Cognitive Science

Are you intrigued by how the mind works? About how humans think and develop cognition? Do you want to tie in different fields of study to better understand the processes of thought creation? Housed within the Department of Philosophy, a Cognitive Science major at York will expose you to interdisciplinary studies of psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, biology, computer science, linguistics and more. By approaching complex questions from a variety of perspectives, Cognitive Science will develop your understanding of how human behavior and cognition is developed.

Career Options in Cognitive Science

This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Cognitive Science degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Cognitive Science than others.

  • Animal Caretaker
  • Author
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Criminologist
  • Editor
  • Forensics Specialist
  • Gerontologist
  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Linguist
  • Media Correspondent
  • Mediator
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Neuroscientist
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Pharmaceutical Researcher
  • Politician
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Public Affairs Consultant
  • Public Policy Advisor
  • Rehabilitation Counsellor
  • Scientific Researcher
  • Social Policy Researcher
  • Social Worker
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Teacher
  • Therapist
  • Victims Advocate
  • Writer

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Cognitive Science Degree

A background in Cognitive Science ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • An understanding of the processes governing human thought creation
  • The ability to comprehend human cognition from a variety of angles from the purely scientific to more perceptive fields such as psychology and linguistics
  • A comprehension of human interactions, emotional responses and the linkages between thoughts and social behavior
  • An introduction to roles of memory, language and perception in the human condition

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and opinion pieces;
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The capacity to critically analyze problems, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project's intended and successful end result
  • The capacity to lead and interact with a variety of people with different approaches and personal and professional backgrounds
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.