University of Waterloo
Cognitive Science Option
Frequently Asked Questions
Paul Thagard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Why should I be interested in this program?
If you are interested in the nature of mind and intelligence, this program
provides a way of surveying the different disciplines that study how the
human mind works. The option does not immediately translate into any particular
employment opportunities, but understanding of the nature of human and machine
intelligence is useful for many careers, from managment to education to
Do I need to apply to the program in order to satisfy the option?
No. If you have satisfied all the requirements of the option, you can list
it on the request to graduate form you fill out before graduating.
Then why should I apply to the program?
Several of the required courses are normally restricted to majors, for example
Linguistics to English majors. The various departments involved have agreed
to give students enrolled in the Cognitive Science Option the same special
access to required courses that is normally provided to their majors.
That is why we can only admit 6 students per year. Fortunately, Phil/Psych
256 is not restricted to majors in any department, and ENGL 306A (Linguistics)
can be taken by correspondence.
How can I apply?
Send a 1-page statement of your interest in the study of mind along with
a transcript of marks to Paul Thagard, Philosophy Department, by December
1. Include your email address for notification by December 15. Students
in any year can apply.
How hard is it to get in?
The program is new, so it is hard to say. In 1995, all six students admitted
had averages above 75%. No first year students were admitted. In 1996,
all six students admitted were in second or third year and had averages
above 80%. Remember (see the second question above) that you can still
take the option without being previously admitted.
Are there any other available elective courses besides the ones listed?
Yes. The list of electives will be revised in the fall and will likely
include PSYCH 306 and SY DE 548. For the required courses, E&CE 457
is an acceptable alternative to SY DE 422 and CS 486.
Other courses may be acceptable.