Queen's School of Computing
For more detailed program information, including which courses you will take, click here.

The most significant unanswered question in science today is how human beings are able to be intelligent and aware. Many different scientific disciplines address this question from quite different perspectives. Over the past 25 years, Cognitive Science has emerged as a new scientific discipline which has the goal of integrating the results and efforts in the study of human cognition.

  • In Cognitive Psychology we ask questions about human memory, learning, perception, and problem solving.
  • In Neuroscience we ask questions about the structure and function of the human brain, and how it enables intelligent behaviour.
  • In Linguistics we ask questions about how to characterize language, and how language use relates to human intelligence.
  • In Artificial Intelligence we ask questions about how to model cognition with computers, and how to develop intelligent computer systems and robots.
  • In Philosophy we ask questions about what it means to possess knowledge, to be conscious, and whether a machine might ever possess consciousness.
  • Cognitive Science addresses the common aspects of these questions, and seeks to integrate the approaches and results.

The Cognitive Science Program is an Honours Subject of Specialization degree program, which specifies courses from a variety of disciplines including School of Computing, Psychology, Linguistics, and Philosophy. Over 60% of the graduates from the Queen's Cognitive Science Program have gone on to Ph.D. studies.

Why Cognitive Science?

We asked some current Queen's students why they chose to study Cognitive Science. Here's what they said...

"...cognitive science seems to be the greatest compromise between psychology, computing and philosophy. I like the flexibility that such a multidisciplinary subject can offer... the most stimulating aspect of cognitive science is that it is such a new science. It is exciting to think that in the future I can be part of a collective effort to reach a greater understanding of intelligence, hence a greater understanding of humanity." - Yasmina Sekkat

"I was so astonished to discover that the scientific community was actually concerned with the phenomenon of consciousness that, from that point on, I did my utmost to skew every major independent project to the ends of studying consciousness, cognition and artificial intelligence. It seemed as though the more I read, the more engrossed I became in the field. This year and in the years to come, I invite the challenges and the rewards of studying the science that has captured my interest and my imagination." - Sheila Dillon-Leitch

"I have chosen Cognitive Science as my major mainly due to a Canadian author called William Gibson. Gibson's demonstration of intelligent computer systems has developed an entire culture that I have been absorbed in to." - Brad Swerdfeger

"...I've always had a fascination in the aspects of the mind, as well as a general fascination in computers as well. Cognitive science seemed to take those two things and mold them together..." - Derek Oei

"The human brain is still a mystery to man, and this is what intrigued me." - Brendan Johns

"It is so interesting to think about how people think and behave, and whether we can ever replicate those processes with a machine. It is exciting to be learning about a field that is so new and full of possibilities." - Anna Krangle-Long

"I am interested in reverse-engineering the mind." - Evan DeCorte

How to get started

Apply at the Ontario Universities Application Centre using the program code QD (Queen's University, Computing).

More information may be obtained by sending mail to or by contacting the Cognitive Science advisors:

Dr. Farhana Zulkernine, School of Computing
tel: (613)533-6426

For other information, visit: