Here are the top 10 most common questions about COGS:
The Cognitive Systems Program is a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program involving 4 departments: Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology. COGS provides students with a thorough grounding in the principles and techniques used by intelligent systems (both natural and artificial) to interact with the world around them.
Our program emphasizes the study of existing systems (perception; language), the design of new ones (machine vision; natural language processing by machine), and the design of interfaces between different forms of intelligent agents (human-machine interaction).
Students choose to specialize in one of the 5 streams that encompass the different departments and faculties under which COGS operates: Cognition and the Brain (B.A. or B.Sc., supervised by Psychology), Language (B.A. supervised by Linguistics), Mind, Language, and Computation (B.A. supervised by Philosophy)or Computational Intelligence and Design (B.Sc. supervised by Computer Science)
The Cognitive Systems Program offers 5 core courses, which students in all streams must take. These courses are team-taught by instructors from Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology, as well as a wide array of prominent visiting and adjunct faculty.
Arts students may declare their major in Cognitive Systems before registering for their third year at UBC. Science students must follow the coordinated admissions process through the Faculty of Science to declare their specialization after their first year. COGS is a challenging, engaging and independent program that requires students to be keen learners and active participants in designing their own COGS experience. Most COGS majors come to the program knowing what they would like to take away from it.
If you are interested in declaring as a COGS major, you can contact the program coordinator or speak to your faculty advisor.
The 5 streams were designed to offer students in both the Faculty of Arts and Sciences the opportunity to target their interests to specialize their degree within one of the 4 departments that encompass and host COGS.
Arts students may choose to specialize in one of the following 3 streams supervised by psychology, linguistics and philosophy respectively: Cognition and Brain; Language; or Mind, Language and Computation.
Science students may choose to specialize in one of the following 2 streams supervised by psychology and computer science respectively: Cognition and Brain or Computational Intelligence and Design.
If you would like more specific details about each stream, please check out our degree requirements page or contact the individual departments.
Depending on your stream, COGS students are required to complete between 18-21 module credits, in addition to the 5 core COGS classes and other required courses in your faculty.
We like students to have the opportunity to choose their module courses to best align to their research interests and COGS’ stream. Each year, a list of acceptable module courses will be posted on the website. To keep with the interdisciplinary focus of the program, we limit the amount of credits you can take as modules in your own field (philosophy, psychology, linguistics or computer science).
The first 18-21 credits will be counted towards your module graduation requirements. Anything over will be counted as electives.
You can have a double major or minor in COGS, although it is not recommended. COGS is a challenging program with an interdisciplinary focus. We prefer students to give their full attention to fulfilling COGS requirements, and designing their experiences through modules and course work. If you would like to do a minor, you must contact the program first to receive approval.
The 5 core COGS classes span your development and understanding throughout your time in the program:
The PhD Program in Cognitive Systems is a work in progress. There is a COGS PhD Program and it is an innovative and challenging program for those with the ambition and initiative to carry out primary research involving potentially diverse disciplines. Due to constraints on graduate program structure at UBC, however, COGS cannot launch a standalone PhD program. Analogous to the undergraduate COGS program, in which COGS majors are hosted by specific academic departments (computer science, philosophy, etc.), the COGS PhD must reside within one or more academic departments.
At present, the Department of Linguistics is sole host of a COGS PhD. See the PhD Program page for further details.
COGS gives you the skill set to succeed in a wide array of careers. Our graduates generally move on to post-graduate training for academic and industrial research, or take jobs in some form of computer and information technology. Some students have taken their skills and started their own companies. By learning how to interact with professionals in many different areas of expertise, COGS students develop the communication and analytical skills necessary to ensure their success in various professional and academic settings.
What distinguishes COGS graduates is the breadth of their training, their strong foundation in research, and direct experience with collaborative research and presentations. COGS students are self-starters and internally motivated; as graduates they are successful in any career path they choose.
As COGS runs between both the Faculty of Arts and Science, students are encouraged to speak to their own Faculty advisors to ensure they are meeting their faculty requirements on top of their COGS requirements. Your faculty advisors can help you declare your majors as well as help you meet your graduation requirements – Arts Advising – Science Advising – COGS-specific advising.
COGS is based out of the office and lab space at Stores Road Annex. The location of the building can be found here.