Cognitive Science M.S./Ph.D.


The objective of our graduate programs is to offer students with different backgrounds breadth of knowledge and research techniques in a wide range of areas in Cognitive Science, but not restricted to the areas of expertise of our staff.

The Cognitive Science Department at METU Graduate School of Informatics brings together the research and teaching of academicians in computer engineering, psychology, philosophy and linguistics. It aims to extend its interdisciplinary links to as many parts of METU as possible, as well as to other universities in Turkey and abroad. It aims to develop a collaborative atmosphere that attracts researchers and postgraduate students interested in all aspects of cognition.

The training we offer in Cognitive Science is theoretically and methodologically oriented. It is interdisciplinary and includes a whole range of applications, as manifested by our various research activities and labs.

Four specialization areas are represented in the graduate programs of Cognitive Science at METU.

  • The Psychology group concentrates on cognitive processes such as perception, attention, reasoning and decision making through empirical research on human behavior.
  • The Language group investigates the nature of human language and its manifestation as a mental ability; it also involves research on (annotated) corpora as a means of supplementing qualitative studies.
  • The Computer Science group creates computational models of cognitive processes for purposes of understanding similar abilities in humans and designing intelligent systems.
  • The Philosophy group addresses questions about the essential nature of mind, knowledge, representation, and language.

These traditional specialization groups have recently been complemented by cognitive neuroscience research.

Aims of the Department

There are three programs in Cognitive Science department at METU Graduate School of Informatics: Master’s Program with Thesis Option, Master’s Program with Non-Thesis Option, and the PhD Program. Each program provides extensive interdisciplinary training as each enables students to enroll in courses from different specialization groups.

Some of the courses offered in the specialization groups are:

  • Computing group: Computational Models of Mind; Computational Linguistics; Artificial Intelligence for Cognitive Science; Neuroimaging: Anatomy, Physiology and Function of the Human Brain
  • Language group: Theoretical Linguistics; Lexical Semantics; Language and Cognition; Language Acquisition; Grammars, Combinators and Cognition; Computational Semantics; Discourse mechanisms
  • Psychology group: Visual and Spatial Cognition; Situated and Distributed Cognition; Oculomotor Control in Reading; Statistics and Research Methods
  • Philosophy group: Studies in the Philosophy of Science; Meaning and Logic;  Philosophy of Mind; Philosophical Logic; Topics in Epistemology

Application to COGS, preparing Letter of Intent, and Studying at COGS

The department has prepared the following guidelines to help you decide which program to apply, including the possibility of transfer from the M.S. Non-Thesis Option to the M.S. with Thesis Option.

Please read the guidelines carefully and prepare the letter of intent accordingly.

Program Structures

The full list of courses is provided in the graduate course list.  Each term we announce which ones are offered.

M.S. Program with Non-Thesis Option

  • 2 COGS Deficiency Courses: COGS507(Primer I), COGS508(Primer II)
  • 3 must courses: COGS501 (3 credits), COGS502 (3 credits) and COGS500 (0 credit)
  • 4 COGS courses (one from each group; 3 credits each)
  • 4 electives (either from elective list or COGS list, 3 credits each)
  • COGS 589 Graduation Project (0 Credit) HERE is the syllabus

M.S Program with Thesis Option

  • 3 must courses: COGS501 (3 credits), COGS502 (3 credits) and COGS500 (0 credit)
  • 4 COGS courses (one from each group; 3 credits each) (If a student holds a degree in Cognitive Science, the group constraint does not apply)
  • 1 elective (either from elective list or COGS list, 3 credits )
  • 1 seminar course (0 credit)
  • Master's Thesis (0 credit)

Ph.D. Program

  • Depending on the candidates’ qualifications and needs, we may ask the candidates to take at most two deficiency courses. (COGS507 Primer I and COGS508 Primer II)
  • 3 must courses (if not taken in the M.S. or exempted): COGS501 (3 credits), COGS502 (3 credits) and COGS500 (0 credit). 
  • 1 seminar course: COGS690 lectures and seminar presentation (0 credit)
  • At least 21 credits of elective courses (7 courses x 3 credits). The students should take elective courses according to the multiple constraints stated below:
    Their distribution is as follows:
  • At least one course must be a philosophy course.
  • At least four courses should have the COGS course code
  • If a student does not have a previous degree in Cognitive Science, then 4 COGS courses must be taken, one from each specialization group.
  • At least four courses should be selected from the graduate course list.
  • At most two courses may be taken outside of the department course list (those courses can be taken from any department at METU or from another university). Before enrolling in a course that is not in the department course list, the student should first seek the approval of the advisor. Courses taken without the written consent of the advisor will not be counted towards degree requirements.
  • Ph.D. Qualifier Exam: The students should pass the written and oral Ph.D. qualifier exam

Please see Ph.D. Qualifier Exam guidelines

  • Ph.D. thesis (0 credit)

Admission Requirements

Application Criteria for Informatics Institute

Career Prospects

Language technology, innovative uses of computers, man-machine interfaces, academic track on Cognitive Science or related disciplines, such as Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Philosophy.


From the Head of The Department and Information on Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science Colloquia are held throughout the year and consist of seminars/talks given by invited speakers from various universities, as well as seminars by the METU staff or our own Ph.D. students:

As part of the METU Informatics Institute Seminar Series, Cognitive Science faculty invites nationally and internationally renowned speakers and organizes seminars on Cognitive Science and related fields.

List of the past seminars

Contact for Admissions

Turkish Students: Hakan Güler | A block, Z-11 | Tel: 0312 210 3743 | email:

Foreign Students: Buket Barış | A-113 | Tel: 0312 210 7781 | email: