Educational and Research Programs
The undergraduate and graduate level programs and academic research centers that make up the Stibel Dennett Consortium aim to deepen the scholarship and understanding of brain and cognitive science within the Tufts community and beyond. The breadth of the programming represents combined efforts by the Tufts Departments of Psychology, Computer Science, Child Study and Human Development, Education, and Philosophy to examine cognitive science and demonstrates Tufts’ commitment to the interdisciplinary study of the brain and behavior. Taught by a core group of world-class faculty, these different programs have been developed as the importance of the study of the mind has grown over the years at Tufts. From the initial founding of the Center for Cognitive Studies to the more recent creation of the Cognitive Science PhD, these programs have established Tufts’ particular strength in this area. Beyond the programs listed below, events such as the Cognitive Science speaker series and the Fundamental Issues in Cognitive Science Conference regularly bring renowned experts to campus.
The Stibel Dennett Consortium for Brain and Cognitive Science includes these programs at Tufts University:
The Cognitive Science PhD is an interdisciplinary graduate program associated with the Departments of Psychology, Child Study and Human Development, and Education in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Computer Science in the School of Engineering. Doctoral students in the program have a home department and complete a joint PhD in Cognitive Science. The program has particular interdisciplinary strength in the areas of human-human communication, psycho-and neurolinguistics, human development, sign language, human-robot communication, STEM education, animal cognition, and human memory. Students in the program will gain competency in the four main research methods in Cognitive Science: formal methods, programming methods, statistical methods, and experimental design. The program also offers a regular colloquium series in this area.
This undergraduate major is overseen by the Department of Psychology and draws from interdisciplinary areas of research. The major consists of core courses in Psychology and Computer Science with electives that draw from Child Study and Human Development, Computer Science, and Philosophy. A Cognitive and Brain Science degree provides an excellent preparation for careers in the sciences, computer fields, health professions, law, and education. It is one of the fastest growing majors at Tufts.
The Department of Philosophy oversees two undergraduate minors, which were among the first formal programs offered in Cognitive Science at Tufts. One is a minor in Cognitive and Brain Science, which consists of taking core courses in Philosophy and Psychology with additional courses drawn from the Departments of Child Study and Human Development, Education, and Computer Science. The Cognitive and Brain Science minor augments the program of study of other majors with connections to this interdisciplinary area of study. The second undergraduate minor is in Linguistics. The Linguistics minor offers good grounding contemporary linguistic theory, addresses the interaction of the study of language in diverse fields, and requires proficiency in one or more foreign languages.
The Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts is a research center that serves as a locus for bringing world-class faculty to Tufts to work with graduate and undergraduate students. Founded by Professor Daniel Dennett, it provides opportunities for individuals across the university to engage in various projects in cognitive studies. It regularly hosts renowned visiting scholars from around the world.