Degree Planning

Streams

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

All courses in the COGS streams are largely composed from those in Computer Science, Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology. Regardless of the stream you choose, all students will complete the following core courses to graduate: COGS 200, 300, 303, 401 and 402.

Students are also required to complete Module Courses chosen from courses offered throughout different departments that are directly relevant to Cognitive Systems.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the program, course planning should be well thought out and should begin in first-year (e.g. make sure you take prerequisite courses for the courses you wish to take in third and fourth year, and have back-up plans if you intend to take third and fourth year courses that are popular). In addition, we strongly advise against students attempting double majors or attempting a minor.

Steps to help plan your COGS degree

  1. Start by looking at the degree requirements page and take note of what courses are required for your stream. Slot these into your plan.
  2. Familiarize yourself with Degree Navigator (here are resources for Arts and Science students). Bear in mind that the report that you need to use differs based on which Faculty you are in!
  3. Review the faculty-wide requirements for Arts or the faculty-wide requirements for Science, and the year promotion requirements for Arts and Science. These requirements are extremely important!
    • Attention B.Sc. students:
    • Not following your faculty requirements can result in the following consequences:
      • Graduating later than you had originally planned
      • Not getting promoted to your next year level. This will affect your course registration times. If you are planning to take 300- and 400-level courses next year but are not promoted to third year, you will not be able to register for courses with other third years. You will need to register with the second years. This can have a large impact on whether or not you can enroll in your intended course
      • If you are not promoted to your next year level within completing a certain number of credits, you may be asked to leave your Faculty due to lack of progress
  4. Identify what courses listed in the COGS degree requirements fulfill how many credits of which Faculty requirements (e.g. For B.Sc. students, COGS 402 fulfills 3 credits of: the Upper-Level Science requirement, the Upper-Level requirement, the Science requirement, and the total credit requirement).
  5. Once you identify how many credits of what Faculty requirements are fulfilled by the courses required for your stream (and the prerequisites for those courses), then you can start planning for the remaining courses to fulfill the remaining Faculty requirements.
    • Pay specific attention to prerequisites for upper-level courses and have backup plans in place, in case:
      • You cannot schedule the courses you want because they are full, they are restricted, or there is a scheduling conflict, or
      • If you apply to COGS but are not admitted into the program.
  6. Declaring your Major (Specialization):
  7. Switching to a COGS specialization from a different specialization:
    • Non-COGS majors in the Faculty of Arts who are interested in switching into one of the COGS B.A. specializations should apply through the COGS online application directly.
    • Non-COGS majors in the Faculty of Arts who are interested in switching into one of the COGS B.Sc. specializations should contact Science Advising to obtain information on admissions to the Faculty of Science.
    • Non-COGS majors in the Faculty of Science who are interested in switching into the B.Sc. Cognition and Brain stream should apply through the COGS online application directly.
    • Both non-COGS majors and COGS majors in the Faculty of Science who are interested in switching into the B.Sc. Computational Intelligence and Design Stream should reach out to Computer Science Advising directly.
    • Non-COGS majors in the Faculty of Science who are interested in switching into one of the COGS B.A. specializations should contact Arts Advising to obtain information on admissions to the Faculty of Arts.
  8. Once you are a COGS major, ensure that you know how to read your degree navigator report. Know which report type and year version that will be used for graduation checks. Using the wrong report type or the wrong year version may give you the wrong information on how many credits you have left for each requirement.
  9. Regarding module courses, have backup plans in place in case you cannot schedule the courses you want because they are full, restricted (e.g. CPSC courses, a subset of PSYC courses), or there is a scheduling conflict.
  10. Bear in mind the credit exclusion list when registering for courses. Courses in the credit exclusion lists are courses in which there are sufficient overlap that credit may be obtained for only one selection. (This does not imply that courses listed together are interchangeable.) Please consult your home Faculty Advising Office if you are unsure whether you should take one course or another in the same list.
  11. Once your Degree Navigator report is completely green (this includes the credit requirements at the top right), apply for graduation via your SSC.

Minors and Double Majors

Since degrees in Cognitive Systems already have an interdisciplinary character, we strongly discourage students from attempting to take them as part of a major/minor or a double major. Students should also think carefully before attempting to combine a COGS degree with a minor in another discipline, with particular attention to the following consideration:

The attempt to minor or double major creates considerable logistical difficulties, since there are limits on the overlap between courses that can count towards a major and those that count towards a minor. If there is a lot of overlap between the courses in your major/minor (note: this includes all COGS module courses), there is a limit in the number of credits from the overlapping courses that can count for both specializations. This could mean you need to take additional courses.

Students who wish to attempt such a minor or double major should do so only having first discussed with the COGS Advisor the way in which these difficulties will be negotiated in their particular case, and will also need to speak with Arts or Science Advising to review the potential course overlap between the specializations.