Degree Requirements

CogSci Degree Requirements

Any student who completes the prerequisites to declare in effect for the term they were admitted to Berkeley and who has a workable completion plan will be allowed to declare the Cognitive Science major. Students admitted to Berkeley before Fall 2018 should click this link to view their declaration requirements. 

Students who have not completed the prerequisites to declare associated with the term they were admitted to Cal will not be allowed to declare the Cognitive Science major. There is no petition process for students who have not met the requirements. 

The requirements for completion of the Cognitive Science major are divided into four categories: 

  1. Prerequisites must be completed with a "C" or better before a student can declare. Please note that students must complete each prerequisite category in a maximum of two attempts per prerequisite category (Calculus, Data Science, and Computer Programming).
  2. Lower division requirements that should be taken as early as possible but which can be taken after declaration
  3. Six upper division distribution requirements. One course must be taken from each category. These six courses must be taken on campus, and must be selected from the listed options. 
  4. At least 3 upper division electives chosen from our on the comprehensive CogSci course list or approved via the CogSci elective petition form

*Planning is power! Use this spreadsheet to plan your degree and track your requirements. Revise each semester! 

1. Prerequisites needed in order to declare (if you are a freshman admit who matriculated before Fall '18 or a transfer student who will matriculate before Spring '20  see the chart above for your prereq requirements). 

Prerequisite CategoryCourse Options
Statistical ThinkingComputer Science/Statistics/Data Science C8 (known as Data 8) OR Stat 20 OR Stat 2 or 3 or higher on AP Stats Exam
CalculusMath 1A, 10A OR Math 16A OR 3 or higher in AP Calculus AB or BC
Computer ProgrammingComputer Science 61A OR Engineering 7 OR Data C88C ( formerly known as Computer Science 88)

2. Lower Division Requirements to be taken as early as possible

Lower Division Requirement CategoryCourse Options (these courses may be taken after declaring)
Disciplinary OverviewCognitive Science 1 OR Cognitive Science 1B OR Cognitive Science N1
Discrete MathMath 55 OR Computer Science 70
NeuroscienceMolecular Cell Biology/Psychology C61 OR Molecular Cell Biology C64 OR Molecular Cell Biology W61, OR Psych 110 Introduction to Biological Psychology

3. One course from each of the six distribution groups

Distribution Group CategoryCourse Options
Cognitive NeuroscienceAnthropology 107; CogSci/Psychology C127; Psychology 117; Psychology 133; Psych 114; CogSci 170; CogSci 171; CogSci 172; CogSci 132
Cognitive PsychologyCogSci C100/Psychology C120; CogSci C102/Psychology C129; CogSci/Psychology C126; Psychology 122; Psychology C143/Ling C146; CogSci 181; CogSci 182; Psychology 147; Psychology 140
Computational ModelingCogSci 131; Computer Science 188; CogSci 132
LinguisticsLinguistics 100; CogSci C101/Linguistics C105; CogSci/Linguistics C142; CogSci/Linguistics C147, CogSci 144
PhilosophyPhilosophy 3; 12A; 25A; 25B; 122; 132; 133; 135; 136; Classics/AGRS 36; CogSci 180
Society, Culture, and CognitionAnthropology 166; Information 103/CogSci C103/History C192/MediaSt C104; CogSci/Linguistics C104; Economics 119; Education 140AC/Education W140A; Linguistics 150; Psychology 107; Psychology 160; Psychology 164; Psychology 166AC; Sociology 150; CogSci 181

4. At Least Three Elective Courses

If a student takes more than one course from any distribution group, the additional courses can count as upper div electives (with the exception of lower division Philosophy options).

Use this spreadsheet to search a list of all approved CogSci courses, both elective and distribution. It is sortable by L&S Breadth category and by the types of CogSci requirements the course is eligible to fulfill. Some courses can fulfill a distribution group or an elective, and others can only fulfill electives. 

If you discover an interesting upper division course with an explicit connection to the study of the mind, either on campus or at another institution, you may submit a petition to determine whether it can count as a CogSci elective. 

Requirements to complete the degree in Cognitive Science

All students must: 

  1. Complete all required courses with a letter grade
  2. Complete at least 26 upper division units in the major
  3. Complete at least one course from each of the six distribution groups
  4. Complete at least three electives found on the comprehensive CogSci course list or approved via the CogSci elective petition form
  5. Achieve at minimum a 2.0 GPA in your upper division coursework in the major.  
  6. Students must receive a passing grade in each course. 
  7. NOTE* It's good practice to make and revise your program completion plan regularly. Use this spreadsheet. Once it's filled out, feel free to meet with an advisor to go over it together.