Cognitive Science, the study of cognitive systems, cuts across a variety of traditional disciplines. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the departments of Communication Disorders, Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology are heavily involved in cognitive science. Pioneering work in cognitive science depends on identifying new questions and approaching these questions in novel ways. Although this can be done within the boundaries of a traditional discipline, contact with individuals from related disciplines can provide students and researchers with the skills needed to explore important issues in cognition and cognitive science in greater depth than would be possible within the limits of a single discipline. In addition, the contact with faculty and students in other departments afforded by participating in this interdisciplinary program often has benefits to all involved.
The Cognitive Science Certificate was designed to promote this type of interdepartmental collaboration through student participation in a flexible but coherent program that draws on the academic strengths of the University and the interests and talents of individual students.
A steering committee composed of faculty representatives from each of the departments listed above administers the certificate program and considers student requests to participate in the program.