Revised Honors Policy and Requirements: Cognitive Science major
IMPORTANT NOTE: Beginning for students who matriculated at Berkeley as first-year students in Fall 2020 and later and transfer students who matriculated Fall 2022 and later, the following qualifications must be met to become a candidate for Honors in the Cognitive Science major.
The award of departmental Honors is contingent upon several factors including:
- Submission of a high quality thesis, based upon independent study under the supervision of a Cognitive Science Affiliated faculty
- Satisfactory completion of the required courses with letter grades (described in detail below).
- Attaining the requisite GPAs at the time of graduation (3.5 in the Cognitive Science upper division courses, and 3.3 overall).
Students are required to complete all of the courses listed below. Please keep in mind that NONE of these courses counts toward the major requirements.
UGIS 192 or CogSc 199: Pre-Honors Research Experience
Students applying to the Honors Program are required to be a research apprentice in a lab prior to applying to the honors program. It is not required for students to participate in the laboratory of their intended faculty sponsor prior to applying, but this is the typical route. Students should complete their research project during their junior year. The URAP office will provide the students enrollment information for UGIS 192 (course control number and class entry code) to register via CalCentral and the Cognitive Science advising office will provide enrollment information for CogSci 199 (directions for applying here). Units earned in another department should be facilitated by the advisers in that department.
Students who wish to participate in the honors program should complete a Research Methods relevant to their intended focus of research course during their junior year. The choice of methods course must be approved by the Cognitive Science advising office. Students should consult with the PI or another trusted faculty mentor to determine which methods course is appropriate for them, and then submit their request via this form to the CogSci advisors. Some examples of acceptable methods courses include, but are not limited to:
Anthro 169A-C: Research Theory and Methods in Computational Methods, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, or Linguistic Anthropology
Cognitive Science C140/Linguistics C160: Quantitative Methods in Linguistics
Computer Science/Statistics C100: Principles and Techniques of Data Science
A Data 8 Connector appropriate to a student's area of inquiry: CogSci 88 Data Science and the Mind; L&S 88: Data Science for Cognitive Neuroscience; L&S 88 Health, Human Behavior, and Data, etc.
Data 144: Data Mining and Analytics
Education 150: Advanced Studies in Education
Education 153: Research in Education: Studying Educational Inequality and Possibility
Linguistics 140: Field Methods
Linguistics 158: Computational Methods
MCB 160L: Neurobiology Laboratory
Philosophy 100: Philosophical Methods
Psych 102: Statistics for Psych Research
Psych 115: Introduction to Brain Imaging Analysis Methods
Psych 147: Methods in Cognitive Development
Stat 102: Data, Inference, and Decisions
Cognitive Science H195A and/or B
Cognitive Science H195A-B is offered for 1-3 units per semester and students must complete at least 3 and no more than 6 units of these independent study units in order to receive Honors in the major. The course is sequential with a grade of In Progress or “IP” for the "A" portion and the final letter grade assigned for both semesters at the end of the "B" portion. The First Reader of the Thesis will provide the grade for these units after the thesis is complete.
California Cognitive Science Conference:
We strongly encourage all Honors students to submit their research to the poster session held each year at the California Cognitive Science Conference, hosted by the Cognitive Science Student Association.
Assessment of the Completed Thesis
Honors theses need to be turned in early enough for the thesis committee to review, consult amongst themselves, and send the Cognitive Science advisors an appropriate honors designation (Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors) no later than the last day of finals of the student's graduation term. Students and committee members should fashion a completion timeline that that can meet this deadline. This will allow for students to be recognized during the Cognitive Science commencement ceremony and to be considered for the Glushko Prize (explained below).
Here is a general guide to the honor's levels:
- Honors: Thesis meets minimum requirements of the honor's thesis and contributed something novel, or a novel approach, to the research question. Well-written. Excellent advanced undergraduate work.
- High Honors: Thesis surpasses the minimum requirements - contributes something novel to the field; project could lead to a grad level research project with more work. Very well-written and presented.
- Highest Honors: Unequivocally excellent. With little work, would be ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. This is a rare thesis.
Awarding of the Glushko Prize
Glushko Prizes will be awarded to all students who are designated as Highest Honors by their thesis committees. This policy will simplify the Glushko process: all Highest Honors projects will receive a Glushko Prize; all Glushko prizes will be Highest Honors. Glushko winners will be awarded the prize at the Cognitive Science commencement ceremony.
Honors students: be sure to share this form link with your advisor and encourage them to submit the form before the last day of Finals. https://forms.gle/NdNBFCDG3MA3Sx2fA