Cognitive Science

Program Director: Dr. Doug Markant (

What is Cognitive Science?

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the processes and representations of the mind that enable intelligent thought and action in humans, animals, and machines. Of central concern are cognitive abilities of perception and action, attention and cognitive control, memory, knowledge and language, problem solving, reasoning, decision making, and emotion.

Cognitive Science at UNC Charlotte

Cognitive Science at UNC Charlotte began with the formation of the Cognitive Science Academy, an interdisciplinary community of faculty and students engaged in advancing the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge in cognitive science. The program provides an interdisciplinary approach by building upon the strong academic programs that are already in place in its contributing departments—Psychology, Computer Science, Software and Information Systems, Philosophy, English, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Civil Engineering.

The Cognitive Science program at UNC Charlotte is committed to social justice, celebration of diversity in background and viewpoints, and inclusion. For more information about our efforts toward these goals, please see the Department of Psychological Science statement on social justice, which summarizes both our philosophy and the actions our faculty are taking to address issues of social injustice and inequity.

Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

UNC Charlotte offers an undergraduate minor, and a graduate certificate in Cognitive Science. Students in the graduate certificate program may also consider applying for the General Masters in Psychology (Cognitive Option) program offered by the Department of Psychological Science after consulting with their faculty mentor in the graduate certificate program.

What careers are available in Cognitive Science?

The skills acquired by cognitive science students are applicable in many career fields, particularly those associated with the information industry including telecommunications, information processing, medical analysis, data representation and retrieval, education, scientific research, and multimedia design. Cognitive Science graduates can apply their skills to positions in human factors and computer-human interactions, artificial intelligence (creating computer systems that demonstrate what appears to be intelligent behavior), human performance testing, education, and neurological testing.