The CSSA is an undergraduate organization at UC Berkeley, aiming to support and enrich the academic life of anyone interested in the interdisciplinary field of Cognitive Science.
We strive to build a sense of community for those passionate about cognitive science and provide them with valuable opportunities for personal, academic, and career development.
We regularly coordinate academic events such as guest lectures and information sessions; plan social events like student-teacher dinners and cog sci themed gatherings; work with cog sci faculty and students to provide assistance for students.
Additionally, CSSA has an academic outreach program, and organizes the annual CSSA Conference.
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the brain and mind. It uses fields such as neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, social cognition, and others to try to shed light on how the mind works.
At UC Berkeley, it entails taking classes in the six disciplines listed below and integrating this knowledge for a more holistic approach towards solving fundamental problems pertaining to the nature of mind. Solving such problems relies on aspects of all these disciplines, making cognitive science an essential framework for discovering these solutions.
The program at UC Berkeley also allows students to take electives in any of these disciplines, letting them focus their studies on a specific aspect(s) within cognitive science if they choose to. The Berkeley campus also has numerous labs and research opportunities so students can explore their interests further and get involved in the research process. Details on labs and coursework can be found here.
Cognitive Psychology focuses on cognitive functions of the brain. These functions include perception, memory, and attention. These courses are usually offered by the Psychology department, and so may have restricted enrollment, especially in Phase 1.
Courses you can ask us about: PSYCH 126, 140, 150, COGSCI 100, 190
Cognitive Neuroscience involves studying the structure of the brain, as well as the overlaying functions. The courses you will take will be biology-heavy (think MCB61/64). The upper division courses may require self studying a lot of material that is covered in the lower division courses for MCB, IB, or MicroBio majors.
Courses you can ask us about: PSYCH 117, 127, 133, MCB 161
The philosophy distribution tackles the big questions in Cognitive Science: questions about what thought and intelligence mean. Philosophy classes are some of the hardest to get into, especially because no classes are crosslisted with Cognitive Science. Some lower division courses are being offered in place of upper divisions that still fulfill the requirement.
Courses you can ask us about: PHILOS 3, 132, 133, COGSCI 180
Cognitive Linguistics studies mental processes and thought through language. The Linguistics courses range from pure linguistics (such as Ling 100), to concepts that introduce cognitive perspectives to language (i.e. Ling 105). Look into individual courses or ask someone to see what Linguistics courses strike your fancy!
Courses you can ask us about: LINGUIS 100
Computational modeling tries to answer questions of cognition and brain function through engineering and algorithmic approaches found in Computer Science. Courses offered by the Computer Science department have very restricted enrollment for non-majors. If you are not a CS major, you can only be added onto the waitlist for upper-division CS classes during Phase 2. Declared, non-senior majors can add courses in Phase 2. Phase 1 is reserved for senior majors only.
Courses you can ask us about: COGSCI 131, CS 188
The Society, Culture, and Cognition looks at human thought at a macro level. This discipline covers a huge variety of applications of Cognitive Science and has courses from lots of departments, including other CogSci disciplines.
Courses you can ask us about: ECON 119, SOCIOL 150, POLISCI 161