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Departent of Psychology at UW-Madison

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Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences

·  Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences Home

Requirements for Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences Students Entering Fall 1999 or Later

Rev. May 2004

I. Basic Requirements

1.     Core Course Requirement: Complete 6 CCN topic courses and two out-of-home-area core courses. (Four of the CCN topic courses will also fulfill the department's seminar requirement stated in "Guidelnes").

By end of year 2: Complete 6 topic courses among those offered as Psychology 733.

By end of Year 3: Complete 2 out-of-home-area core courses (out of Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences) core courses. The courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement may be chosen from the departmental core courses listed on page 9 of “Guidelines” and courses in other departments that contribute to the Language, Memory, and Cognition and Perceptual Systems enterprise, e.g., linguistics, computer science, communication disorders, philosophy, neurosciences, and electrical engineering. In consultation with the major professor, students must file a petition to the Graduate Committee requesting approval of the proposed courses if the courses are not listed in “Guidelines.” A syllabus of the proposed course and justification of why the course should be counted must be submitted as part of the petition. (Note: Courses outside the department which are intended to satisfy this requirement may also be counted toward the outside-the-department minor.)

2.     Methodology Course Requirement: By end of year 1, complete 610. By end of year 3, complete second and third methodology courses from among those on the approved list (see below).

3.     Each student is required to enroll in the Proseminar in Experimental Psychology (701, 1 credit) each semester.

4.     First Year Project: same as department requirements (see Guidelines).

5.     Certification for the Preliminary Examination: same as department requirements (see Guidelines).

6.     Students are strongly encouraged to sit for prelims by the end of the third year. The prelim examination seeks to evaluate the student's oral and written mastery of at least two content areas within Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences. Students choose a committee of three faculty members, consisting of two members of the Cognitive and Cognitive Neurosciences area group and one outside-the-area member. The student's major advisor serves as chair of the prelim committee. Students should consult their committee regarding the areas of emphasis and timing of the examination. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with the members of their committee on a regular basis prior to the anticipated date of the exam. Students are strongly encouraged to provide each member of their committee with a reading list, typically 2-3 months before the anticipated exam date.

Written requirements for the prelim exam are ONE of the following:

1.     A written exam consisting of two four-hour sessions. The written exam should be designed such that 1 hour of each session is devoted to planning, thinking, organizing; while 3 hours are devoted to writing.


2.     Two literature reviews and/or theoretical syntheses of publishable quality. Students should consult their committee members regarding the topic and breadth of the papers.


3.     Some combination of (1) and (2) contingent upon approval by the prelim committee.

The written exam is followed by a 1-2 hour oral examination with the prelim committee. The oral exam should occur no more than two weeks after the written exam. The intent of the oral exam is to allow the student to expand on the issues addressed in the written format (i.e., exam and/or papers) in an informal setting that is similar to professional evaluations. Faculty should "grade" the written exam PRIOR TO THE ORAL EXAM and communicate any areas of particular concern to the student's major professor. The major advisor is required to communicate these concerns to the student (at least 24 hours) prior to the meeting. The faculty members will meet in private immediately after the oral exam to decide upon the final evaluation. Grades for the prelim exam are: Fail, Pass, and Pass with distinction.

II. Methodology Courses That May Be Taken By CCN Students as Second and Third Methodology Courses

·         Computer Science:
Any graduate-level course numbered 302 or higher, except 332, 550, 638, and 699.

·         Educational Psychology:
EDP 711 Structural equation modeling
EDP 711 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDP 773 Factor anaysis
EDP 861 Statistical analysis & design in education research
EDP 862 Multivariate analysis
EDP 870 Test theory I (formerly 770)

·         Genetics:
GEN 610 Quantitative genetics
GEN 620 Populations and quantitative genetics
GEN 629 Population genetics

·         Electrical and Computer Engineering: Any graduate-level course numbered 401 or higher. Samples are shown below.
ECE 401 Electro-acoustical engineering
ECE 407 Audio system analysis
ECE 430 Random signal analysis
ECE 431 Digital signal processing
ECE 531 Speech signal processing
ECE 532 Theory and application of pattern recognition
ECE 533 Image processing

·         Industrial Engineering:
IE 433 Introduction to optimization methods
IE 525 Linear programming methods
IE 526 Advanced linear programming
IE 611 Systems modeling
IE 612 Computer methods in systems analysis
IE 623 Deterministic modeling techniques
IE 624 Stochastic modeling techniques

·         Mathematics:
Any graduate-level course numbered 309 or higher. Samples are shown below.

MAT 415 Mathematics for dynamic modeling
MAT 443 Applied linear algebra

·         Neurophysiology:
NUE 461 Mathematical and computer modeling of physiological systems

·         Philosophy:
PHI 511 Symbolic logic

·         Psychology:
PSYCH 615 Quantitative methods in psychology
PSYCH 710 Design and analysis of psychological experiments
PSYCH 711 Applied mutlivariate analysis
PSYCH 711 Applied structural equation modeling
PSYCH 916 Mathematical Models of Psychological Processes

·         Statistics:
Any graduate-level course numbered 313 or higher.

© 2003 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
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