which support them with attention to the applicability to specific problem types and comparison metrics. Prerequisite: CS 111, MATH 121 Fall

    • CS 498W Senior Thesis (4)

      Advanced study and research required. Topic of the senior thesis determined jointl by the student and the faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Senior standing and consent Fall, Spring WI

    • Choose 3-4 Credits
    • CS 315 Introduction to Cryptographic Methods (4)

      An introduction to methods, algorithms, and tools of cryptography. We will study the algorithmic and mathematical aspects of cryptographic methods and protocols. We will experiment with how they can be used to solve particular data and communication security problems. Prerequisite: CS 305 or permission of instructor. Variable

    • CS 330 Introduction to Neural Computation (4)

      This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of neural computation. The goal is to familiarize students with the major models, techniques, and problems of neural network computation and to provide hands-on experience using these things. Topics include neural network models, supervised and unsupervised learning, associative memory models, and data representation. Prerequisite: CS 230 Co-requisite: Permission of the Instructor Spring

    • CS 430 Artificial Intelligence (3)

      Basic introductory concepts and a history of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are covered. Emphasis is placed on the knowledge representation and reasoning strategies used for AI problem solving. Solutions are found using the LISP programming language. Prerequisite: CS 230 or CS 305 Alt-Fall

    • IT 482 Human Computer Interaction (4)

      This course discusses concepts and techniques for design, development and evaluation of user interfaces. Students will learn the principles of interaction design, interaction styles, user-centered design, usability evaluation, input/output devices, design and analysis of controlled experiments and principles of perception and cognition used in building efficient and effective interfaces. Group project work. Prerequisite: IT 380 or CS 230; STAT 154 or PSYC 201 and MATH 121 Fall

  • Philosophy Emphasis

    The philosophy concentration for the Cognitive Science program aims to challenge students to think critically, while providing a framework of various schools of thought that have led to the prominent theories of today. Students can expect to discuss questions regarding human perception, thought, intentionality, truth, etc, in order to better understand human connections, individually and socially. Where is the line between perception and reality? Are our minds separate from our bodies? Students who complete the Philosophy concentration of the Cognitive Science program can go on to careers or graduate programs in any of the 4 respective areas. Philosophy students will be especially proficient in the ethical studies regarding the cognitive science field, along with the legal implications of new technologies.


    • PHIL 497 Philosophy-Cognitive Science Thesis (3)

      Restricted to Cognitive Science Majors in their final year. Fall, Spring

    • Choose 3 Credits
      Choose a course not used to satisfy Core Area 3
    • PHIL 410 Philosophy of Language (3)

      Theories of meaning, speech acts and semantics, relation of language to the world. Variable

    • PHIL 474 Philosophy of the Mind (3)

      The nature of consciousness, mind and body relations, freedom of action. Variable

    • PHIL 476 Philosophy of Perception (3)

      Cognitive and epistemic issues surrounding sensory perception, including the nature of perception, its immediate objects, and its ability to deliver knowledge of the world. Variable

    • PHIL 477 Animal Minds (3)

      Philosophical issues concerning the mental lives of non-human animals, with emphasis on consciousness, rationality, language, and implications for non-human animal ethics.

    • PHIL 480 Philosophy of Science (3)

      Nature of explanations, causality, theoretical entities, and selected problems. Variable

    • PHIL 481 Philosophy of Biology (3)

      The course examines conceptual and philosophical issues in biology, the nature and scope of biological explanation and conflicts between evolutionary and religious explanations for the origin of life.

    • Choose 6 Credits
      Choose a course not already chosen above or used to satisfy Core Area 3
    • PHIL 311 Symbolic Logic (3)

      Study of the elements of first order symbolic logic, i.e., the propositional calculus and the predicate calculus, and its applications to ordinary language and mathematics. Spring GE-2, GE-4

    • PHIL 410 Philosophy of Language (3)

      Theories of meaning, speech acts and semantics, relation of language to the world. Variable

    • PHIL 420 Epistemology (3)

      Theories of knowledge and justification, skeptical attacks on the possibility of knowledge, and anti-skeptical defenses. Variable

    • PHIL 430 Metaphysics (3)

      An investigation of the most fundamental concepts of reality, including the nature of things, identity over time, modality, causation, free will, space and time, and universals and particulars. Variable

    • PHIL 437 Contemporary Philosophy (3)

      Major philosophers and philosophies of the late 20th Century. Variable

    • PHIL 455 Existentialism & Phenomenology (3)

      n-depth analysis of major European existentialists such as Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Sartre. Variable

    • PHIL 474 Philosophy of the Mind (3)

      The nature of consciousness, mind and body relations, freedom of action. Variable

    • PHIL 476 Philosophy of Perception (3)

      PHIL 476 (3) Philosophy of Perception Cognitive and epistemic issues surrounding sensory perception, including the nature of perception, its immediate objects, and its ability to deliver knowledge of the world. Variable

    • PHIL 477 Animal Minds (3)

      Philosophical issues concerning the mental lives of non-human animals, with emphasis on consciousness, rationality, language, and implications for non-human animal ethics.

    • PHIL 480 Philosophy of Science (3)

      Nature of explanations, causality, theoretical entities, and selected problems. Variable

    • PHIL 481 Philosophy of Biology (3)

      The course examines conceptual and philosophical issues in biology, the nature and scope of biological explanation and conflicts between evolutionary and religious explanations for the origin of life.

  • Psychology Emphasis
    • PSYC 421 Behavioral Neuroscience (4)

      Biological basis of psychological processes and behavior. Neuroanatomy, neural function, and laboratory methods of investigation will be explored in relation to topics such as sleep, memory, language, intelligence and psychological disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 201, PSYC 211W Fall, Spring

    • PSYC 423 Cognitive Neuroscience (4)

      The goal of neuroscience is to understand the human mind. This goal is approached by revealing the brain processes involved in how we perceive, think, remember, and move. Brain development, communication, and plasticity at the neural level are all described. Prerequisite: PSYC 211W, PSYC321 On Demand: Fall, Spring

    • Choose 4 Credits
    • PSYC 413 Sensation & Perception (4)

      How the senses respond to environmental stimuli and how the information they provide is organized into meaningful patterns that make up our experience of the physical world. The effects of maturation and learning in altering those patterns as also considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 201 On Demand: Fall, Spring, Summer

    • PSYC 414 Learning (4)

      This course provides a broad overview and analysis of the major theories of human and animal learning. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 Fall

    • PSYC 415 Human Memory (4)

      This course covers experimental and behavioral studies of human memory including long-and short-term memory, memory for text, pictures, spatial information, and autobiographical events. Emphasis on real-world situations, including education, in which memory and learning play a role. Prerequisite: PSYC 211W On Demand: Fall, Spring, Summer

    • PSYC 420 Psychopharmacology (4)

      Biological foundations of the actions of psychoactive drugs. Neuroanatomy structure and function, neurophysiology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will be covered in detail. Relevant classes of drugs will be highlighted with an eye toward their history, mechanisms of action, effects, and treatments. Prerequisite: PSYC 211W Spring

    • PSYC 430 Advanced Topics in Biological Psychology (4)

      PSYC 430 (4) Advanced Topics in Biological Psychology This course provides students with an overview of the fundamental principles and current research on selected topics in biological psychology through critical evaluation and discussion. Prerequisite: PSYC 211W, PSYC 321 On Demand: Fall, Spring

    • PSYC 450 (4) Advanced Cognitive Psychology

      Advanced Cognitive Psychology introduces students to key research papers in the field of human cognition. Through reading, writing, and the study of experimental design, students will advance their understanding of cognitive psychology and develop their ability to critically review and evaluate research. Prerequisite: PSYC 211W, PSYC 325 Fall (On Demand), Spring (On Demand)

*Required Minor: None