BA in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

The BA degree curriculum provides introductory background to all areas of brain and cognitive sciences (BCS), and encourages deep exploration of one sub-field within BCS. It differs from the BS in that it requires fewer courses, thus allowing greater flexibility in overall program planning.

The BA program is especially suited for students with focused interests in a single area of BCS and those wishing to pursue double degrees or double majors. There are 12 required courses for this major.

Independent research is encouraged, but independent study courses such as BCSC 391 or BCSC 395 do not fulfill any of the major requirements.

See the examples of course schedules page for an example of how these required courses can be spread throughout your time at Rochester.

BCS Foundation and Core Courses

Students must take all of the following courses:

  • BCSC 110: Neural Foundations of Behavior (Fall/ Spring)
  • BCSC 111: Foundations of Cognitive Science (Fall/ Spring)
  • BCSC 151: Perception and Action (Fall)
  • BCSC 152: Language and Psycholinguistics (Fall)
  • BCSC 153: Cognition (Spring)
  • BCSC 310: Senior Seminar (Fall/Spring)
Formal Methods

Students must take STAT 212: Applied Statistics for Biological and Physical Sciences.

AP credits for statistics do not satisfy this requirement. Students with AP statistics credits may take STAT 212, or may consult with the department about an appropriate replacement.

Alternative statistics courses, such as STAT 211, STAT 213, STAT/BIOL 214, DSCC 262, PSYC/CSSP 211, and ECON 230, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Consult with the department.

Laboratory Courses

Choose one of the following*:

  • BCSC 204: Laboratory in Cognitive Neuroscience (Fall)
  • BCSC 205: Laboratory in Development and Learning (Fall)
  • BCSC 206/BCSC 207: Undergraduate Research in Cognitive Science (Fall/ Spring)**
  • BCSC 208: Laboratory in Perception and Cognition (Spring)

*Students must complete a formal methods course before taking a lab.

**Enrollment in BCSC 206/207 requires a special application. Students are required to complete both courses in the sequence. The laboratory requirement of the major is fulfilled by BCSC 207. BCSC 206 may count as a BCS upper-level elective.

BCS Upper-Level Electives

Students are required to take four BCS electives. These electives should be chosen in order to form a coherent theme, or "track." See example tracks or form your own with the approval of your faculty advisor. At least three of the four electives should adhere to the track theme. No more than one 100-level course may be used in the track.

Upper-Level Writing

Successful completion of the laboratory course and the senior seminar will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.