Cognitive Science Ph.D. (offered by Cognitive Science Department)

Introduction

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 tracks have recently been complemented by cognitive neuroscience research.

Program Aims

The PhD program 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 tracks are:

  • Computing track: Computational Models of Mind, Computational Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence for Cognitive Science, Neuroimaging: Anatomy, Physiology and Function of the Human Brain
  • Linguistics track: Theoretical Linguistics, Lexical Semantics, Language and Cognition, Language Acquisition, Syntax, Semantics and Computation: Combinatory Categorial Grammar
  • Psychology track: Cognitive Development, Human Memory, Cognition, Perception and Action, Statistics and Research Methods
  • Philosophy track: Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Meaning and Logic, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophical Logic, Topics in Epistemology

The program requires students to decide on an interdisciplinary area of interest. Candidates who pass the qualifying exam spend the rest of their candidacy period focusing on their research area and completing their thesis work. Throughout the PhD program students are encouraged to participate in research activities, present papers and posters at national and international conferences, make publications and thus become productive and independent researchers in Cognitive Science.

Program Structure

Courses are grouped into four tracks. These are computer science, linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. Each term, the courses offered under each track are announced in the course list.

  • 3 must courses (if not taken in the M.S. or exempted): COGS501 (3 credits), COGS502 (3 credits) and MI500 (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 24 credits of elective courses (8 courses x 3 credits = 24 course credits). The students should take elective courses according to the multiple constraints stated below:
  • At least one philosophy course should be taken
  • 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 track
  • At least five courses should be selected from the master course list
  • At most two courses may be taken from another department (those courses can be taken from any department at METU or from another university, upon approval of the advisor)
  • PhD Qualifier Exam: The students should pass the written and oral PhD qualifier exam
  • Upon the completion of course requirements, the PhD candidate takes a written and oral exam on his/her (major and minor) specialization areas. The PhD 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 PhD qualifier exam, each student should select one of the interdisciplinary tracks below and reply all five questions on that track:
  • Linguistics & Computing
  • Computing & Psychology
  • Psychology & Linguistics
  • Every student must attempt the question from philosophy.
  • PhD thesis (non-credit)

Admission Requirements

The Cognitive Science Department at METU Informatics Institute welcomes students from various backgrounds and so far has admitted students from departments such as Computer Science and Engineering, Psychology, Philosophy, Foreign Language Education, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Computer Education and Instructional Technology.

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.

  • Minimum requirements for your application to be considered are ALES (EA or SAY) 75 (or equivalent; e.g. GRE Quantitative), BSc GPA 2.0 or MSc GPA 3.0, METU EPE 75 (or equivalent; e.g. TOEFL).
  • Two reference letters.
  • Letter of intent (in English).
  • A maximum of 4-pages long summary of an assignment, project, thesis, conference paper or a single/joint-authored publication.

(For detailed information about applying to the Informatics Institute, please refer to "Application" page in the main menu.)

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.

Courses

All students are expected to take the following must courses, preferably in their first semester:

  • COGS 501 Algorithmic Structures in Cognition
  • COGS 502 Symbols and Programming
  • MI 500 Research Ethics

The list of Courses based on COGS's tracks are listed here.

Links

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 PhD 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.

Important inks for the current student:

Contact for Admissions

Mr. Hakan Güler | Admissions Office | Tel: 03122103743 | email: mhakang@metu.edu.tr