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 Program at METU Informatics Institute 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 disciplines are represented in the graduate programs of Cognitive Science at METU. Cognitive Psychology studies deal with cognitive processes such as memory, attention, perception, action and reasoning through empirical research on human behavior. Linguistics investigates the nature of human language and its manifestation as a mental ability. Computer Science creates computational models of cognitive processes for purposes of understanding similar abilities in humans and designing intelligent systems. Philosophy addresses questions about the essential nature of mind, knowledge, representation, and language. These traditional groups have recently been complemented by cognitive neuroscience research.

Programs' Aims

The programs in Cognitive Science at METU Informatics Institute provides extensive interdisciplinary training as it enables students to enroll in courses from various disciplines. Some of the courses offered in various groups are:

  • Computing group: Computational Models of Mind, Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence for Cognitive Science, Neuroimaging: Anatomy, Physiology and Function of the Human Brain
  • Linguistics group: Theoretical Linguistics, Lexical Semantics, Language and Cognition, Language Acquisition, Syntax, Semantics and Computation: Combinatory Categorial Grammar
  • Psychology group: Cognitive Development, Human Memory, Cognition, Perception and Action, 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 possibilites for transfer between programs.

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

Programs' Structures

Courses are grouped into four groups. These are computer science, linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. The full list of courses is in graduate course list.  Each term we announce which ones are offered.

For M.S. Non-Thesis Program

  • 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)

For M.S Program

  • 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)

For Ph.D. Program

  • Depending on qualifications, 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), if the student has not taken them or equivalent courses before. In the latter case, students do not have to take any other course to replace the exempted course(s). 
  • 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 philosophy
  • 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 group
  • At least four courses should be selected from the graduate course list
  • At most two courses may be taken outside of department course list (those courses can be taken from any department at METU or from another university, upon approval of the advisor)
  • Ph.D. Qualifier Exam: The students should pass the written and oral Ph.D. qualifier exam
  • Upon the completion of course requirements, the Ph.D. candidate takes a written and oral exam on his/her (major and minor) specialization areas. The Ph.D. candidates should identify their (major and minor) specialization areas and inform the Informatics Institute Secretary in writing. This should be done in the add-drop period of the semester the student will take the exams. The latest qualifying exams can be obtained from the secretary.
  • For the Ph.D. qualifier exam, each student should select one of the interdisciplinary groups below and reply all five questions on that group:
  • Linguistics & Computing
  • Computing & Psychology
  • Psychology & Linguistics
  • 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

Mr. Hakan Güler | Admissions Office | Tel: 03122103743 | email: