Cognitive Sciences Ph.D. Learning Outcomes

PLO 1. Core Knowledge

Students should be able to:

  • Understand important questions, theories, findings and historical trends in the field of cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience
  • Be able to integrate knowledge across the disciplines that compose cognitive science, including the ability to explain and understand landmark findings and theories, and use that knowledge as context for understanding the current state of affairs
  • Acquire expertise in a specific scientific domain within a core area of cognitive (neuro)science
  • Demonstrate breadth of knowledge outside of their chosen subfield
  • Critically evaluate scientific information and synthesize literature available in both the lay media and in specialized research journals

PLO 2. Research Methods and Analysis

Students should be able to:

  • Formulate appropriate research designs and analytical techniques to address novel scientific questions in cognitive (neuro)science
  • Exhibit statistical and computational literacy in using, conveying, and interpreting sophisticated statistical analyses in their area of expertise
  • Be immersed in modern technological advances that apply to cognitive (neuro)sciences
  • Understand how research methods and design choices constrain possible inferences from data
  • Exhibit critical and skeptical thinking to solve problems in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience

PLO 3. Pedagogy

Students should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively to large and small groups in pedagogical settings
  • Integrate lecture and discussion material succinctly and cohesively
  • Demonstrate overall teaching effectiveness

PLO 4. Scholarly Communication

Students should be able to:

  • Give clear and cogent oral presentations
  • Integrate their own research with the relevant literature and discuss its significance
  • Write a research proposal, including abstract and motivation
  • Use the disciplines’ professional writing conventions (e.g. APA format) to describe and convey empirical research
  • Demonstrate effective oral communication skills in a variety of formats (e.g. discussion, debate, lecture) aimed at both scientific and non‐scientific audiences.
  • Present their work publicly

PLO 5. Professionalism

Students should be able to:

  • Work in a wide variety of technical, academic and professional careers
  • Participate in appropriate conference venues for their core area of research
  • Contribute to the profession, department and university through service

PLO 6. Independent Research

Students should be able to:

  • Complete an original, creative project that demonstrably advances the subfield
  • Construct a compelling research (grant) proposal that identifies critical high impact gaps in the current state of the field
  • Synthesize the primary research literature in their chosen subfield
  • Effectively disseminate the findings and impact of their own original research

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