About Cognitive Systems

The UBC Cognitive Systems Program (COGS) is a multi-disciplinary undergraduate program involving four departments: Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology.

Our program provides students with a thorough understanding of the systems that support intelligence in humans and other animals. We also train students in the techniques that can be used to support cognition in artificial systems, such as robots and various forms of AI. We study the philosophical and psychological principles that lie behind the latest progress in our attempts to understand minds and languages scientifically. We inquire into the challenges and opportunities for using computational technology to design new forms of intelligence. And we ask how best to design systems that can enable different forms of intelligent agents to interact, in ways that are safe, ethical, productive, and rewarding.

Cognitive Systems offers five degrees – 3 offered by the Faculty of Arts and 2 offered by the Faculty of Science:


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Program Overview

The Cognitive Systems Program is designed to introduce students to the issues and approaches that are associated with the study of the mind, and of other intelligent systems, as these relate to cognition, computation, creativity, information, language, perception, and rationality.

The program trains students to understand the theoretical connections between natural and machine intelligence, and the consequences of discovering such connections.

It provides students with the opportunity to acquire expertise, and to complete detailed hands-on research, in at least one area of concentration, while also providing a broad knowledge of the ways in which research findings in related disciplines can be integrated.


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Mission Statement

The mission of the Cognitive Systems Program is to equip students with the skills and experience needed to understand thinking, and the systems in which thinking takes place, by training them in the theory and practice of computer science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology.  We are committed to working across disciplinary boundaries in order to achieve an understanding of natural and artificial intelligences, in all of their various forms.


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