There has always been a fascination with how the mind works. How is information and knowledge represented in the mind? What is the nature of intelligence? How do we acquire and use language? How do we learn and reason? Can we build robots that perceive, solve problems, and make decisions like humans? How do brain lesions affect cognition? How is the human brain different from the brain of other animals? Questions such as these drive the field of cognitive science.

In recent decades, researchers from a variety of disciplines (e.g., neuroscience, cognitive psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, linguistics, anthropology, religious studies, etc.) have joined forces to tackle these topics, acknowledging the limitations of each discipline in isolation, and recognizing the value in interdisciplinary contributions.

Please note: Hartwick College focuses on offering fall, January, and spring term undergraduate courses in person, however circumstances may require us to offer a small number of courses in this department through distance education. In times of emergency, following regulatory guidelines, all classes may temporarily need to be delivered through distance education, including online. We also offer a slate of courses online in the summer to help our students make progress towards their degrees. With support from an academic advisor, students needing particular courses may have other online options as well. If you have questions about the way courses are delivered in your program, please contact your Department or Program Chair.

Unlimited Potential for Future Careers

Students who minor in cognitive science will find this field has unlimited potential for future careers in industry as well as in academia in areas such as:

  • computer industry (robotics, artificial intelligence, expert systems, language understanding, virtual reality, computer graphics, programming, analysts, etc.),
  • biotechnology (e.g., cognitive neuroscience, biomolecular/genetic computing),
  • medicine/medical research,
  • clinical psychology/psychiatry (learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism, learning and memory, psycho pharmacy, psychotherapy,),
  • education (curriculum, language acquisition, cognitive development, learning disabilities),
  • human-computer interface design, human factors (tool design, telecommunications, work-place safety),
  • language (speech pathology, language instruction), language translation and cross-cultural interpretation, lexicography (building dictionary databases, search engines, etc.),
  • business,
  • art,
  • and, music.

Exciting Student Outcomes

Our students compliment their major area of study with a minor in cognitive science.  Majors include: psychology, philosophy, global studies, math, and more.

Graduate School

Post-Bac Research Fellow at the NIH, Bethesda, MD
Vanessa Morgan ’19

Graduate Research Associate at Hofstra University, Long Island, NY
Authern Xu ’18

Nursing Student at SUNY Adirondack, Saratoga Springs, NY
Savannah Haley ’18


Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Worcester, MA
Allison Quicho ’17

Philosophy Instructor, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY
Arthur Carlyle ’14

Online Program Administrator at Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Heather Daly ’11


Psychotherapist at Barnett Counseling, NYC
Jeremy Barnett ’10

Global Head of Operations and Infrastructure at Square, Los Angeles, CA
Tiesha Bursese ’09

Sr. Mechanical Technician at Corning, Inc. , NY
Evan Kister ’08

Cognitive Science Requirements & Courses

Review all the requirements and current courses in the College Catalog.


Stefanie Rocknak

Professor and Chair of Philosophy & Cognitive Science Program Coordinator

Howard Lichtman

Professor and Department Chair of Computer Science

Larry Nienart

Professor of Physics

Lisa Onorato

Professor of Psychology


Contact Dr. Stefanie Rocknak, Professor of Philosophy & Department Chair; Cognitive Science Program Coordinator